Please begin with prayer for an open heart, before you read the passage below. 2 Peter 1:12-18 – 12So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside,as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. 16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
One of my favorite hymns/worship songs is Come Thou Fount. There is a line in one of the verses that says, ‘Here I raise my Ebenezer…’ For years I sung this line without having any clue what it meant (maybe you are guilty of that too??). One day the guilt got to me so I started researching. I found that this refers to an account in 1 Samuel 7, where the Israelites are continually fighting against the Philistines---some successfully and others unsuccessfully. Samuel, the prophet, assembles the troops for battle and they seek God through confession, prayer, and fasting before battle. The Philistines assemble for battle and v.10 says ‘that day the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites.’
Immediately after the battle, Samuel raises a stone and names it Ebenezer. Ebenezer refers to a city, but the word actually meant ‘stone of help.’ Samuel literally placed a stone of help in the field and says, ‘Thus far has the LORD helped us.’ Samuel essentially wanted to commemorate the battle and how God led them to victory that day. For Israel, this was a monument that served as a reminder of how God had been faithful. He wanted to make sure Israel could always look back and not forget the way God showed Himself strong that day. Imagine a son walking through the field with his father, seeing the stone, and inquiring why the stone was set upright. The father would recount how the Father provided for them in battle that day. This story telling would continue from generation to generation!
Today, we take pictures, buy souvenirs, and journal to remember a trip or vacation. When we look at these things, it immediately triggers memories of what happened. Do we do this with our faith? Are there things in my life and yours that we can point back to and remember how God was faithful?
Unfortunately, I think we make God start at square one every day or we face a crisis and begin with doubt, not faith, because we are forgetful! Our faith is meant to build upon itself and we are called to remember what God has done in our life and apply this to future challenges/crises/doubts/trials/etc. We become anxious about the future, because we fail to look towards the past!
Peter desired for the early Christ followers that he was addressing to look in the past. He went to the facts about Jesus, the eyewitness accounts, the testimonies! Church, this is our call today as well. We begin with Scripture and see the faithfulness of God. We continue with our faith journey and experience with God. We move onto God’s provision in our lives. Then, we face whatever journey lies ahead. God has proven Himself trustworthy and we are called to step by faith, through the past, into the future!
When you look at your life & faith journey, what are key points that you can see God’s faithfulness? Do you remember these or jump right into anxiety when crises occur? How can you step into the future by remembering the past? I would love to hear your journey and how this passage impacted you.