Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“This I recall to my mind; therefore, I have hope.”
Memory is frequently the servant of discouragement. Despairing minds remember every dark fear in the past and obsess about every gloomy circumstance in the present. It’s as though memory clothed in funeral attire presents to the mind a cup of the most bitter tea. There is, however, no need for this. Wisdom can readily transform memory into an angel of comfort. That same recollection, which in its left hand brings so many gloomy forecasts, may be trained to bear in its right a wealth of hopeful signs. Memory doesn’t need to wear a crown of iron but one of gold studded with stars.
This was Jeremiah’s experience. In the previous verse, his memory had brought him to deep humiliation of soul. He said, “My soul has these bitter memories, and I am humbled by them.” But now, this same memory restores to him life and comfort; he says, “This I recall to my mind, and, therefore, I have hope.” Like a two-edged sword, his memory killed his pride with one edge, and then, with the other, put his despair to death.
As a general principle, if we would exercise our memories more wisely, we might, in our very darkest distress, strike a match which would immediately kindle the lamp of comfort. There is no need for God to create something new to restore the believer’s joy. If we would prayerfully clean out the ashes of the past, we would find light for the present. If we would turn to the book of truth and the throne of grace, our candles would soon shine again.
Let us remember the lovingkindness of the Lord and rehearse his deeds of grace. Let us open the books of recollection which so richly record memories of mercy, and we will soon be happy. Memory may be for us, as some have called it, “the heart-spring of joy,” and when the Divine Comforter bends it to his service, it can be a great source of comfort. [M&E]