The One Thing You Must Remember When Life Is Hard

by Katie Westenberg June 14, 2023
“I will remember the LORD’s works; yes, I will remember your ancient wonders. I will reflect on all you have done and meditate on your actions.” Psalm 77:11-12 (CSB)

I remember exactly where I was when I placed that desperate phone call to a friend.

In a busy store parking lot, I sat limp in the front seat of my car while my mind spun through my weighty to-do list. Suddenly, it was all too much. My phone call was a weak SOS. But I never expected my friend’s powerful reply.

“I’m going to ask you one question, Katie: What are you believing to be true about God right now?

With gentleness, she hit a line drive to the source of my struggle.

I was reeling with worries — my dad languishing in the intensive care unit, immovable work deadlines piling atop the normal demands of life that wouldn’t pause for the urgent. Dinner still needed to be made. Appointments still needed to be kept. I felt paralyzed by immediate concerns, but her simple question could not be ignored.

What am I believing to be true about God right now?

My answer came out in tears.

I didn’t need a sermon. I didn’t need to be coddled. I needed a reminder. I needed a friend to gently shift my gaze and help me see, help me remember, what was and is and always will be true.

And maybe a box of tissues. I definitely needed a box of tissues.

There is a pattern here that I have noticed. We can fill ourselves full of God’s Word. We can read, memorize and study, and that is all wonderful. We should absolutely be about that. But when life crashes, when we meet new depths of difficulty, when our kids go astray or we get betrayed or a new diagnosis threatens every hope we had for the future — anxiety and worry can rush in like a tidal wave and catch us off guard. We feel lost, blind, alone and scared. We know God’s Truth, but it gets buried in an avalanche we didn’t see coming, and we desperately need to be reminded of it.

David gives us an expert example of this in the book of Psalms. He spent real time in the wilderness. His enemies trampled him all day long. They rose against him and sought his life, and he felt the weight of it all. He knew the hard and the ugly. But David developed this habit, this practice, of bringing that worry before the Lord and reminding himself who God had been, was and would be.

You have been a refuge in the day of my distress, he declared to God. My fortress, strong tower, mighty rock, help. David forced himself, trained himself, to remember.

“I will remember the LORD’s works; yes, I will remember your ancient wonders. I will reflect on all you have done and meditate on your actions” (Psalm 77:11-12).

I’ve lived long enough to know avalanches do come, often when we least expect them. And they can feel incapacitating. But the minutes we have spent knowing God in quieter times can serve us well here. Our knowledge of God in the past fuels our faith in Him for the future. Every answered prayer is faithful care that becomes provision not only for today but for every tomorrow. But only when we remember.

If you are there today, friend, let me challenge you to recall and remember three things:

  1. The character and nature of God.
  2. How He has worked throughout Scripture and history.
  3. How He faithfully loves and leads His people.

We know the truth, but too often we leave it sitting on a shelf. We let it get dusty. Biblical remembering is recalling truth, despite what we see in front of us, so that we can move forward in faith. Let’s be women who make this our reflex. Let’s be women who remember.

Heavenly Father, we thank You for meeting us in our weakness, for bending low and drawing near. Help us to remember who You are and how You love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


For more beautiful encouragement on remembering, grab a copy of Katie’s new book, But Then She Remembered: How to Give God Your Full Attention in a Distracted World.



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John 14:26, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you” (CSB).

What are you believing to be true about God right now? Where can you ask the Holy Spirit to help you realign your thoughts and remind you of what is true?

© 2023 by Katie Westenberg. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Bethany House Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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