But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.Luke 2:19 (KJV)
Mary thought about “all these things”–she stored up all the memories, thinking about them, keeping them fresh in her mind–because she knew she’d need them later.
I’m sure Mary knew the prophecies, knew that the Messiah would be rejected, mocked, beaten, and killed. She knew that her Child was the Messiah; she knew that her Son would have to go through all that.
That’s why she remembered all the good times, all the times God showed His faithfulness and love and power, all the promises that were fulfilled.
She treasured those things, knowing they would help her through the bad times. I imagine she was running them all through her mind as she stood in front of the cross, watching her Son die, and throughout the days that followed until He rose victorious over the grave.
She remembered. And so should we.
We should remember instances where God answered prayers (for ourselves or for others), where He provided for needs, where He made a way when we thought it was impossible. We should remember times when we felt His presence, His love, His power. We should remember stories of His greatness and how He came through when all seemed hopeless.
Remember. Think about them. Write them down (or record yourself talking about them).
And then, when the hard times come and you’re tempted to doubt, look back at those things. Remind yourself (and others!) of the promises kept, of the answered prayers, of the needs provided for, of the ways God showed up and proved Himself able.
Look for the works of God, and store them up in your memory. Hold them dear; treasure them.
Remember… and be encouraged.