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Joyful Memories

Daily Reading: Philippians 1

Scripture Focus: I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy. (Philippians 1.3-4)

Devotional Thought: Someone once said, "Memory is the fine art of forgetting."

Last week, Lana and I went to visit a couple at the hospital who had just experienced the birth of their healthy 8 1/2 pound boy. They were so happy. Already faded from their memories was the experience of labor and delivery. Their joy was overflowing because of the child that they held in their arms. I didn't have the heart to tell them that they would be forgetting many other things as well: long nights up with a fussy baby, changing messy diapers, frustration at not knowing what is wrong... But, the truth of the matter is that those things will pale in comparison with the joy of having and loving their child.

The Apostle Paul experienced that in his ministry with the Philippians. Did he thank God for every remembrance of them? The beating he experienced in Philippi? The night spent in the city jail? The hardships of ministry in that place? I think that Paul - by God's grace - was able to forget those things when he remembered his ministry and friends in Philippi. He only thought about the joy he had because of their faith and their love.

Have you developed "the fine art of forgetting"? If some of your memories are painful, pray for God to remove the sting of those memories and give you in its place the joy of the Lord. I believe he will answer that prayer. Then, you can pray as did Paul, "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you."

Prayer: Father, thank you for my family and friends and for my brothers and sisters in Christ. Where there is pain in remembering them, replace it with heavenly joy. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. 2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. 3 O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalms 131:1-3)

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