The Bible is more than just an advice manual or a self-help book. It holds words of encouragement for the weary and messages of comfort for the lonely. Even more than that, God’s Word is alive with power that changes who we are.
Experiencing the Word’s transforming power my life has made me passionate about Scripture memorization.
As a child, verses learned from the Bible formed the framework for my understanding of God and the world. I knew God created all things (Genesis 1:1), that He would look after me (Psalms 23:1), and that He wanted me to praise Him (Psalm 100:1). Much of who we are stems from how we think. My parents understood that reality, emphasizing the importance of memorization when I was young and giving me a foundation of truth.
As an adult, meditating on God’s Word has brought about change in my attitude, strength to alter my behavior, and peace in the midst of chaos.
An example from my life
Although memorization has long been a pattern in my life, I was surprised anew last summer when God used a chapter on faith to increase my faith.
The chapter was Hebrews 11, often known as the role call of faith. I had often admired the people in this list from Israel’s history. This catalogue of heroes begins each verse with the words by faith; “By faith Noah…”, “By faith Abraham…”, “By faith Moses…”, and then it shows how their living exemplified their faith.
It was after several months of working on memorizing it that I discovered God had been quietly transforming me.
The company my husband works for was having deep financial difficulties last summer, and we were unsure as to whether or not it would survive. We wanted to remain loyal to the company, but that meant a long season of uncertainty. Three months had passed before the realization hit me that I was not as stressed as I normally would have been given the circumstances. Instead of doubt or worry, there was a confidence inside me that God would see us through this difficulty.
The profound truth is that by studying, learning, and reviewing the men and women of the Bible who exhibited faith, faith was created in my heart.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” This doesn’t mean assuming that God will work everything out the way I want Him to, but rather that God can be trusted to do what is best and to guide me through.
Those who live by faith don’t focus on the results; instead they focus on God. “Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35). These are two very different outcomes, yet both are commended for their faith.
Daily studying and reviewing of this passage taught me to focus on God, not my surroundings. That was exactly what Moses did. “By faith he (Moses) left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27)
It must be understood that memorization of scripture is not an easy task. Those who think it should be simple give up quickly, deciding they can’t memorize. Instead, it requires diligence.If hearing about the power of God’s Word has encouraged you to memorize, but you don’t know how, here are some things that have helped me:
Memorizing God’s Word takes time, but like any spiritual discipline the reward of growing closer to God is beyond measure.