Gems in the Trenches

What if we had been born with a pre-installed verbatim copy of all 1,189 chapters of the Bible? No forgetfulness, no need for memory books, flashcards, or systematic review. Just instant access to His Word:

  • in our minds as we conversed with family, friends, coworkers,
  • in our hearts as we weighed decisions and combated worldly lies, and
  • in our speech as we interacted with the unbelieving world.

All these long-range advantages of Scripture memorization come about as God’s Word permeates our lives like a dye tablet dropped in boiling water. But the fact is, we don’t enjoy all the advantages of Scripture-saturation without serious effort to meditate and remember. Because God’s Word is not pre-installed, memorization takes hard work.

But do you realize there are blessings even in the process of internalizing and retaining His Word? Today I invite you to pull those “this-is-hard” sighs out of their hiding places and prepare them for demolition. Ready?

First, the mental concentration of memory work crowds out other thoughts. You just can’t do quality memorization and think heavily on something else. Time spent learning a new passage or reviewing former ones is time not spent worrying, re-analyzing, or fabricating false views of your circumstances. Frankly, it’s more of your mental life focused “on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2).

Second, the span of time needed to gain and maintain your verses gives opportunity for them to shine into different aspects of your life. Really learning a verse is more than a one-day process, and good review is more than a one-week process. (Did I tap on a sigh there?) The verse that does not strike you today may be especially meaningful when circumstances change a month later. And the verse that does fit today’s trouble can be a comfort when, as you review it, you remember how aptly it applied.

Third, heart-felt recitation of your memory verses is an opportunity to bless someone else. If you quote to a Christian, it is a blessing not only for them to hear God’s Word but also to witness your prioritization of it. If you quote to an unbeliever, what could be better for them than to hear than the pure words of their Creator? If we love His Word, then we can take personal delight in saying it aloud and in sharing it with others.

Finally, our Lord did not complain at the effort to bring us to salvation. Can we then sigh at the effort to store up His Word in our hearts? If a mentally pre-installed copy of the Scriptures were to our advantage, the love that went to Calvary would have seen to it! Let’s repent of our subtle sighs and recognize with joy that there is profit even in the process of hiding His Word in our hearts.



  • "Time spent learning a new passage or reviewing former ones is time not spent worrying, re-analyzing, or fabricating false views of your circumstances." Thanks for these good words, Laura!

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