Have you ever seen one of those money saving challenges floating around online? Here’s one: save over $1,300 a year by putting aside $1 the first week of the year, $2 the second week, and so on, eventually setting aside $52 the last week of the year. I’ve never participated in one of the challenges, but I’m always impressed at how such a relatively small amount of money adds up over time.
At the beginning of 2015, I was challenged to memorize two Bible verses every month for the entire year. Looking back, I’m amazed at the compounded value of spending time focusing on and rehearsing Scripture.
2015 was undoubtedly the hardest year of my life thus far, a fact I didn’t anticipate last January. By God’s grace, I had decided in advance to hide His Word in my heart – and only He really knows how much I needed it. Through the ups and downs, difficulties, and uncertainties, here’s a sampling of what filled my mind:
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. –Psalm 9:10
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! –Psalm 34:8-9
His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. –Psalm 147:10-11
From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. –Isaiah 64:4
I don’t know what state I would be in without the Word of God, but I’m positive it wouldn’t be good. Although we can’t predict financial emergencies, we can take measures to be prepared – measures like setting aside a little extra each month. In the same way, we can’t foresee every circumstance we’ll face – sickness, stress, transitions, and the like – but by depositing Scripture into our hearts, we have truth to draw on when times are tough.
Among other things, Scripture revives our hearts (Psalm 19:7), provides wisdom (19:7), keeps us from sin (119:11), strengthens us (119:28), guides us (119:105), increases our faith (Romans 10:17), builds our hope (15:4), offers encouragement (15:4), and equips us for ministry (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
At the starting line of 2016, is there really any way to know what the next twelve months will hold? Regardless of the specifics, we can be ready – ready for temptation, ready for conflict, ready for challenges, ready to be grateful, ready to rejoice. We can invest now, and reap the multiplied benefits later. Because unlike anything else, storing up God’s Word in our hearts and minds is an investment that is guaranteed to pay off exponentially.
If only we, like the psalmist, could see its value: “I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil” (Psalm 119:162).