Did you know that, just as God gave us physical laws and principles when He created the universe, He has also given us countless spiritual principles in the Bible?
It’s true. God’s principles are practical, beneficial, and life-transforming for those who choose to know them and apply them into their lives.
Let me show you four things that God is saying to us in the verse in the photo at right.
First of all, the verse begins with the word “when”, not “if”. Nobody is exempt from difficult times. The phrases “pass through the waters” and “walk through fire” are sort of poetic references to the difficult times we all face in life. Think of them as the “waters of suffering” and the “fires of adversity”. No one is immune from these challenges of life. Either you’ve been in one, or you are in one or you’re going to be in one.
The second thing God says to us is that He will be with us, especially during the trials of life. That’s where He says, “I will be with you.”
The third thing is His promise of protection. He says that those “waters of suffering” will not overwhelm you. Neither will those “fires of adversity” consume you or even burn you.
The fourth thing is the fact that the verse gives us God’s assurance that our trial is just for a season. His Word refers to passing “through” the waters, and to walking “through” fire. It won’t last forever. And I can say from experience, it’s much easier to hang in there under the weight of the trial when you know God is with you and that He’s protecting you.
In summary: the principle God wants us to know consist of these things:
- There will be difficult times in your life. (Bet you probably already knew that.)
- God is always with you, even when you’re going through a difficult time. In fact, God is never nearer than when you are in trouble.
- God will protect you. But you have to make the first move.
- It will not last forever.
How to apply this into your life
Now that you’ve read this far, you have what is called “head knowledge”. That’s as far as most Christians get: intellectual knowledge; mental assent to a set of data. It’s like believing that water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. People say they “believe” it–but it makes absolutely no difference in their lives.
Nevertheless, the process has to start with head knowledge. But head knowledge is useless if you don’t apply it into your life. If it doesn’t penetrate your heart; if it doesn’t radically change your life, it does you no good.
Seven things you can do to grow beyond the “head knowledge” level:
- Choose to believe that what God has said to you in that verse is true.
- You’ve got to get the verse out of your Bible and into a more portable form. If you like, write it out on a 3 x 5 card. Better yet, get some of our Scripture cards. The cards explain the verse on the back.
- Choose to believe that you can memorize just one verse. (Of course, if you can memorize one, you can memorize two.) DO NOT let the devil convince you that you can’t do it. You might want to read my post entitled “What The Devil Does NOT Want You To Know“
- Take the card with you everywhere you go. Pull it out and read it several times a day. Have it at work. Take it into the kitchen and bathroom at home. Read it again while waiting in traffic.
- Whenever possible, speak the verse out loud. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, including when the voice you’re hearing is your own. Plus, demons can’t stand hearing the Word read. When you speak the Word, you are preaching to yourself. The demons won’t be able to get a word in edgewise. Speaking the Word out loud is demon repellent.
- Keep doing and doing this until you can recite the verse without the card.
- If you’re using our cards, read the prayer on the back. The prayer is the part in italics down at the bottom. The words in these short prayers might not describe your current spiritual condition, but speak them as though they did. Each prayer is a short declaration of praise to God, thanksgiving for what He has already done for you, and a statement by faith about how you will soon be. You have to visualize yourself that way before you get there. Faith follows action. The Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) Do these things by faith and soon you’ll be describing your new condition.
Things that will try to hinder your progress
If you’re new to the process of learning Scripture, doing these things is going to seem awkward at first. You’ll find yourself thinking thoughts such as, “I’m not going to do that. It’s silly. It won’t work.” Those are the thoughts put into your mind by a demon. If you just think for a moment, ask yourself: which kingdom–Heaven or hell–would rejoice if you decided to memorize even one passage from the Word of God? (Hint: it’s not the kingdom with the demons.) The demons will try to get you to stop. Hell rejoices over those who are indifferent to the Word of God.
Do it by faith. You must choose to ignore those feelings and act by faith at first. Faith is believing that what God says is true, and then acting as would someone who really believed it–even though it seems to contradict your previous experience. Do it anyway, because God’s Word promises it will be to your benefit.
Don’t let the voice of unbelief stop you. Instead, believe–because God says so.
The voice in your mind will argue with you, telling you that doing these things is contrary to what you were taught. Even if that’s true, it’s never an excuse for not doing what is right. Rise above the ordinary cultural Christian level, and do what you know God longs for you to do. Praise Him, speak His Word, and keep doing it.
Don’t get into fretting about what others might think or say about what you have decided to do. Where are they getting their opinions from? Remember this: there is only one opinion that really matters, and it isn’t your friends’ opinion.
Benefits of Learning Scripture
Knowing Scripture will help you combat sin. David said:
I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11)
David is saying that knowing the Word of God kept him from sinning. It’ll do the same for us, too.
Knowing the Truth of Scripture sets you free. Jesus said,
If you remain in my Word in My Word, you will truly be My disciples; and you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
Jesus is offering the benefit of freedom to all who remain in His Word.
The following list is from “100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know” by Robert J. Morgan, published by B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, Tennessee. In the book, these seven items take up three chapters. Here are brief highlights.
- Scripture memory gives us clearer thoughts. Internalized Scripture keeps our minds in good working order.
- Scripture memory gives us steadier nerves. Specific Bible verses stored away in our minds serve as the shock absorbers of life, giving us steadier nerves and calmer spirits.
- Scripture memory also gives us healthier emotions. I’m convinced that little biblical capsules (memory verses) are the best medicine for sustained emotional health.
- Scripture memory gives us purer habits. The practice of memorizing and meditating on the Bible is the primary way to accelerate spiritual growth in your life. It speeds up the transformation process and leads to holier habits. After all, spiritual maturity is simply thinking more as God thinks; so as we implant His thoughts into our minds, using Scripture memory, and as we use the process of meditation to convert those verses into regular thought patterns, we’re developing the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5), yielding mature thoughts, pure habits, and holier lives.
- The fifth benefit of Scripture memory is that it gives us happier homes. One of the by-products of internalizing God’s Word is a brighter home life.
- Scripture memory enhances our reputation. It augments the respect with which people view us. Isaiah 50:4 (Amp) says, “The Lord God has given me the tongue of a disciple and of one who is taught, that I should be able to speak a word in season to one who is weary. Morning by morning He wakens me; He wakens my ear to hear as a disciple [as one who is taught]“.
- Finally Scripture memory makes us eternal optimists. It gives us ultimate hope and modulates us into eternal optimists. There’s a promise in the Bible for every contingency in life; and our faith grows as we find those specific promises that meet our specific needs, commit them to memory, mull them over, claim them by faith, and absorb them into our spiritual bloodstream. Even death itself is no match for God’s precious promises of resurrection, eternal life, and everlasting joy.