“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
“Now, what is food for the inner man? Not prayer, but the Word of God; and here again, not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts.” George Mueller
- Grab a pencil, pen, and a highlighter. Be ready to print, photocopy, or hand-write a passage of Scripture. Breathe in slow, deep breaths. Envision the Holy Spirit touching every part of you. Exhale today’s worries.
- Read Psalm 119:11 and write it in your journal.
His Word Hidden in Our Hearts
If you have been a Christian for awhile, then you have heard how important it is to read the Bible. Furthermore, Psalm 119:11 doesn’t merely call us to read God’s Word, but to memorize it. He calls us to know it so well that it’s hidden in our hearts, ready when we need it to battle all kinds of temptations. Dear mama, if you’re like me, you can struggle with finding the time in your busy life to spend time reading God’s Word. But I will tell you, it’s worth all of the investment of time and energy to read, learn and memorize. In fact, it has brought me unspeakable comfort during difficult seasons of my life.
My oldest child was born in the winter. Where I live, this time of year gets dark around 5pm. My postpartum mind and body greatly feared the darkness! As the sun began to hide, I felt so alone. My mind began to fill with negative thoughts.
Distraught and overwhelmed, I found hope in Psalm 18:28: “You, Oh Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” I remember staring out the window, watching the daytime fade away as apprehension consumed me. That is, until I repeated this verse out loud over and over again. Like a warrior who pushes away a boulder from a blocked entry, the Word of God broke me free from my despair.
Then in 2015, I was treated for stage one thyroid cancer. A few months ago, I had to do a follow-up scan, which required me to hold still for 26 minutes. I tend to be restless, so the thought of staying still while awake seemed impossible to me. During the scan, everything began itching, aching, or wiggling! To calm myself down, I practiced alphabet praise. Beginning with the letter “A,” I thought of a word to describe God’s character. I tried to come up with several words before moving to the next letter. It was going well at first, but as the desire to move my body became irresistible, I couldn’t even focus my attention on the alphabet praise. It didn’t seem to be enough!
All I could then rely on were the verses I had hidden in my heart. The Holy Spirit inside of me released what I had once learned because “great peace have they who love Your Law, and nothing can make them stumble,” (Psalm 119:165). Verses like, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” (Genesis 1:1) seemed to have no relation to my situation, but it gave me something to which I could cling. I was so grateful that I could recall God’s Word because it was hidden in my heart at the time.
Friends, I am so thankful for the time I have invested in studying and memorizing God’s Word. Without it, I don’t know how I would have coped with my fears as a new mom or my anxiety as I fought cancer and dealt with follow-up scans. The important thing is that we study God’s Word when we are doing well, even when we don’t seem to need it. Then it will be readily available when hard times come. Isaiah 55:6 tells us to “seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”
Let’s cherish God’s Word and hide it in our hearts, starting by studying one section of Psalm 119 and looking at how David, the Psalms writer, loved God’s Word. I pray that the Holy Spirit will inspire us all to memorize Scripture to help us in our times of need.
- Read Psalm 119:89-96 below.
- Highlight all the synonyms for God’s Word: word, commands, decrees, laws, statutes, precepts,
- Underline any phrases that describe God’s Word.
- Double underline any phrases regarding how the psalmist relates to God’s Word.
- Box the words “life,” “live,” and “living” and circle any forms of the words “save” and “preserve.”
89 Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.
91 Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you.
92 If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.
94 Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts.
95 The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes.
96 To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless.
Now, look at the visual story you created. What phrase stands out to you?
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Meditate on the phrase that stands out to you: say it out loud ten times, believing in its truth.
- What does this phrase say about the relationship between God, His Word, and you?
- How can these words preserve your life?
Study other sections of Psalm 119; I highly recommend that you print them out or mark in a printed Bible to get the most out of the study. This gives you 21 opportunities to dig into the Bible without the help of any other person or commentary, only the Holy Spirit! If you’ve never done this before, I have full confidence that the Holy Spirit will help you each and every step of the way. Just remember that studying the Bible requires effort, but the time and energy you spend will certainly pay off. You can’t enjoy a mountaintop view without climbing it!