Memorizing Scripture and conquering worry
“Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all day.” Ps 119:97 NRS
One of the most powerful tools God has given you for conquering fear and worry is memorizing Scripture. Your memory is like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Seneca, the ancient Roman teacher of rhetoric, would impress his class of two hundred by asking each student to recite a favorite line of poetry. He would then recite all two hundred lines from memory—in reverse order. Saint Augustine had a friend who could recite all the poet Virgil’s words—backward! Okay, maybe those guys were gifted—but there are lots of things each of us can recite from memory too. Things like birthdays and anniversaries, addresses and phone numbers, social security numbers and checking account numbers and driver’s license numbers. These items have two characteristics in common: We use them frequently, and we need them constantly. In other words, we have memorized them because we use them so often, and we can’t get along without them. Similarly, you can begin to conquer your worries by confronting them each time they arise with a Scripture you have memorized. It’s powerful! It’s effective! It works! Why? Because God’s power is greater than your problems, and God’s Word is greater than your worries. Understand this: God is committed to keeping His Word. So when you speak scriptural words instead of anxiety-ridden words, God goes to work on your behalf. He has made you this promise: “I will hasten my word to perform it” (Jer 1:12). So if you’re serious about wanting to conquer stress and worry, begin to memorize and verbalize God’s Word each day.