One of the first Bible scriptures I memorized was Psalm 1 (KJV). It’s an easy chapter to engrave into one’s heart. The middle school I went to had chapel every week and we would sing scriptures! Little did I know this would stick so closely to my heart after all these years and help me through so many different situations.
One benefit of memorizing scripture is that once it’s in your head, it will drop into your heart and stay there. Even if you think you forget it, it always comes back in a refreshing way. There are many times that I wonder if I am in the right season, doing the right thing, bearing any fruit (making progress), etc. But this kind of thinking always gets us carried away. So it’s helpful to think back to these verses. My favorite version is Christian Standard Bible and it says:
1 How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners, or join a group of mockers! 2 Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night.
If you’re like me, you probably wonder about what’s next in life. Where is God leading you, what is the plan, His will, and so on… and that’s okay because it just proves that you delight in the Lord’s instruction. Not to overlook the “now” of life or to become a doubter, but simply to be ready for what’s next. I love getting specific instruction as much as the broad… it keeps things interesting.
3 He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Now, THIS gives us the confidence that we ARE in the right place and doing the right thing when we get caught up in thinking questions like those above. You’re already planted beside streams of water – Living Water (Jesus!) – and you will bear fruit in due season. I think it’s pretty amazing that He promised us that whatever we do, we will prosper! I’ve trapped myself so many times by thinking I needed more, or something new, or to be filled again and again and again… which only wore me out. This verse helps me to believe that I really am blessed with everything I’ll ever need. (Ephesians 1:3)
4 The wicked are not like this; instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not survive the judgment, and sinners will not be in the community of the righteous. 6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.
When I strayed away from God in my early teen years, this is what it looked like: like chaff that the wind blows away. Unstable, naive, easily swayed. All of the choices I made in those days lead to ruin bringing guilt, shame, fear, anxiety, depression, etc.; the things that people in the world struggle with every day. The sad thing is that most Christians still struggle with these things and that stems from simply not renewing your mind. There are many ways to get into this practice and one is to memorize scripture! If you’re struggling with any of those things, memorize this chapter, believe it and become it.
The promise in this last verse is the Lord watches over the way of the righteous. Meaning, whatever situation you’re in, He’s watching over your way, reminding you that you are a tree planted by Living Water (Him!) and that you have your fill and your wisdom for your situation. Trust Him in this! He’s got you!