When I was in college, I helped chaperone a youth trip to a Christian conference.
During a night of worship, one of the girls on the trip burst into tears. I walked with her outside of the room so that we could talk and, as she began telling me some of the heavy things she was struggling with, I asked, “Lord, what do I say?”
I remember the response vividly.
I’ve never forgotten that trip or that moment because absolutely nothing came to me. I had always imagined that when I needed words, God would provide them. But I sat there in front of that sweet, crying girl like a tongue-tied space case.
Since then, I’ve learned a lot about the Holy Spirit. I didn’t grow up with much knowledge about the third person in the Trinity, but my life changed when my husband took the time to explain to me how important the Holy Spirit is in every believer’s life. John 14:26 describes the Holy Spirit as our Helper, Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor, Counselor, Strengthener, and Standby. I couldn’t believe what I had been missing out on—I’d had access to a comforter, strengthener, and advocate for over 13 years and hadn’t even known it.
In the same verse, Jesus says that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to us in His place, to act on His behalf and that the Holy Spirit would help us to remember everything He had said. This last line is the one that ended up convicting me and reminding me of that moment as a chaperone.
Scripture tells us very clearly that the Holy Spirit will help us to remember the things that Jesus told us.
But I can’t remember something I never learned in the first place.
I want to confess that for a large portion of my life the Bible was very intimidating to me. I believed in Jesus, but I was afraid that reading the Word would leave me feeling condemned. The enemy reinforced that lie because he didn’t want me to know that God’s grace and truth would set me free from condemnation.
God’s Word does not condemn us; it convicts us of our righteousness! Scripture is full of God’s promises to us—promises of health, provision, favor, protection, redemption, and salvation. Spending time in His Word is the best thing you can do for yourself and the people around you.
You can’t speak life into people if you don’t know the words.
I couldn’t respond to that young girl eight years ago with God’s words because I had never really learned them. Friends, don’t let scripture intimidate you. Spend time in His Word so that you are equipped to encourage and love the people around you!
My favorite way to memorize scripture is to write verses out on index cards and keep them by my bed. Every night, I just read through them so that I can go to sleep with the beautiful, life-giving words of God on my heart. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few of my personal favorites:
- Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:16
- Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. – Hebrews 10:23
- Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. – Mark 11:24
- For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield. – Psalm 5:12
- For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. – Romans 6:14
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6–7
Remember, God’s words are the only words that will never return void!