By Lindsey Bell
As I stared at the pregnancy test lying on the bathroom counter, I felt my heart sink as two lines appeared. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be pregnant. Quite the opposite, in fact. I longed with all of my being to carry a child. Instead of joy, though, I felt fear of losing yet another baby to miscarriage. In the previous two years, we had lost three, and I was petrified to lose another.
As the weeks passed, my apprehension became more pronounced. With each day, as I grew more attached to the child within my womb, I also grew more fearful I wouldn’t ever get to hold him or her. The thought of saying goodbye to yet another child immobilized me. Fear took over my life as I worried I would move the wrong way, lift something too heavy, or eat something I shouldn’t. Finally, after about four weeks of walking in fear, I knew something had to change. I couldn’t continue living like this.
Falling in Love with God’s Word Again
As a Bible college graduate and minister’s wife, I should have known the power of God’s Word. There’s a difference, though, between knowing something in your head and knowing it in your heart.
When I told a friend about my struggle with worry, she recommended I battle the temptation with God’s Word. She challenged me to repeat verses throughout the day to remind myself of God’s promises. As I followed her advice in the days to come, I was amazed at the change. The fear didn’t completely dissipate, but it didn’t hold me captive anymore either.
As I turned to God’s Word, he used it to break the stronghold that fear held on my heart. I fell in love with the Bible all over again and was reminded anew how much we need the Word of God.
It’s so easy in our culture (a society that is filled with Bibles) to take the Word for granted, to forget that not everyone is so blessed with numerous Bibles on their bookshelves. It’s easy to forget that the Word of God is not just there to decorate a nightstand or encourage us on the rough days; it’s there to transform us into the men and women God desires we become. The Bible isn’t just something we should read; it’s something we must read. It’s an essential part of our growth as believers in Christ.
Four Reasons Why We Need the Word
In Romans 15:4, Paul gave four reasons the Bible is a vital aspect of our lives. He wrote, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
1. We need the Word of God because it teaches us. As I struggled with worry, God’s Word taught me that anxiety is pointless. Jesus asked, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27). Worry doesn’t make our lives longer, and it certainly doesn’t make them more pleasant.
God can use the Bible to teach us about whatever circumstance we are currently facing. Marriage difficulties? The Bible has advice for that. Financial problems? It is far from silent about money too. Whatever issue you are facing, turn to the Word of God—even if your problem is not specifically mentioned, look there for guidance and applicable principles.
2. We need the Word of God because it helps us endure. Jesus said we would have difficulties in this life (John 16:33). When these difficulties hit, the Word of God helps us keep going. It helps us continue on when we’re tempted to give up.
As we read about David and the trials he went through, we feel encouraged that we can overcome our own giants. When we read about Esther and how God used her bravery to save a nation, we are reminded of the power of one person to change the world. I could list other people as well—Mary, Paul, Stephen, Job, Noah, Joseph, and others. The stories that line the pages of our Bibles challenge us to keep going, to fight the good fight, and to finish the race. These stories challenge us to endure until the end.
3. We need the Word of God because it encourages us. The life of a believer can be discouraging. We might wonder why God doesn’t answer our prayers (or why he doesn’t answer them as we had hoped he would). We might struggle to find his presence when things aren’t going well. The Word of God encourages us to cling to Jesus even when we can’t feel his presence. We can cling to what we know is true when tempted to doubt what we can’t see.
4. We need the Word of God because it gives us hope. For several weeks after my friend challenged me to focus on the Bible, I was able to have peace in the midst of unsettling circumstances. I wasn’t convinced God would cause this pregnancy to progress without difficulty. I knew he might allow a fourth miscarriage. Nonetheless, I trusted (as best I could) that he would carry me through whatever happened. As I focused on God’s Word—and the promises within it—peace filled my soul, a peace I had never really known before.
Unfortunately that pregnancy didn’t continue as we had hoped it would. We miscarried that child also, giving us a fourth baby we wouldn’t get to meet until Heaven. Even still, I was able to face the loss with the knowledge I would someday get to see my baby again. The reason for this hope: God’s Word and its precious promises.
I don’t know what you are facing today: worry, fear, anger, relationship strain, health issues, parenting struggles, job loss, grief, or another difficulty. What I do know is this: God’s Word is not silent about your problem. “For the word of God is alive and active” (Hebrews 4:12). God can use the Bible to speak into any situation you might be facing. He did it for me, even as I grieved the death of another child, and I know he can do it for you too.
Focus on the Word Each Day
Unfortunately even when we know the importance of God’s Word and we recognize how vital it is to our Christian growth, it’s still difficult to focus on it throughout the day. We are busy people, and it’s hard to keep our minds on Jesus as we rush from one activity or task to the next. Here are a few ways to focus on the Word throughout the day:
• Carry a verse with you. Find a Bible verse that applies to your current situation, and write it on a note card. Carry the card with you throughout the day and pull it out occasionally to feast on the Word of God.
• Start and finish your day in the Word. Take a few minutes at the beginning and end of your day to read a couple of Bible verses. It’s not necessary to read a large chunk of Scripture to grow from it (though if you have the time for this, it certainly wouldn’t hurt!).
• Memorize Scripture. Many Bibles have dictionaries and concordances at the back of them. Use these resources to find Scriptures that apply to your situation. Then memorize applicable verses. One great way to memorize a Bible verse is to write it down several times or repeat it aloud.
Proverbs 4:23 reminds us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” In light of this Scripture, my challenge to you (and to me) is this: Guard your heart with the Word of God. Line it with Scripture. Protect it with the living and active words of truth.
Lindsey Bell blogs weekly about faith and family: www.lindsey-bell.com
Dig Deeper into God’s Word
The Story: The Bible as One Continuous Story of God and His People (Zondervan, 2011)
Standard Lesson Commentary® NIV & KJV Versions (Standard Publishing, 2014)
Discovering God’s Story: Fully Illustrated Bible Handbook in Chronological Order By Jim Eichenberger (Standard Publishing, 2010)
For Men: Quiet Strength: Men’s Bible Study By Tony Dungy (Group, 2007)
For Women: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study by Jen Hatmaker (Tyndale House, 2006)
For Kids: Learning to Use My Bible: A Study for Children Ages 7-10 (Abingdon Press, 2012)