If I am to build a strong life on this foundation of God’s Word, I must build well. It matters how I build my life and with what materials. I am convinced the Bible must hold a place of high priority in my life. I must make time to get into the Word, reading it, thinking about what I read and studying it, with the goal of putting it into practice.
As a young adult I made decisions to study the Bible for myself and grew in my understanding of God and His dealings with people. I learned, and am still learning, from my own study of the Word of God. I also benefit from the good teaching of men and women of God. Study goes beyond simply reading the Word. How often someone, tasked with preparing a Bible study to present to others, has commented on how much they learned as they prepared. They put much more thought and effort into the passage(s) of scripture than those who come and only listen, and they benefitted the most for their own study.
I am no Bible scholar, to be sure, but having learned some basic Bible study methods and tools (Bible study helps) to use, I have been able to glean important truths and applied these to my life over the years. This knowledge-translated-into-life has helped me stand stronger when hit with the storms of life.
Like my dad and uncles who learned how to properly wield the tools of carpentry and construction so they could build solid, lasting structures, so I have been learning to build a strong life by reading, studying and doing the Word of God. It is a lifetime pursuit. And the storms haven’t flattened me yet! From my cancer blog:
Waiting on the Lord. I am again reading through the book of Isaiah (I highly recommend it) and today read chapter 40. Wow. These passages are so amazing and powerful. They feed the soul, build one’s faith. We neglect the reading and study of the Word of God to our own detriment. God had these words written down for us! I am so thankful He did that. I pray we will always be able to have the Word of God and that those who do not now have it, will be able to get it. I pray that we will eat it as food and be changed by putting into practice what God has said.
I encourage others to also form the habit of making time to spend reading and studying the Bible, listening to what God has to say on a regular basis, not just sporadically. Jesus said it is the one who hears and does his words that will be the one to make it through the storms of life intact. That person will not simply make it through by the skin of his teeth, but will thrive in the midst of suffering and struggle.