in the fight for joy in God:
I am going to take this month to study through 1 Peter in depth and memorize it. About four years ago I began the discipline of memorizing extended portions of Scripture. About six months and 14 chapters later, I stopped . What caused me to halt was a fear and trembling (that until a few days ago I assumed was a holy fear). I knew my own pharisaic tendencies that manifested even before I started this discipline. So I was terrified that if I kept memorizing entire books, I would become more pharisaic rather than more godly; that I would search the Scriptures thinking that in them I have eternal life, but actually miss Christ and fail to go to Him for life (John 5). There was also a trembling caused by my perception of the gap between my knowledge and my life increasing exponentially. Since we are held accountable for the light and knowledge we possess, I felt crushed under the weight of being responsible for so much knowledge.
And so I decided to take a hiatus, thinking that I would allow some time for my heart and life to “catch up”. And for the next four years I resisted urges and desires to memorize another book, assuming that this was the Lord’s leading because of the aforementioned reasons. But a few nights ago an older saint told me that she felt like this was actually Satan, and that I should memorize as much as I can. That was shocking to me, because all this time I had assumed that the pause was the Lord’s leading and that I was combatting Satan. But now, I think that I may have been deceived by the Enemy.
So I am picking up the discipline again. I initially had a hard time picking a book, but I soon settled on 1 Peter because I think it will really help me fight for joy. I am tired of always losing this fight. I’ve nursed my wounds for long enough; it’s time to get up and charge and advance.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:3-9