I read this verse this morning in my devotions. It was already underlined, for it is very precious to me. I decided to copy it into my journal because I love it so much. As I started to write it, I realized I knew it already. I double checked myself, but yes, I knew it. I had not consciously memorized it. I knew it because when I was twelve years old, my Dad lost his job. It was devastating for him. I didn’t understand it then, but I do now. He had a mortgage and car payments. He had a daughter in Bible college and another one who was needing new shoes. He was nervous. He decided that instead of spending his time worrying, he would quote Bible verses. He copied them onto 3×5 cards (Oh! How I can still see his “chicken scratches”!) and he would read them over and over. Then, he would put it in his shirt pocket and quote it without looking. Every time he started to worry, he would quote his verse. To this day, whenever I read it, the voice in my head gradually changes from my own to his:
Fear thou not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. – Isaiah 41:10
I learned it as I heard him quote it over and over. Then, I saw that God’s Word was absolutely true. God did give us strength. He did help us. He held us up during the dark days with the strong hand of HIS righteousness. You see, we are nothing. We are wicked, sinful human beings. But my Dad accepted Christ, so when God looked down at Ron Courtney, He saw His Son, Jesus. And because of Jesus, He helped us through that dark valley. And because of that testimony, I know Jesus today, too.
My Dad taught me that the best way to learn a Bible verse is to read it, then live it.