Preparing for the three-day test was daunting. What compounded the stress was that the professional exam had a first-time passing rate of about 10%. The only things allowed in the testing room were pencils and erasers. I spent the three months leading up to the exam studying about three hours every night after work and most of the weekend.
My employer put a lot of stress on those of us sitting for the exam, wanting us to pass it in the least number of attempts. Those three months were stressful, to say the least.
As important as that test was for my career, it wasn’t nearly as important as the study of God’s Word. That professional exam was for one area of my life, but the reading, meditating and application of Scripture affected every facet of my life. There really is no comparison.
II Timothy 2:15 reminds us to study hard, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The King James Version replaces the word diligent with study. To rightly divide the word of truth, we need to do more than just read it. We must dig in, find the context of the verse, read other verses that relate to the one under study, and pray for God’s direction on how to apply the verse in our lives.
Thankfully, this is not nearly as daunting as the professional exam I had to take. God is with us in the journey, bringing encouragement, insight and revelation. We also have study tools to help us better understand the Bible. Getting involved with group studies is also beneficial to help us grow and dig deeper into understanding God’s Word. In this age of technology, we can hear powerful teachers of the Word on podcasts and internet sites.
However, we should never rely solely on others to do all the study while we just listen. We must read and meditate on the Word and pray for God’s direction on how to apply it. The passage below is a longer section than I normally put in my blog, but it is a great promise of what happens to those who are diligent to study Scripture.
Proverbs 3:13-24 (ESV): Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her. The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens; by His knowledge the depths were broken up, and clouds drop down the dew. My son, let them not depart from your eyes – keep sound wisdom and discretion; so they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck. Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
There are many promises in those verses. I encourage to take a few minutes and meditate on the benefits of studying God’s Word. The rewards are many.