We know reading the Bible is “good for us.” But we still have such a hard time doing it.
We’ve all had these thoughts: We’re busy, it’s boring, or we don’t understand what it’s saying. We’re tired, it feels pointless, or we just don’t feel like it.
These thoughts override our desire to read God’s Word because we are forgetful creatures. We don’t remember the incredible relationship we have with God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and instead we trust the works of our own hands and follow the desires of our hearts.
So in order to be able to read the Word, we must remember who God is and who we are. Here are three truths that will help you to open the Bible and live in his truth.
Remember that God is real, and he is good
The first verse of the Bible is one of the most famous. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). And yet we forget that this God, who spoke creation into existence, is still working and moving today.
When we feel like God is not there, we remember that from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, God is not only present, but he is sovereign. He has planned our redemption from the beginning of time to our future eternity with him.
God is also good, but that truth is so easy to forget. We see suffering and injustice in the world, from war to institutionalized racism. It’s easy to want to either ignore these problems or to seek worldly avenues for healing and justice.
But throughout the Bible, God shows that is a God of compassion and justice. He greatly cares for the welfare of the poor, orphans, and widows. He is a God who abhors false scales and the wicked.
We read this in the cries of David’s Psalms. We see God deliver Joseph, Daniel, Elijah, and many others. And we see in the New Testament that he is our Abba Father. He is real, and he is good.
Remember that we are sinners in desperate need of a savior
This might not sound like an encouragement, but it’s strangely freeing. When we are confronted with the reality of our sins, we no longer need to hold onto our platitudes of “I’m fine” or “Everything is under control.”
We can let go of any masks, and we don’t have to strive to be perfect any more.
With this truth, we can cry out in desperate need for a savior, as the people of God have done for thousands of years, from the Israelites in bondage in Egypt to the woman Jesus meets at the well. We acknowledge our mistakes before God and we see that he forgives and redeems.
The Word reminds us again and again that if we repent, then God hears us. When we feel like God can’t love us anymore, the Bible reminds us that God loves us more than we can imagine.
You are a child of God living triumphantly in his kingdom
Too easily we can get stuck in living out a works-based salvation. We might even feel like we need to find the “command from God” every time we read the Word.
But we must fight against that servanthood mentality, because we are adopted by God and co-heirs with Jesus. We are sons and daughters of the King of Kings. We are invited to simply be in his presence and find joy and purpose in our new identities.
The Bible reminds us that we are more than conquerors, not just in the afterlife, but here and now. When we feel helpless or hopeless, Romans 8:1-39 exhorts us, saying that God is for us and nothing can separate us from the love of God.
We are free. Free to love extravagantly, and even free to read his Word with joy, knowing that we obey not out of fear, but out of love.
The truth shall set you free
In the Garden of Eden, Satan successfully tempted Eve by twisting God’s words, distorting Eve’s knowledge of who God truly was. If Eve had remembered what God had really said, perhaps she would have been able to rebuke the voice of the enemy. Instead, she relied on herself and Satan’s lies, and so she and Adam sinned.
The same can happen to us if we are not constantly checking our hearts and motives with the Scriptures.
And so let us open our Bibles - whether it is joyfully or reluctantly, believing in faith that as we read the Word, we will be reminded that God is real and good, we are sinners in need of a savior, and we are now God’s children, living victoriously with him now and forevermore.
Hannah Chao is a wife and a mom of two beautiful little girls. She is also addicted to Twitter. Hannah attends All Nations Community Church.