Do you open it when you're frustrated and need encouragement? Do you open it when you're scared and need comfort? Do you open it when everything in life seems dark and hopeless and you're desperate for a little bit of light, a little bit of hope to get you through?
How about opening it simply to fulfill your spiritual obligation for the day? Do you simply read your bible out of obedience and a desire or NEED to feel accomplished; as if you've achieved some new spiritual level today for reading the word?
I can't say you are wrong to open your bible for any of these reasons. Jesus said, "Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest." Matthew 11: 28. Jesus wants us to turn to Him at every obstacle, at every joyful moment, at every questionable decision, at every downfall and SHARE IT ALL WITH HIM. I believe theres a certain attitude we can have every time we study scripture. I believe this attitude will allow us to come out of our study time with more fulfillment, understanding, and spiritual growth than any other attitude will give us.
It is not wrong to feel frustrated, scared, depressed, lonely. God created us with hearts, minds, and bodies that all work together and these feelings are an essential part. But He did not design us simply to focus all our efforts are fixing these feelings. God designed us to KNOW HIM & ultimately be CHANGED BY HIM. Each time you open your bible or go to God in prayer, I believe you should go in pursuit of KNOWING HIM MORE. Rather than focusing on a solution to our feeling or challenge of the day, focus on who is God in the Scripture. What is revealed about His heart and His character in each and every single passage you read? The bible is a book FULLY about WHO GOD IS! We tend to think it is our manual to life and figuring out who we are.
This is a critical part of life; finding out who we are, but as believers in Jesus Christ, the first step in finding ourselves is finding our Creator and knowing Him and understanding Him. And then in light of what we know about our master creator, we see ourselves; our brokenness, strengths and weaknesses, and understanding grows. Wow!
When I began to understand that my pursuit of God must start with knowing Him and understanding His story and His HUGE plan for my life and this world, then my study of the bible became so much richer. And finding myself became much easier. What a more rewarding experience it is to study the bible unearthing the heart of God rather than trying to fix all the mess that I am through my own will power. He is perfect so understanding His character is beautiful and simple. Jesus also said, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:30 Walking with Jesus is easy. It is not a burden. He desires to relieve us of so much that we hold in our hearts and spirits.
I challenge you today to start journeying through the scriptures searching for the heart of God, His plan for redeeming all, and I promise you will find all the answers and peace you need to deal with the feelings that led you into that study time to begin with. I pray for peace and understanding for everyone who searches to know God more and more.
Remain in Christ,