As you know, I am a big proponent of reading the entire Bible–so much so that I painstakingly created a unique plan to do just that and there is a facebook group where hundreds of women are going through that plan.
Though I love having certain passages and verses that speak comfort and life during trials, I believe that all of God’s word is important and profitable.
However, this spiritual truth doesn’t change the fact that it can be difficult at times. I have talked to many women who start off with great intentions but fizzle once they hit Numbers or Chronicles. Since my facebook group is going through Chronicles right now, I thought it would be a good time to dig a little deeper and share some practical tips for getting through these more difficult passages and books of the Bible.
Remember that the Bible is the inspired word of God.
This is such an important truth, yet it’s one we often forget. When we’re scrolling through Facebook instead of reading our Bibles. When we’re watching our favorite TV shows instead of reading our Bibles. When we’re doing a hundred other things and neglecting God’s word, we forget that it is His word to us. And every word is inspired and intentional. Even if it seems dry or (gasp) boring at the time, God included it for a reason. We’re told in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable. Not just the encouraging parts or the “good” parts. All of it.
So, since we know that God included this for a reason, the first practical tip is to consider what you can learn even from this. For example, genealogy helps us to know Christ’s legitimacy. It helps us to follow the history of God’s people–whom we are grafted into! They help us to remember that God sees and knows each of those people, even the ones we’ve never heard of. And he sees you too, my friend. Just as He has included lists of names in His word, He has a list written into the Book of Life and if you are saved, then your name is written into that book.
Remember that your Bible reading is not about you.
So often, we fall into the temptation to focus on our feelings. I get that and I do the same thing at times. When sharing my love for scripture, I often focus on how it has changed my life. How God’s promises written therein sustain me. How He speaks to me and encourages me each morning. Yet, that’s not why we read. Those are benefits and side effects–isn’t it amazing how God’s ways usually include great side effects? Funny how that works.
Anyway, we don’t read God’s word to make ourselves feel good. We read God’s word to become better acquainted with Him. And every word will teach us more about him somehow.
Use the following practical tips.
I suspect that most of you already know these things, so I also want to share a few practical ideas as well:
- Use a reading plan. I have known many people who start reading with the plan to read through the Bible cover to cover only to stop a couple days in of reading 3 chapters in Numbers or Chronicles. A reading plan (like my Big Picture Reading Plan) can help you keep moving forward by including chapters from several different parts of the Bible. This helps you to see how all of God’s word is interconnected, and it also allows you to push through a chapter of Chronicles knowing that you will also have some easier reading that day as well.
- Look for the familiar. When I first started reading through my Bible, the genealogy list in Matthew was just something to get through. Now that I know more about the people in that list, I read it in awe of the unexpected people included and how God used them. As you’re reading through these lists, look for the familiar people and events.
- Look for the little hidden nuggets. Several years ago, a little book was published called The Prayer of Jabez. His entire story is shared in just 2 short verses, buried in the middle of Chronicles 4, with the prayer being 1 verse. It’s a wonderful prayer, and I wonder how many people missed it over the years because it was hidden in the middle of otherwise “unappealing” reading?
- Check your attitude. Come to your reading every day with prayer and a humble heart–ready and open to hear what the Lord would teach you and speak to you through that day’s readings. Come expecting. The prophet Isaiah (and then Jesus) mentions those who have ears to hear yet cannot hear. The Lord speaks through His word, but we must have ears–and a heart–that is willing to hear.
- Listen to it on audio Bible. This idea actually comes from my husband. He finds it easier to listen to an audio Bible than to read, especially for certain parts of it.
Make it a Routine.
When all else fails…Just do it. Set a goal to read your Bible and do it every day. Foster discipline in yourself and don’t make it an option. It’s more than worth it. One of my favorite things to do is read the Bible through each year. I learn so much and the Lord speaks to me each day. My only regret was that I waited so long to start.
I hope these tips will help you get through some of the more difficult chapters and books.