Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you needed God so badly you could hardly breathe? When all you wanted was to read His word and seek His answers because you had none of your own.
For me, 2017 was one of seeking the Lord with all my heart. I experienced the most difficult of situations and had no answers of my own. God’s promises encouraged me daily to trust Him and keep moving forward. However, as I’ve moved further from that difficult time, I feel myself drifting back into my old habits and selfish ways, allowing other things like social media, work, TV, and general busyness to come before my time with God.
I’ve attempted to avoid the place of despair and grief that I experienced in the months following Andrew’s death. But it creeps in. There are times when I associate God’s Word with sadness, because I was in His Word so regularly during that time. It reminds me of what I’ve lost and that God didn’t allow me to keep my son. I’m sure a counselor would tell me this is some part of the grieving process, but it’s a strange place to be.
In the midst of these feelings I have to remind myself of the truth. The truth is that God’s Word gives us hope and peace in the good and bad times. It is our road map through the grief we experience in life. Warning: reading God’s Word may be uncomfortable along the way but that’s ok. When we don’t feel like reading God’s Word, we need to read it anyways. The more we cover ourselves in His Word, the more we will not be able to breathe without Him. We will desire God so much that our day feels empty without Him. His promises will become permanently etched into our hearts and minds, helping us through the sadness when it inevitably creeps back in.
The list of tips below is written specifically to me … from myself – although I hope it helps you as well. I don’t have it even partially figured out, and I have so much work to do on my daily relationship with God. Some may say I have an excuse because of what I’ve dealt with … but there is NO good excuse for not being in God’s word. He is THE answer to every high and low we experience. He is the only one who can sustain us and fill us with peace in this world.
Tips for Spending Time in God’s Word When It’s Hard
- Set a realistic goal for reading God’s word
- Know yourself – don’t commit to reading through the bible from start to finish if you struggle with understanding the Bible that way. Personally, I need more explanation to really know how to apply to my life.
- Pick a devotion or bible study that requires 5 to 15 minutes a day and work your way up to a Beth Moore study with homework every night (FYI: I love Beth Moore and her amazing bible studies)!
- Nancy Guthrie’s “Book of Hope” is an excellent choice.
- Create a habit of reading God’s word at a specific time and place each day
- If you have a busy calendar like me, create a daily appointment with God
- Pick a place with limited distractions (but that you walk by often) – closets are good in case you’ve never seen War Room with Priscilla Shirer
- Set your bible, journal, and pen in the same exact place so everything is ready for your time with God – coffee or hot tea is always a good accompaniment
- Ask God for help
- Ask for a desire so great that you can’t go a day without reading His word
- Remember that God gave you the Holy Spirit to dwell inside you and to guide you (But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. Acts 1:8)
- Believe that God will impact your life when you have a daily relationship with Him
- The only way to know God’s will, His love and heart for his children, and His plan for our lives on earth and eternity is to know Him – the Bible is the way to get to know God
- If you believe this, it makes it much easier to stick with Him daily
I pray you will join me in spending more time in God’s word on a daily basis. I’d love to hear any additional tips you have. It’s a constant struggle for me to prioritize all of the “stuff” that I need to do in a 24-hr period, but I know God will sustain me with His Word when I make Him my top priority!