For those who have studied the Bible for a long time and those brand new to reading Scripture, it can be difficult to know how to stay in God’s Word in all seasons. Author and teacher Scarlet Hiltibidal gives her advice for studying God’s Word, whether you’re just starting out or are looking for a renewed passion.
The video is above, and the entire transcript is below.
So, advice I’d give to people new to studying the Bible—I would say start in the Gospels. I used to think when I first started reading the Bible that the Jesus part was the New Testament, so I really spent a lot of time there. And it wasn’t until later that I learned that the whole Bible is about Jesus. It’s this redemption story. So every book, every page is important.
But if you’re new to it, I would start in the Gospels, where you get to study Jesus’s life and what He said and what He did, because the Bible—our faith—is all about Jesus. It’s all about His perfection and His sacrifice being what gives us peace, not anything we can do right or do wrong. It’s all about Him. So, I think start there.
I’d say find Christians in your local church who have been walking with the Lord for a while. Ask them for help, because we were designed to do this thing together. And pray when you’re reading and ask God to help you understand. And He will. Because He is real and He’s alive, and He’s in the Bible.
Okay, advice for people who have been studying the Bible for a while—I would say I fall into this thing all the time where I will long to feel the way I felt at a certain point in my faith when I felt like, “Oh, I can’t wait to read my Bible!” But life is not—I don’t always feel that way. It’s like this [it has ups and downs]. And so sometimes I feel far from God because of me, not because of Him. Sometimes I don’t hunger for it like I did three years ago. I say, just keep reading it. Pray through it. Ask God to renew your love for His Word. And don’t walk away from it just because it doesn’t feel the same as it did when you felt like you were “doing better.”
Pray through the hard seasons where it feels dry and know that that’s normal, and know that God’s love for us is not dependent on how we’re feeling that day or how many verses we’ve read that day. He just loves us. So, just reminding myself of that, reminding myself His Word is a gift, helps. It helps me to get back into that zone where I can’t wait to read it. So that’s my advice.