We have finally completed our study in the book of Job! This is certainly something to celebrate. I have struggled getting through this book. It has been discouraging for me as we sloughed through this depressing book during the gray months of the year.
I have been thinking about how to conclude our study in Job. I could easily talk about the last chapters that we have been reading through this past week. But to tell you the truth, I don’t think I can put things any better than God did himself. Instead I am going to discuss something a little different. I found this book very challenging to study. There were several times I wanted to just quit because it wasn’t a feel good, easy Bible study. This study forced me to look at some things that I have questioned and struggled through. It was good for me, but there were many times I wanted to quit. So instead of talking about all the wonderful things that God taught us about himself in these last, tension relieving chapters of Job, I am going to discuss why we should study books of the Bible even when they are uncomfortable or hard.
What should we do when reading God’s word is hard?
There are many different reasons why reading the Bible can be hard. Sometimes, like I have just experienced, the book is difficult to read, or it has a message that is painful. Other times we are so discouraged that we struggle to move towards God because we are hurting or sad. Some times we are simply distracted. I do this a lot during Spring. I sit down to read my Bible and find that I am gazing out the window at the blooming of Spring around me rather than actually paying attention to the words on the page of my Bible. There can be so many reasons why reading the Bible can be hard.
That leads us to another question, does that mean that we shouldn’t read during those times? Should we perhaps take a break from our Scripture reading or maybe if a certain book is hard maybe we should skip it and move on to something else. I would say that I disagree with both of these ideas.
During the past eight weeks as we have worked our way through Job, the Lord has been teaching me. He has been prodding my heart and showing me things that I didn’t know were there, and that I need to deal with. God has been teaching me more about who HE is and what my response should be in light of that.
We live in a world a lot like Job’s. Life is painful and hard. Things usually don’t make sense, but does that change who God is? The Lord has taught me many powerful lessons as I have slogged through the chapters of Job that I would have missed had I simply skipped over this Bible study to one that appeals to me more.
Should we skip Bible reading?
Another question that comes up is: Should I just take a break from reading my Bible if I am overwhelmed or just too weary in my heart? I don’t think we should skip reading our Bible. Does this mean that I never miss a day reading my Bible? Um mm NO! I have missed most days this week doing my daily reading. I spent my Sunday reading through all the chapters for Job that were scheduled for this week, and then I hardly picked up my Bible again. That is not what I had intended to happen, life happens. But this wasn’t an intentional walking away from my Bible reading. There are some who have suggested that taking a break, an intentional break from daily reading of scripture can be a good thing. That it can give you a fresh perspective when you return. From my experience this is a lie from the enemy. I find it much easier to miss a day of Bible reading than I do of actually fighting for my devotional time and making sure I get my time with Jesus. Our time reading God’s word is vital if we are to grow spiritually. Some days it will be a battle, but it is a battle worth fighting.
I don’t like this book, I will skip to the next one….
Early in our Blogging through the Bible series Courtney Joseph wrote a post about why we should study ALL the books of the Bible not just the ones that draw us. When we allow ourselves to read the comfortable books of the Bible, and stay with the easy Bible studies we are missing a great deal of what God has for us. God is calling us to dive deeper with Him. God wants us to crave more than just the milk that we drank as baby Christians. God invites us to dive deeper into his word and find the gems that are hidden in the deep corners. A college professor I had who taught Bible study Methods said that studying the Bible was like mining for gems. It took hard work, and at times it got messy, but the rewards were priceless. I think he was right.
The past 8 weeks as we have been digging into the book of Job I have found myself discouraged, depressed, and overwhelmed. Yet in the midst of it all I have been learning. I am thankful that I held on and didn’t quit. I am thankful for the precious lessons God has been whispering to my heart over these past weeks.
Has Job been hard for you? How did you respond to the hard parts? Did you find yourself pulling away and wanting to quit? What kept you going? Did you learn something along the way?
This post is a part of the Blogging through the Bible series with Courtney Joseph over at GoodMorningGirls.org. For more information and free resources for our next study please click the button below.
March 7th is the start day for our next book. We get to dive into the Gospel of Mark for our Spring study. I am excited!