Have you ever thought about why you study the Bible?
Is it because you want to think you know more than others? To be able to cross-check others who teach from the Bible? Or perhaps you feel it is the duty of all believers to be scholarly students of the Bible?
I must confess that at one time or another, I have experienced all these feelings. Over the years, however, I have come to realize the one definitive reason for why I study is this: it brings me closer to God.
The Bible is literally the word of God.
Second Timothy 3:16 refers to scripture as being God-breathed, coming from the very mouth of God Himself. Hence it is inaccurate to say that the Bible contains the word of God; it is the word of God. As such, it is His means of communicating to us all about who He is and what He does and has done.
God inhabits the praises of His people.
In the King James Version, we read that God inhabits the praises of Israel (i.e., His people then and now us as well, since we have been grafted in). When we praise God we are rehearsing to Him who He is and what He does. In order to do this, we necessarily have to study the Bible to find out things. Therefore, Bible study is a prerequisite to true praise and worship. And when we praise God we come directly into His presence (because He inhabits the praises of His people!)
Bible study is rewarded.
Surely this is reason enough to motivate believers to study God’s holy word, the Bible. The trials and troubles of the day frequently divert our attention, and we focus on our discomforts rather than on God’s blessings. It takes an effort to be able to throw off the worries of life and concentrate on Him, and there is no better way to accomplish this than to delve deeply into the study of the Bible. The hours we spend there will be rewarded many times over.
Why not give it a test?
The next time you feel overwhelmed by the troubles of life, retreat into the Word. Meditate on who God is and what He has done for you. Keep a journal of what He brings to mind and refresh your spirit as you offer praise and thanksgiving for His blessings. You needn’t hesitate to lift up your petitions and concerns to Him; He has asked that you do that. And He wants us to leave them with Him. We need to remember always that God does not ask us to bear more than we can bear.
He is faithful and will always provide a way out.