PC-USA 1997-11-07 - Staying in the Word

The Okay to Doubt Series, Part 5

Today in our final look at doubt, we will look at a couple more ideas for bringing back faith, or strengthening and deepening it.

When we are struggling in our faith, it is very tempting to stop reading the Bible on a consistent basis. After all, we don't feel we are getting anything out of it. We just don't feel like opening it. But a lesson most of us learned as children, and still learn as adults, is that sometimes we have to do things we don't want to or feel like. And there are consequences if we do not. If we don't keep up with homework or study for tests, we might fail a course. If we don't pay our taxes, the IRS will find us and make us pay or charge us criminally. If we don't nurture a relationship, the relationship might die. There are consequences to not reading the Bible regularly, too; we just don't always readily see them. But they are there. When we are having dry times in our faith, it is crucial that we read the Bible every day, even and actually - especially when we do not feel like it. Otherwise, we drift farther from the Word and it drifts farther from our consciences, from our hearts and minds. Also, I can tell you from personal experience, that even when I thought I wasn't getting something out of Bible-reading, I was - the effects may not show themselves immediately. But every time we read a verse from the Scriptures, it is pushed a little deeper into our hearts and minds. Satan would be delighted for us to stop reading the Word when we don't feel like it. It fits right into his plan. And God wants us to delight in His word. We need to pray to Him to help us crave it.

(1 Pet 2:2 NNAS) "like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation."

We must read the Word every day. We will not grow close to God as long as we don't study His word, for He has provided this for our salvation and growth, and as a means for us to learn about His character, as well as for encouragement, and helping us to live the life He wants us to live.

(2 Tim 3:16-17 NNAS) "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; {17} so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."

God wants us to have abundant life. He wants us to have a joyful life.

(John 10:10 NNAS) ""The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

(John 15:11 NNAS) ""These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."

(Gal 5:22 NNAS) "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness."

We will never have the abundant life or the joy that God wants for us, if we do not digest His word on a consistent basis.

In summary, when we are having doubts we need to pray and study God's Word often. We need to associate with Christians who are strong in their faith. We can also benefit from reading the testimony of such Christians, and from writing a journal during our struggles.

Dear Lord help us to crave Your Word. Help us during our faith struggles, to do what it takes to get back on track. Please use this series of devotionals to build up people, to guide them back on track in their faith, with You getting the glory. In Jesus' name amen.