There are moments when we are eager to dive into Bible Study. We wake up in the morning and are excited to open the Bible as we cozy under some blankets with a hot coffee in hand. In gathering with a small group of church friends, we feel hungry to read God’s Word together and discuss its truth. After a busy day, we are thankful for a quiet moment alone to read the Bible as the sun goes down.
While these moments are special, sometimes they are few and far between. There are times in which Bible study is a struggle. We wake up in the morning and feel no desire at all to read God’s Word. We sit with our small group and find that our mind is too busy wandering to stay focused on what is being read. We push off Bible reading after a busy day because there are more things we want to do.
Even though these experiences are normal, we do not have to let them keep us from regularly reading God’s Word. Let us take a look at some common barriers or struggles that often prevent us from studying Scripture and learn how we can overcome these barriers so that we can actively and intentionally be in God’s Word.
Barrier to Bible Study: “I’m too busy to read the Bible.”
There are days and seasons that are packed with responsibilities. We can feel like we are always going and hardly have a moment to catch our breath. It can certainly be a struggle to find time for Bible study on these days and in these seasons. There is grace for the times in which we feel like time does not allow us to be in God's Word. And even if we do not have the space for deep Bible study, we can still be intentional about prioritizing Bible reading in busy seasons. This could look like carving out five to ten minutes in the morning or evening to open God’s Word. Or it could look like listening to Scripture while we are on the go.
It is possible that we tell ourselves that we are too busy to read Scripture when in reality, we have the time. It can be easy to brush off reading the Bible and fill any free time with other activities. If we have the margin to turn on the television, scroll on our phones, read another book, or whatever it may be, we are not too busy to read the Bible. God gives us grace for these moments as well. But knowing that we actually have the time but do not always use it to read Scripture should challenge us. If we truly want to be in God’s Word, we will find the time to be in it.
Barrier to Bible Study: “I get bored when I read,” or “I do not get excited to read.”
What about the times, though, that we do not want to be in God’s Word? There are moments and seasons in which we feel like our hearts have grown cold. We may know that we should be in Scripture but have no desire to read. Or maybe we have a desire to read Scripture but struggle to not get bored in our study. Perhaps reading the Bible feels like reading a school textbook—dry and dull. It can be easy to want to throw in the towel when we feel this way. And it can be easy to feel ashamed, thinking that God is upset with us for not delighting in His Word.
God continues to pour out His mercy upon us regardless of how we feel when we come to His Word. In fact, remembering God’s mercy, love, and grace can help us read Scripture joyfully and diligently. When we meditate on who God is and what He does for us, we desire to know Him more. This desire can move us toward the Bible so that we sit with God and glean from His Word. Just like thinking about a good friend can make us excited to hang out with them, meditating on the Lord can fuel our delight to be in His Word. And even if we still struggle to want to read Scripture or feel bored when reading, we can ask God to reignite the desire to read the Bible.
What are some common barriers that keep you from being in God’s Word? Think about some potential barriers, and ask the Lord to help you overcome them. Remember, struggling to be in God’s Word is normal, and God gives you grace in this struggle. So become aware of what keeps you from Bible study and lean into God’s strength to actively and intentionally be in His Word.