Sometimes we say things because they sound good. Or because they seemed true when we viewed them through a given lens.
I did that once. Okay, I’ve done it lots of times. But there is one time in particular I’m remembering now.
I was teaching a lesson on Bible reading, and I repeated something I had heard someone else say. He had said that he had never met a teenager who had significant personal struggles who was regularly reading the Bible in a personal way on a daily basis. He had counseled a lot of teenagers, so I didn’t mind repeating him. And I even gave him credit for the quote, which turned out to be a good thing.
About a week later, one of my students, whom we’ll call Sandra, asked if she could have a minute. She told me that she was regularly reading God’s Word—had been for years—and that she was having significant personal struggles. And she wondered, what was she missing?
Her questions opened an epiphany moment for me. I know lots of Christians who daily meet with the Lord through His Word and have significant personal struggles. I have significant personal struggles, for crying out loud! What was I thinking?
Sandra and I talked and prayed together about her needs, as we continued to do for some time. And thankfully, Sandra gained victory in the particular struggle she mentioned to me. I was glad she shared it with me, and I was glad she called me on such an inaccurate statement.
The truth is “good Christians”—all Christians—have big struggles. We live in a sinful world, we fight a real enemy, and we have fleshly tendencies. We deal with real sins and real spiritual attacks.
But here’s the thing. Yes, good Christians (and the rest of us, too) have big struggles. But we have a big God. And He has given us a big Book—with solid answers.
Spiritual victory never comes by denying our struggles. It never comes by pointing to the fact that we engage in spiritual disciplines, such as daily Bible reading (although I believe spiritual disciplines are vital).
Spiritual victory comes by seeking God’s face and His answers through His Word.
What struggle—even big struggle—do you wrestle with?
First, welcome to the club! We all struggle, which means we all need to continually seek God.
Second, I know where you can find the answer to your need.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.—2 Timothy 3:16–17
I will no longer tell you that if you read your Bible every day you won’t struggle. But I will tell you that the Bible contains the answer to your deepest needs and the comfort for your deepest hurts. And I will encourage you—even plead with you—to read it every day. You may need to share your struggle with a godly, mature Christian who has greater experience applying Scripture to your need. But nevertheless, the answer to your need is within the pages of the precious Word of God.
Read it hungry.
Read it searching.
Read it with an open heart.
Read it to know your God.
Read it to prove God’s promises.
Read it, and don’t quit.
Good Christians have big struggles—and they have an even bigger God with sufficient answers.