What If My Bible Reading Doesn’t Affect Me?

young man reading small bibleI don’t know if you have had this experience or not, but there have been times in my life where I was somewhat underwhelmed by what I was gaining from my own personal Bible study. I would think, “Although I am reading the Bible a lot, I don’t feel like it is doing me any good.”

Although there may be some significant reasons for that (some sort of sin, distracted reading, etc.) sometimes the problem is simply forgetting how usually grows us: not in big, obvious, or extravagant ways, but with his ordinary means in ordinary ways.

J.C. Ryle does an excellent job explaining how God uses regular and ordinary bible reading to change us.

This is a crafty temptation of the devil. At one stage he says, “do not read the Bible at all.” At another he says, “Your reading does you no good: give it up.” Are you that man? I feel for you from the bottom of my soul. Let me try to do you good.

Do not think you are getting no good from the Bible, merely because you do not see that good day by day. The greatest effects are often silent, quiet, and hard to detect at the time they are being produced. Think of the influence of the moon upon the earth, and of the air upon the human lungs. Remember how silently the dew falls, and how unperceptively the grass grows. There may be far more going on than you think in your soul by your Bible-reading.

The Word may be gradually producing deep “impressions” on your heart, of which you are not presently aware. Often when the memory is retaining no facts, the character of a man is receiving some everlasting impression. Is sin becoming every year more hateful to you? Is Christ becoming every year more precious? Is holiness becoming every year more lovely and desirable in your eyes? If these things are so, take courage. The Bible is doing you good, though you may not be able to trace it out day by day.

The Bible may be restraining you from some sin or delusion into which you would otherwise run. It may be daily keeping you back, and hedging you up, and preventing many a false step. Yes, you might soon find this out to your hurt, if you were to cease reading the Word! The very familiarity of blessings sometimes makes us insensible to their value. Resist the devil. Settle it in your mind as an established rule, that, whether you feel it at the moment or not, you are inhaling spiritual health by reading the Bible, and unknowingly becoming more strong. (Taken from Practical Religion).

Don’t despair that you may not be seeing how God is working in your heart. Keep your eyes on Christ and your nose in His Word and know that He is working even when you don’t see it. Often, the most significant growth is unnoticeable while it’s happening. God likes to grow us like trees rather than weeds. It takes longer. It’s far slower. But the end result is something magnificent and everlasting. 

About Dana Dill

I'm a Christian, husband, daddy, pastor, professor, and hope to be a friend to pilgrims on their way home.
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