Hard Parts of Reading the Bible
When the going gets hard in reading your Bible—keep going.
Within the Bible’s pages there is—history, instruction, cause and effect, sternness and mercy, revelation and prophecy, and all sorts of mysteries.
You may have thoughts like these: “I don’t get it.” “It’s too hard to understand.” “This stuff is hard to believe.” “Why do other people love it so much?”
At some point, you will encounter hard passages. There will be difficult things to understand about God, especially in the beginning. You will wonder why certain things were included in the Bible.
God isn’t always easy to understand. God even tells us that “His ways are not our ways” (Isaiah 55:8). Don’t give up.
God of Love or God of Judgment?
We may have trouble reconciling the “God of love” and “love your neighbor” in the New Testament with all the death and dying in the Old Testament. We may have trouble reconciling the “God of love,” with “be perfect, as God is perfect.”
I didn’t start reading the Bible until I was a Christian. It wasn’t until I started reading the Bible that I struggled with God’s judgment and sternness. From this point, it took me a long time to have some breakthroughs with Scripture and God because the rules of God, kept overshadowing and obscuring His love – His love that so many people raved about. I “knew” it in some ways, but I struggled to feel it like a blast of fresh air after getting into a closed in, hot car.
I kept reading. I kept thinking about God’s word. One day, I was thinking about this again—struggling to understand God’s wrath and sternness versus God’s love—it finally dawned on me – “Oh my gosh, this is amazing!”
God’s love – is so amazing – because of His righteousness and requirements. BECAUSE God is a God of justice, righteousness, and exactness – this is what makes His love and mercy, (as offered and revealed fully in Jesus), so surprising, deep, and desperately good. This is what makes God’s good news, such good news! (Luke 2:10 of the Bible describes it this way.)
He will take vengeance against evil and all who stand and work against His purposes—and yet His mercy and love are freely offered and stand in beautiful relief and juxtaposition for those who seek Him and willingly believe Him.
God is a God of justice and judgment, and yet God is also a God of mercy and love. How incomprehensible and yet, finally, I began to have some peace about these two aspects of God’s character!
Now, I could begin to feel a fresh breeze begin to stir.