How Do I Read The Bible
In this video, Dieula offers some advice.
Different people read it different ways. And thats totally fine. Want to find the best way for you?
Some people dig into a single verse and try to think of a million things it might mean. Others read it just like they would read any other book, cover to cover. Others read it out loud, by themselves or with a group, which often helps them understand the words and meanings better. But, honestly, if you just want to read the Bible, then read it. Hunker down in a comfy chair and read a whole chapter or two. Try to wrap your head around the big story.
Some tips: Find a translation of the Bible that speaks to you. There are dozens of versions available now, and most of them are faithful to the original languages. Some sound like Shakespeare. Some sound like everyday conversation. Try a few out and see what grabs you.
You dont have to read the whole Bible from beginning to end. There are a few parts that some readers find tough going, and those could derail your best intentions. Try skipping around to find the stories that interest you. We suggest Genesis, Exodus, Ruth, 1 Samuel, Daniel, Jonah, or one of the four books about Jesuss lifeMatthew, Mark, Luke, or John.
After youve read a few stories, try reading a complete letter from the New Testamentlike maybe the four chapters of Philippians or the five chapters of James. Read a Psalm out loud. Or go through Song of Songs with your significant other.
What To Do When Doubting God
Through doubt we can learn more than through naive trust, truth can be trusted. Doubt is the fire through which it passes. But when it has been tried, it will come forth as gold.
A common misconception is that doubt is damaging to our faith. However, God can use our doubts to produce in us a richer faith.
I once heard doubt compared to getting an immunization. In order to help your body fight off future infections/diseases a doctor will give you a small dose of the virus. That way your body can build up the antibodies that will fight off the virus. This makes your body stronger and healthier.
The same can be said of doubt. When you are infected with doubt it forces you to seek answers to your questions. It forces you to rely on God because you dont have it all figured out. If you let it, ultimately, doubt can make you stronger because your faith has been confirmed.
The reality that we all need to understand is that we cannot be 100% sure of almost anything. Whether youre a Christian or not, this is just true.
When you actually sit down and think about your beliefs very few are verifiably true. Sure you have reasons to believe what you believe. Theres evidence. But at some point in your beliefs you will run into a wall in which you cannot know with 100% certainty.
So where does that leave us? How can we have faith after doubt? How can we live in the tension between faith and doubt?
Where Does The Bible Mention Doubt
The Bible mentions young and old going through times of doubt. The feeling of uncertainty is not new. In Biblical times, people encountered times of hardship and struggle. Humans have feelings and emotions that can cause us to deal with problems in various ways. Anger, sadness, despair, and loneliness can all arise from a lack of control.
Today, the world is filled with situations that may cause us to wonder why and to question the outcome. From medical diagnoses, uncertainty in relationships, parenting struggles, and more, doubt can creep into everyday thoughts.
Scripture shares how Abraham laughed at the thought of Sarah having a child at her old age. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations kings of peoples will come from her . God spoke and shared the news with Abraham. Abraham knew God, and yet he still doubted. Abraham fell facedown he laughed and said to himself, Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?
Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus, doubted. When the other disciples told Thomas that they had seen the Lord, he didnt believe them. He wanted tangible proof.
So the other disciples told him, We have seen the Lord! But he said to them, Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe .
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Reasons It Is Okay To Doubt Your Faith
- Travis DickinsonDallas Baptist University
- 202229 Aug
Christians sometimes find themselves in the grips of doubt. Unfortunately, people cant always find a safe place to doubt their faith. Too often, doubt is seen as sin or a kind of rebellious attitude. But many experience an honest struggle of doubt they cant seem to shake. A very consistent theme among the deconverted is that they had doubts and no one was willing to help.
I once significantly doubted my faith. For me, it happened in seminary of all places. I realized that I didnt have good reasons to believe that Christianity was true, and doubts came crashing in. I leaned into those doubts and found answers. Catch this: it was because of my doubts that I was led to truth, and my faith grew as a result. So, somewhat ironically, doubting faith, for me, led to greater faith.
Make The Main Things The Main Things
Paul told the Corinthians he delivered to them things of first importance . He goes on to talk about the atoning death and vindicating resurrection of Christ as being most central to the faith.
So many of us doubt secondary issues such as how and when God created the world or the details of Christs return. There are many issues in the Christian faith about which there has been legitimate disagreement for centuries. All of orthodox Christianity, however, has always been in unity about who Christ is and what he did.
So when you begin doubting what you were taught about secondary issues, dont get too bent out of shape. A lot of us are still working through these matters.
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How Does Doubt Manifest Itself
When you have doubt, you NEED evidence to believe.
John 20:27 Then He said to Thomas, Reach your finger here, and look at My hands and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.
When you have doubt, you feel like you will fall.
Matthew 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?
When you have doubt, you limit God from working in your life.
Matthew 13:58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Bible Truths To Conquer Doubt
Use these 3 tips from the Bible when you are troubled by doubts in your faith life.
by Elizabeth Peale AllenPosted in Deepen Your Faith
If youre like most people, at one time or another youve struggled with doubt or insecurity in your faith. Maybe you’re in a doubting time right now. And doubting can be a very uncomfortable position to be in! The Bible tells us, One who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind .
Remember these three truths when you’re feeling doubtful.
1. Not understanding is different from not believing.Doubt is normal. Yes, even the apostles, the ones hand-picked by Jesus to lead his church on earth, had moments of uncertainty. They had heard Christ speak the words that we know through the Bible and witnessed the many other things we are told were not written down . But when Christ appeared after the resurrection, They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! .
Why did doubts rise in their minds? I think its because even though theyd known Jesus personally for years, Gods plan was bigger than they could grasp. They were certain of Jesus love, certain He was the Messiah, certain of His teachingsand yet the cross seemed to contradict everything!
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Allow God To Examine And Show Us All Parts Of Our Lives
AllJeremiahs thoughts were about the nation. He had no fear as he spoke abouttheir lack of reality. He forgot that he must be completely sincere in his ownlife.
The *prophet was concentrating on the peoples return to God.But God said to him: If you return, then you can serve me . Jeremiahwas full of pain and despair. God comes to him. He reminds the *prophet abouthis job. He must help people to change. He must not change and become like thepeople .
We need something else too. We should be ready to:
If You Have Faith And Do Not Doubt
Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, May you never bear fruit again! Immediately the tree withered.
When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. How did the fig tree wither so quickly? they asked.
Jesus replied, Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, Go, throw yourself into the sea, and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
The story about the fig tree is a curious one. Why did Jesus have to pick on a fig tree? What message was He trying to send?
When the disciples ask Him about this event, He doesnt give them the why. Instead, He focuses on teaching them a lesson on faith. Sometimes the way we interpret His lesson can make faith more of a struggle. If the key to getting things done is to never doubt, then were all in trouble.
Like most Near Eastern teachers of His time, Jesus used exaggeration and hyperbole to make His points. When He wanted His followers to understand just how important something was, He would overstate it.
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The Bible On Doubt: What Does The Bible Say About Worry And Doubt
What does the Bible say about doubt? This is a question that many people ask, especially when they are going through a difficult time. Doubt can be a very scary thing, and it can cause us to worry and doubt our faith. In this blog post, we will explore what the Bible says about doubt and worry. We will also look at the consequences of doubt and how it affects our faith.
Examples Of Doubt In The Bible
Although many hate to admit it, almost everyone experiences periods of doubt. Sometimes theyre very short, other times they last decades. As a Christian, were not called to blindly follow the Lord, but to lean into him as we search for truth and answers. We know that all Truth comes from God and if we earnestly seek it, we will find it.
Did you know that there are many instances of people in the Bible who experienced doubt and yet God still used them in mighty and powerful ways? Here are a few examples to get you started, but we also want to encourage you to really take time to study these people and their experiences with doubt.
Abraham & Sarah
God also said to Abraham, As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations kings of peoples will come from her.
Abraham fell facedown he laughed and said to himself, Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety? And Abraham said to God, If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!
After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.
When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciplesto ask him, Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?
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They Worshiped Him But Some Doubted
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him but some doubted.
These two verses come immediately before Jesus gives the disciples the Great Commission. These 11 men had spent a little over three years with Jesus. Theyâd seen miracles happen. Their Messiah was crucified and buried, and a couple of days later, they were dining with Him. If there was ever a good reason to believe in the unbelievable, the disciples had experienced it.
And yet, here they were with their previously deceased King, and some of them were still harboring doubts. What kind of doubts? Matthew doesnt tell us. Doubts that He was the Messiah? Doubts in His divinity? Doubts in the mission? Maybe a mixture of all these things.
What we do know is that Jesus doesnât chastise them. He doesnât tell them, âI was going to give you guys some critical information, but since you still dont fully believe, Iâm not going to.â Instead, He meets them where they are. He confides in them and charges them with their new responsibilities.
Why? Because their faith isnt defined by any specific moment of doubt. Almost every one of these men will be martyred for their faith. Their faith is much bigger than these momentary questions and fears might suggest.
Work Through The Sin In Your Life
I intentionally saved this one for last. Often this is the first place Christians go with a loved one in the crisis of doubt, in large part because it helps us put doubt into a discernible box. It also helps us to find a quick solution. Oh, youre doubting your faith? Okay, quit sinning! Next? Obviously, doubt is often more complicated.
But we must recognize that personal sin is a faith-drainer. Disobedience to God will take a significant toll on your faith.
Were all sinners, but some sins take a unique toll on our mind and worldviewespecially if we attempt to justify them. For example, struggling with same-sex attraction is one thing actively embracing homosexuality and trying to justify it biblically is another thing altogether. The toll here is not only moral, social, and physical it also corrupts the mind. The effort to reinterpret the Bible in a way more friendly to homosexuality wont remain isolated to this one category sooner or later, the mental paradigm you constructed to make your sin acceptable will corrupt everything else.
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Remember Gods Great Promises In The Past
Read Jeremiah 15:20 with 1:18, 19.) God had spoken some greatwords to Jeremiah. He did this at the beginning of the *prophets work.Jeremiahs job was going to be very hard. But God encouraged him. Later,Jeremiah had doubts. He was suffering very much. Then God spoke the same wordsto him again.
You may have forgotten a great promise of God. It helpedyou very much in the past. So, listen to the same Bible words again. Trust hisgreat promises. He will give you strength and protection. Best of all, Godhimself will always be with you.
When we have doubts, we should do something else too. We should:
Mercy To Those Who Doubt
Be merciful to those who doubt.
Faith isnt static. We could have strong faith today and tomorrow go through something that makes us question everything. Its incredibly important that we treat one another with tenderness and care because thats how we protect doubt from becoming disbelief.
When Thomas said that he wouldnt believe unless he felt the Lords wounds, he didnt want faith he wanted certainty. He was saying, I will believe it when you prove it to me. But faith isnt certainty. It is belief in the face of questions and misgivings. It is trust despite doubt.
For people to grow in faith, they need the freedom to take tentative steps. They need to trust that their questions will be met with gentleness. Its when doubt is met with mercy that faith expands.
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We Dont Typically Choose To Doubt
Its OK to doubt our faith because it is not typically a choice we make. Many people dont want to doubt. They just do. They have some intellectual tension they are struggling to resolve. Its something that happens to us similar to experiencing fear or affection. We dont choose these things even though we make many choices in what we do about them. When we find ourselves with questions we cant answer, we often cant help experiencing some intellectual tension. If someone presses us with a difficult objection, we cant help feel as if the belief might be false. Now, there are many emotions and behaviors that are the result of our experience of doubt. But it starts with intellectual tension and, from here, we begin making choices.