At the centre of the Christian faith is the firm conviction that our God is faithful and that we can trust his very great and precious promises. In 1 Peter, we are reminded that God has promised Christian believers an ‘inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.’ (1:4) This inheritance is grounded in the historical resurrection of Jesus, so it provides a firm anchor through the str uggles and various trials of life.
While trusting God and his promises sounds good in theory, the reality is that this is an ongoing struggle for every Christian believer. We face a continual temptation to shift our gaze from this promised eternal future to the shifting sands of this present age. We need to work hard at trusting God and realise this is a challenge. Peter writes:
All flesh is like grass,
and all its glory like a flower of the grass.
The grass withers, and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord endures forever. (1 Peter 1:24-25 – drawing on Isaiah 40:6-8)
When you stop and think about it, it really does seem ridiculous that we would be tempted to trust the word of finite and fallible humans over the enduring word of God but that is the challenge before us. We need to continually commit to our own regular, personal reading of God’s word so that we would be reminded of God’s faithfulness.
However, this doesn’t mean we always have to do things in exactly the same way. While the basics remain the same – reading a passage from the Bible, spending some time in reflection and responding in prayer – the format can vary. If you’re struggling with your own bible reading at the moment, perhaps you could try one of the suggestions below:
• Use a published resource like the ‘Daily Reading Bible’. You’ll find a bible passage printed, a few questions to get you thinking and some suggestions for prayer. You can order a physical book through Matthias Media or I can email you a free pdf version.
• Read the same passage or book (e.g. Psalm 73, Ephesians 1 or the whole book of James) for 20 consecutive days.
• Read through a good children’s Bible (by yourself or with your family). My current favourite is the Jesus Storybook Bible. This is a great way to see the big picture of the whole Bible.