A Better Way To Read The Bible

I was asked recently this question: "What is the perfect Bible verse to get you through a job loss?"

I'll be honest. I have a hard time answering that question, but I do want to preface this by saying that I'm thrilled and grateful that this person was turning to the Bible for answers to situations like that. However, I have a difficult time answering that question because it boils down to how you are supposed to read the Bible or treat the Bible and one of the mistakes that we can make is looking at the Bible as a list of Bible verses that we can slap on any given situation. Do you know what I mean?

There are a lot of situations in life that the Bible just doesn't speak to because we're living in a very different world than when the Bible was written. Although humanity hasn't changed, the Bible was never meant to be read like that. If someone wants a comforting verse, I can point you to:

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit." Psalm 147:3-5

But you see, that doesn't really do God's word justice in terms of how it can really transform you. What I would encourage you to do is instead of looking at the Bible as a place to go for the answers to your problems, look at it as a portal that gets you to the one who is the answer to all your problems. The Bible verses that I actually would recommend in any situation, heartache, trial, tribulation, or illness would be Exodus 34 starting in verse five where it says:

"Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin." Exodus 34:5-7

Bible verses and words in and of themselves don't tend to fix what's wrong in our hearts. But being in the presence of the one who made our heart does. The first thing about this little chunk of Scripture is this: "Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him." (vs. 5) We love and we serve and we worship God with us who doesn't let us go through breakups alone, who doesn't let us go through circumstances alone, and who doesn't let us go through life alone. Then he lists himself as compassionate first because He is compassionate. So that means when you weep, He weeps.

I love that you go to the Bible when you need encouragement, but I hope that you will go there first and foremost for our relationship with the one who wrote it.

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