Do you ever struggle with reading your Bible on a regular basis? I’ll be honest, it’s not super easy for me. It always seems like we should have ourselves 100% put together, but reading my Bible regularly isn’t on my list of easiest things.

It’s not a steady, daily habit yet, but I’m working on it. Do you ever have this problem? If so, here are the 8 things I do when I’m struggling to read my Bible. Because if you struggle with this—trust me—you’re NOT alone. So let’s encourage each other, starting with these ideas!

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8 Things I Do When I’m Struggling to Read My Bible

1. Open my Bible to a random place and read a chapter

This may sound weird but don’t worry, I’m not talking about getting all woo, closing my eyes pointing to a particular verse and—voila!—God must have meant for me to read that one RIGHT THERE! Haha, nope.

Now I’m not saying that’s completely out of the realm of possibility, but it’s not the general way God operates.

What I’m talking about is when it’s really tough to want to read scripture.

That’s when I just say, “Okay Lord, I feel bad about it, but I’m not in the mood. So help me get in the mood. Please speak to me through your word today.”

And because it can be such a struggle, sometimes I do just open the Bible up and wherever it opens to is where I read.

And who knows? Sometimes it’s exactly what I needed. Other times it feels random. But if I keep reading with a sincere heart—not even necessarily a studious heart—further down the chapter, something’s there that seems to be just for me.

Or sometimes I find I’ve landed in the middle of a story and before I know it, I’ve read 4 chapters!

Or perhaps what I come to isn’t the most interesting of verses, but I read on and there’s something that strikes curiosity in me, and I look up other verses with the same topic. Or there’s a reference to another verse in a different book, and that one really speaks to my situation.

There’s nothing wrong with just picking up your Bible and opening it randomly to help you get started. Just thumb through reading a bit here and there until you find something that interests you or that you relate to that day.

And please don’t worry that you have to follow a read-the-Bible-in-a-year plan to please God. He’s pleased to be spending time with us through His word, not by our checking it off on our calendars.

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2. Reread the text from Sunday’s sermon

CONFESSION TIME: I don’t go to church every time the doors are open.

In fact, I went for years without attending church regularly.

There are several reasons for that, the main one being health issues. But I recently had surgery and am doing much better healthwise, so I’m able to attend more often.

I’m really excited about becoming more involved at church, but I get overwhelmed easily and am pretty shy, so I know it’ll take some time. And that’s okay. Right now my husband and I (he recently had surgery too) are making Sunday mornings our routine, and we’ll build from there.

So one of the things I like to do when I’m struggling to read my Bible is to open up the passage of scripture the preacher taught from on Sunday. I did this today, in fact!

It’s helpful because it gives me a passage to reference right away so I don’t have to search for a certain topic, plus it reinforces what I heard in church and gives me a chance to read it slowly and digest the meaning.

I can ask the Lord to give me understanding as I read, and reading the same passage again helps me recall the sermon or lesson so I’m not just hearing the message on Sunday and forgetting it as soon as I walk out the church doors.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I need lots of reiterating, lots of repeating. That’s just me. Can you relate?




3. Look up the passages referenced in a podcast or online teaching

Whether it’s listening to Joyce Meyer’s podcast, watching Charles Stanley, or reading an article or blog post on my phone, I love to make a note of a particular verse or passage of scripture that the teacher is referencing and then go back and read that whole chapter.

It also helps me a lot to repeat the podcast or sermon so I can catch more the second time, and the more I hear that verse read, the easier it is for me to recall it.

But there’s something about looking it up for myself, whether on the Bible app on my phone or in a physical Bible, that helps cement the concept into my brain.

Usually the preacher or teacher has a message prepared during which they reference several verses on a topic from books throughout the whole Bible.

So I love jotting down a couple of those and looking at the chapter as a whole. It gives a clearer picture of the greater context, which gives me a more detailed understanding. I love it!

Something else I like to do is flip to the beginning of that book in the Bible and read the summary and background information on that particular book. Who was the author? What was the culture of that time? Who was the author addressing? What was the main goal of the book as a whole?

It sheds new light that I might not have seen from reading just one chapter.

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4. Pick a random Psalm or two to read

The book of Psalms is so unlike most books of the Bible. It’s poetry, or technically, songs. And a lot of them seem to be quite emotional!

I’m an emotional person. I just am. I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m sad, I cry when I’m mad. All the cries. My husband is one lucky man, I tell ya what! LOL. But seriously.

It’s just my personality to feel things. It’s funny though because I tend to keep my emotions under wraps with people I don’t know very well, so even though I feel things strongly, I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve too often.

It can be hard being an emotional person because, in my relationship with God, I know His word is the ultimate truth, regardless of how I feel. My feelings can be very real, but that doesn’t necessarily make them the truth.

So the book of Psalms is very interesting to me. The author cries out to God in ways that sometimes astound me!

At times the psalms can run right into one another, while at other times the theme is very different from one to the next.

Some psalms are longer, and some are shorter, but each one is unique and interesting, and easy to read in a short amount of time. (Anyone else deal with overwhelm sometimes?)

Choosing a psalm or two to read is something I like to do when I’m struggling to read scripture. I like to focus on the overall theme of the psalm and—as always—ask the Lord to give me understanding.

And the fact that many of the psalms are so emotional is something I can strongly relate to. It makes me realize I’m not alone in the way I feel about some things, and that it’s okay to speak to God honestly about what I’m going through.

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5. Go to the chapter of Proverbs for that day

I’m guessing you know what I’m talking about with this one. But if you don’t, you’ll love it!

Proverbs has 31 chapters, so if you’re having a hard time reading the Bible regularly, opening up the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds to the date of the month is a simple way to find a passage to read.

For example, if it’s the 3rd of the month, you’d open your Bible up to Proverbs chapter 3 and read that passage. Super simple!

Proverbs is full of wisdom—like jam-packed! So limiting yourself to a chapter a day is probably for the best. For me, I like to read the chapter at least a couple of times to try to get it all to sink in, and of course, asking God to give me understanding while I read.




When I read just a small portion of scripture, it’s easier for me to digest it. I could read chapter upon chapter, or force myself to read whole books of the Bible just to keep up with that read-it-in-a-year plan, but then I have no recollection of what I’ve read.

So what’s the point? Checking it off as a spiritual task completed means nothing if I gained zero knowledge or spiritual understanding from it. So for me, smaller passages are the way to go.

And going to Proverbs to read a chapter a day makes it easy to remember where you left off since you’re matching up the chapter with the day’s date. It’s my go-to when I’m struggling to read the Bible.

Another wonderful thing about reading the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds with the date of the month is that, over the years, it will help you memorize more scripture, whether word-for-word or just the basic underlying meaning.

And with each time I reread a passage, I always get something new from it!

6. Look up verses found in a devotional

I don’t use a devotional every day. It’s pretty rare. You want to know why? Because most devotionals are written to span a whole year.

If I miss a day for whatever reason—which usually happens after about a week—then I feel like I need to catch up. Or like I missed out. Or I’m a “bad” Christian, whatever that means.

It can start to feel overwhelming, which is something I very much do NOT want creeping in on my time with God.

So a shorter devotional would fit me perfectly. Maybe for a week or a month’s time. But I do still use traditional devotionals, just not daily. I find them to be a great tool to use in the mix along with all these other ideas.

What I do do is pick up a devotional once in a while and read the devotional page for that day. But then I go back and look up all the scripture references within that lesson, and read each of the chapters those verses are from.

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Devotionals are usually pretty short, which they’re intended to be. But going the extra step and reading the referenced verses within the context of the whole chapter can add so much more to the teaching!

I really like doing this too because I’ll often find an additional topic while I’m reading those chapters, and it’ll lead me to another passage that speaks to me even more, and from there I might decide to read a chapter of a different book altogether.

So if you like the idea of a devotional, give it a try, and you can put your own twist on it and get more out of each reading!

7. Choose a book of the Bible to work my way through

This can sound daunting if you’re struggling to read your Bible, but it’s not really. It’s the same as reading just a few verses or a chapter a day, it’s just that you’re continuing with the same storyline.

Just like you would put a bookmark in your favorite novel, stick a bookmark (or a sticky note, that’s what I use) in your Bible to keep your place for the next day.

The beauty of this is that you don’t have to keep reading a chapter from this book each day if you don’t want to do it that way. Nothing’s set in stone!




You could read a chapter one day, then the next day, use a devotional, and the next day, read the chapter of Proverbs that matches that day, and so on.

But if you like following with a story and building on the previous day’s reading, reading your way through a book of the Bible is a great way to go.

It’s also really beneficial and something I like to do because I get more out of it when I read verses within the context of the chapter. So instead of a few verses here and there, reading a whole chapter gives me a broader understanding of the text.

Sometimes I even find myself reading on to the next chapter, and the next. But sometimes I just read one chapter, or even just a few verses if they’re dense. And that’s okay.

8. Read passages related to what I’m struggling with at the moment

This one is HUGE. The Bible is for our instruction and our spiritual growth. To grow closer in our knowledge of the personality and character of God, and grow in our relationship with Him and with others.

It teaches us right from wrong, it gives us discernment, and it imparts God’s very wisdom to us.

Did you see that???

I have to say it again because it’s astounding to me:

The Bible is alive and powerful and is God’s way of imparting His wisdom to us.

That is marvelous!

It gives us help in time of need and in time of trouble. So searching the scriptures for issues that I’m dealing with is one of the main ways I use the Bible.

There are tons of topical indices out there, and there’s often a short, basic one included at the back of most Bibles.

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Below are some of the tools I use for finding topics within scripture.

One of my favorites that is simple and so easy to use is God’s Answers for Your Life. It’s not exactly a topical index, but it works like one. I go to it time and time again, and I highly recommend it!

The scriptures are included so you don’t even need to have the Bible beside you as the verses are included in the book itself. You can find God’s Answers for Your Life here.

Another really neat resource is Where to Find It In The Bible. Each topic is broken down into easy-to-understand subtopics and directs you to the related scriptures. It also has a bit of humor thrown in here and there. It’s a really laid-back resource and super simple to use. You can learn more about Where To Find It In The Bible here.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth index of topical words, I suggest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. When they say exhaustive? They mean it. It’s a great investment for your library and can prove invaluable when trying to find a specific topic or word in the Bible.

Strong’s is even more amazing when it’s used with Vine’s Expository Dictionary. They’re a powerful duo for finding topics and discovering the meaning in the original languages of the Bible. These 2 resources are the foundation of my Bible library, and what I learn each time I open them is fascinating! You can check out Strong’s here and Vine’s here.

So if you’re struggling with reading your Bible and don’t know where to start, start with an issue you’re dealing with in your life right now. God’s given us His word to provide answers for our lives, and I guarantee you will find help in His word no matter what you’re struggling with.

Get the list of my top 5 Bible reading resources here!

Bonus!

If you’re really struggling with an issue or feel overwhelmed by the idea of reading your Bible daily, start by rereading your favorite verses.

It gives me a boost of encouragement when I go back to passages that I really love best. It’s inspiring, and it’s familiar. I’m definitely a creature of habit, so I like to reference my favorites at times like that.




What if I can’t read the Bible every day?

You don’t have to read your Bible every single day to be a good Christian. Should we be reading it every day? Yes. There’s nothing more important in our walk with Christ than being in prayer and being in the word.

Don’t feel guilty if you miss a day. Life happens. Illness or exhaustion pop up, emergencies and hectic, chaotic days happen. The day is filled to the brim and before you know it, you’ve fallen asleep in front of the TV. It’s okay.

And if you don’t feel like reading the Bible? If you don’t have an intense desire to delve into God’s word each day? That doesn’t make you a “bad Christian.” It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.

Getting into the habit of reading the Bible takes discipline, and discipline takes time and action. It doesn’t mean you have to feel like it every time or be excited every time you read it, it just means you have to do it.

The time to be worried is when you find yourself avoiding the Bible.

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If that’s the case for you, there’s an easy solution. Ready? And don’t laugh because it’s so simple. And don’t think I’m having an attitude here, because I’m being serious. Trust me, I’ve been there and still find myself there some days!

Here’s the simple solution: pick it up.

Physically pick up your Bible. That’s it.

Once it’s in your hands, you’ll find yourself opening it. And truth be told, it really doesn’t matter what passage you open it too. Just start reading.

Take one second to sincerely say, “Lord, speak to me through your word,” and read what’s in front of you. You don’t have to make a big Bible study out of it. Just get the word inside you.

You don’t have to read the whole book you turned to. You don’t even have to read the whole chapter. Just read a few verses. Reread them. Think about what they mean and how you can apply them to your life.

Ask God to give you an understanding of what you’ve read and to open your eyes to how you can use it in your own life. Think about what the verses said and paraphrase it in a way that’s easy for you to remember.

This is a great way to get started reading the Bible when you haven’t read it for a while. And it will help you keep reading it regularly without making you feel overwhelmed.




At this point, the goal is to read, not to become a Bible scholar. Just to read and get used to doing it daily so that it slowly and easily becomes a habit before you even realize it.

And if you truly want to want to read your Bible, have you asked God to give you that desire? Ask Him to! Because checking off “Bible reading” on your calendar isn’t doing you a lick of good, and it isn’t satisfying some requirement from God either.

After all, we’re not reading the Bible to benefit Him. The Bible is His gift to us.

I really need to hear that again so let me just repeat it:

My reading the Bible is not some kind of service to the Lord.

Scripture is the secret sauce that allows us to know Him better and grow closer in our relationship with Him. It’s His gift to us, meant for our benefit.

I hope this list of things I do when I’m struggling to read my Bible has inspired you to try some of these ideas. Let’s share what’s working and what’s not to help encourage one another!

What do you do when you’re struggling to read your Bible? Let me know in the comments below.

Free Bible-Reading Cheat Sheet – My List of Top 5 Resources

Get the password for the library with the free Bible-reading cheat sheet here by filling out this form:

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