Fumbling, waking fingers reach around the edge of my worn, thick, hardcover Bible for the leather bookmark I made when I was a child. Opening where it is, I begin reading where I left off the day before… purposeful steps forward in this journey of following Jesus.
Yesterday ended with frustration about housework, husband, and homeschooling… And why am I living this life anyway? When did I pick this? I’ve lost my vision, Lord.
But today I choose this… this intake of truth, this abiding in the Word.
“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” 1 Timothy 4:7
And my heart grows a bit more content in Christ today than yesterday.
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6
Daily Bible reading is the beginning of contentment. The consistent discipline of surrender and intake of truth is the foundation of a lifestyle of resting in the Lord. I have tried other paths to contentment that are dead ends.
Do you want to be able to say with Paul, “I have learned in every state I am, to be content”? Start diving into God’s Word.
Worry is often lies that roll around in our head. In the dark of our personal thoughts. Unless we shine the light of God’s Word on those lies, we find ourselves giving in to that darkness. I recently had a friend tell me she reads her Bible in the morning and again in the evening, exactly because of this. Daily life stress, disappointment, and even despair can edge their way in as the hours of the day go by. A second round of what I like to call “Truth Intake” has the power to reset our hearts and minds.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
God’s Word is TRUTH—more powerful than the lies and the worry we entertain.
The primary reason that daily Bible reading is the beginning of contentment is this:
A truly content person is walking by faith, believing what God’s Word says instead of what our eyes see or our emotions feel. We must be daily abiding in His Word to know what it says, so we can believe it and trust it.
If we never take in the Truth, we very easily default into worry, stress, and even sin.
A spirit of discontent is ultimately, at its core, a spirit of distrust in God. This seems like a huge thing to overcome, but when we open God’s Word, we expose ourselves to His living and powerful truth. Through abiding in His Word, He transforms our hearts and minds to be able to trust Him and rest in Him.
Habit of Worship
There are days I am moved to tears as I pour over Scripture. And there are days I am not.
This is a routine, a discipline, not an emotional experience, at its core.
Disciplines build strength over time, with consistency. The spiritual disciplines are key to learning contentment. The habit of daily Bible reading is a vital part of these disciplines of following Christ.
There is a culture today among Christians that desires every moment, every thought about spiritual things to be super exciting, new, and fresh. And if you are not always emotionally moved at the thought of Christ’s love for you… something must be wrong with your faith.
You will find, however, that there is a glory—a beauty in choosing to surrender when you do not feel like it—when you’re not “super pumped.” We can choose to consistently show up in God’s presence no matter how we feel, open His Word, and allow it to become part of us.
What is the Bible all about? It is inspired truth from God about Himself. He created us to worship Him. We exist for Him. When we worship by taking in His truth, it is choosing to give Him the honor, glory, and submission He deserves.
Even when it’s not “super exciting,” open your Bible and read it, knowing that that very act is an act of worship. We worship by looking for God where He has revealed Himself most clearly. This habit of worship is all about Him. None of it is about us, and especially not about our emotions or what we think.
We exalt Him by opening and reading His Word.
And when we exalt God, we can better understand where we need to be in relation to Him. Here begins contentment.
Contentment, I might add, is not a feeling. And godly contentment is directly tied to knowing the truth of God’s Word, and not tied to our circumstances.
Reading God’s Word daily is a habit of worship. Worship is surrender.
There is a beauty in surrendering, even when we do not feel like it. Here begins the growth of a content heart.
What to do when stress happens, and you forget God’s truth:
No matter how far I journey down this path to contentment, no matter how close I think I’ve come to Paul’s statement, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Philippians 4:11), there is always something else that will test me.
An old would will be reopened. Another human being will frustrate the tar out of me. That sin I thought I had kicked will tempt me again. A life crisis will leave me devastated.
My response has become a spiritually strategic prayer built from verses 6-8 in Philippians chapter 4. This 3 Step Prayer for Stressful Moments acknowledges the struggle, puts it back in God’s hands, and reminds you of God’s truth. Read all about how I do this here:
If you need accountability for daily Bible reading:
A group of us on Facebook read a daily passage in the Bible and check-in with each other. This group will always have a reading plan available for you to use with us (if you don’t have your own you are working on), an encouraging community, and tools and inspiration to grow this spiritual discipline. If this sounds like what you need, click to request to join our community Women Growing in Daily Bible Reading.