Why Studying the Bible Is So Important in 2020

By   •   April 15, 2020   •   Topics: ,

Reading Bible
When Christian leaders around the world declared 2020 the "Year of the Bible," they didn’t know a global pandemic was just around the corner. But God did. (Photo credit: Together Generation)

Right now, the world is abuzz with conversation about the coronavirus pandemic. But just a few months ago, people around the world were talking about something else: resolutions for the new decade.

As Nick Hall overheard those discussions, God laid a dream on his heart—for more people to read the Bible more often. Little did he know, a group of believers in Scotland felt the same prompting. And so did the founder of Youth With A Mission (YWAM). A dream that 2020 could be the Year of the Bible.

“Only God knew how important this year was going to be,” said Hall, who’s leading the Year of the Bible initiative. “This could be the greatest opportunity of our lifetime to see people reengage with the Word and come to Jesus.”

Nick Hall
Nick Hall considers Billy Graham a role model, and Mr. Graham’s choice to surrender to the Scriptures in 1949 has been a foundational story for the Year of the Bible initiative.

By the time COVID-19 brought the world to a screeching halt, Hall and his team had pulled together various resources to help people read and understand God’s Word for themselves.

Thousands of individuals, churches and ministries—including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA)—from over 180 nations are now inviting people to intentionally study the Bible this year.

Hall believes the timing is nothing less than providential.

The biggest obstacles to people getting in the Word are either they don’t have time or they don’t understand,” he explained, citing research from the annual State of the Bible report. “To think, we’ve put together all these resources to help people understand—and now they have time.”

Just a few weeks into nationwide stay-at-home orders, Bible engagement is on the rise in the United States—for the first time in more than 10 years.

“The number one thing that draws people to God’s Word is pain, and we just happen to be living through a lot of trauma right now,” explained Nicole Martin of the American Bible Society.

Nicole Martin
Nicole Martin studies and encourages Bible engagement as the director of U.S. Ministry for the American Bible Society. (Photo credit: Movement Day)

Trauma doesn’t just affect people who’ve survived extreme circumstances, like a war or a natural disaster. Unemployment, health concerns and separation from loved ones—the current reality for many around the globe—can be deeply damaging, as well.

We’re in this global pandemic, where every single person is experiencing trauma to some extent,” Martin said.

>>Get tips for sharing God’s hope in the COVID-19 crisis

People need hope,” she continued. “They need to know that we’re going to get through this. They need to know that we can persevere and we can make it. God’s Word provides hope that nothing else can provide.”

Think back to the resolutions you made for 2020. Did you set any goals to study the Bible?

It’s not too late to start now—in a time when we need His Word unlike ever before.

“God’s wanting our attention,” Hall said. “We’ve had God on mute for too long, and it’s time to listen to His voice.”

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