Do you enjoy studying your bible or do you find it a bit intimidating? If your answer was the latter, then you are probably missing some simple truths and useful tools. :)
The Normal Grammatical Approach
In most cases when we say, "It is difficult to understand" what we mean is, "It is difficult to believe". But we are not left to our own imagination to determine meaning.
When Isaiah or Zechariah have already employed identical terminology, with an interpretation by themselves or another prophet, we need search no further. It sometimes takes a little thumb work (turning the pages of a Bible or concordance), but the "Scripture with Scripture" method is superior to all "scholarship" in understanding Scripture. The layman need not be intimidated.
With a complete concordance and a King James Bible, you are on the road to a great blessing. The modern commercial translations have destroyed the cross references through text alterations. Stick with the book of superior scholarship, not one hastily conceived under a profit motive. :)
"...thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith..."(Revelation 2:13)
Without faith it is impossible to please God. Without faith a mind darkened with sin cannot truly understand the Scriptures.
Many Christians refer to their faith as though it, in an of itself, were something great. They are misguided. Notice in the Scripture above that God did not say, "you have not denied your faith" -- He said you have "not denied my faith".
"My faith" is God's faith. Never look to your own faith as if it were an arm holding on to God. Your faith, at best, is weak. God's faith is as full as the work of Christ, as big as redemption, and as high as the throne where Christ now intercedes on your behalf (and mine!).
In your weak faith, don't deny "HIS" faith. It is the very weakness of our faith that makes us cling to "HIS" faith. You will be blessed and encouragaged as you read HIS Scriptures with HIS faith.
Don't read symbolism into Scripture where none exists. When Scripture says "a day" it literally means "a day". There are many doctrines which seek to complicate, allegorize and symbolize Scripture. They do this apart from faith and apart from the Holy Spirit. This is a decieving practice and one that leads others away from the truth.
The people of Christ's day had a problem with the prophecy of Messiah coming into Jerusalem on a donkey. And while they searched for the deep spiritual significance of the passage, Jesus rode past them on a donkey.
Ever wonder about the deeper truths of the Revelation prophecy of Christ returning to earth on a white horse? Well don't dig too deep or you might destroy the hoof prints. :-)
I am studying the book of Revelations and it is a very literal book. Only those ignorant of Old Testament prophecy and its fulfillment stumble over its meaning. But the prophecies in Revelation are as literal as are the prophecies of Exodus. The Gospel of John has more symbolism than does Revelation.
So remember, with a concordance and a King James Bible (the Treasury of Scripture knowledge helps, too) you have all you need to study your bible.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Did you know that the Bible has its own built in dictionary? For example, to understand the meaning of a word in the Scripture, simply look up every instance in Scripture where that word appears. You will gain a comprehensive view of that word's usage and thereby be enlightened to its Scriptural meaning. It is that simple.
Hiding God's word in our heart is something that no one can take away from us. :) It is useful to find a place in your home where you can leave your Bible opened up to read a few verses and meditate on them throughout the day.
What food is to the body , reading is to the mind. When something is read, it's literally "food for thought". It is needful to meditate on what we read in God's Word. That is like chewing and swallowing. And as you read, the Bible says we become "nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine".
So go get your King James Bible out and feed your mind and spirit with it. :)