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The Bird's Word

The Bird's Word

Finding Peace in the Midst of Anxiety and Depression, Part 3

Posted by Cindy on October 11, 2013 at 10:50 AM

10 Reasons to Study the Word of God

    So, what it all boils down to is studying the word of God and making it a part of our lives.  There are several excellent reasons to do this.  Consider Psalm 119.  It's the longest chapter in the Bible, clocking in at 22 sets of 8 verses – one set for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet – for a total of 176.  Taken as a whole, it is a poem about the value of the word of God.  Look at just one piece of it: vv. 10-16.  David writes about seeking the word of God and dwelling on it to find joy and righteousness.  He's dedicated to obedience forever, regardless of the personal consequences.  

    The 10 benefits of Bible study include the following:

 

1. Increase obedience.  The more we study, the more we know.  The more we know, the more our will aligns with God's.  The more our will aligns with God's, the more we obey.  (Psalm 119: 15-16)

2. Find advice.  God already knew all about what the world was going to get itself into.  He left us all kinds of useful advice.  We just have to go get it. (Psalm 119: 23-24)

3. Gain physical and emotional support.  We find hope for the future and confidence to deal with the present. (Psalm 119: 27-28)

4. Find hope and comfort.  God has given us a great deal of information about what to expect on the near horizon.  Things look bleak now, but look toward what he has planned for us.  (Psalm 119: 48-50)

5. Free ourselves from concern about other people's opinions of us.  We are here to do the will of God.  When that conflicts with the will of men, our priorities must be clear.  That's not permission to act like a twerp.  Remember that we are called to be kind to others, but God's opinion is more important to us than the opinions of other people are. (Psalm 119: 78-80)

6. Gain understanding and purity of heart.  If we seek wisdom from God, we will find it. (Psalm 119: 97-100; James 1:5)

7. Feel God's love and faithfulness.  Only by seeing what God has done and what he plans to do will we see and feel the evidence of His love for us.  (Psalm 119:76-77, 88, 93, 156; John 15:10)

8. Develop more interest in the word of God.  Studying the word of God brings more interest in studying the word of God.  (Psalm 143: 5-6)

9. Find joy and security.  We enjoy the protection of God.  (Psalm 63:6-8)

10. Have prosperity, success, and courage.  This is not the same as the “prosperity gospel” preached by some.  God is not a divine Santa Claus who will fulfill our wishes for a new Porsche, big house, $389 million lottery ticket, and all the other self-destructive things money can buy.  It is true that He came to give us life more abundantly, but that's not license for greed.  As we study the word of God, we align our will to His and start seeking what He would have us seek: reveal sin, show righteousness, judge the guilty, seek truth, and glorify Christ. (Joshua 1:8-9; John 16:7-14)  Along the way, we gain the prosperity in things that never decay, success in the eyes of God, and courage to deal with whatever comes our way.

 

Biblical Examples of People Who Dealt with Anxiety and Depression

   That all sounds great, but let's have some examples of actual, real, live people who used these strategies to deal with anxiety and depression.  There are bunches of examples.  Here are 3 notable ones.

 

1.    Elijah encountered the priests of Baal and wiped out a ton of them. Afterwards, Queen Jezebel threatened to kill Elijah, so Elijah high-tailed it out to the wilderness and told God his worries and concerns.  God responded by meeting his needs then giving him something to do.  (1 Kings 18:17-40; 1 Kings 19:1-18)  

2.    David murdered one of his men to clear the way for a marriage to the man's wife, who was already pregnant by David.  God, by way of a prophet, told David that the child would die. David spent some quality time in prayer and fasting.  He had been so anxious that his servants were reluctant to tell him that the child had died.  Upon figuring it out for himself, David put his hope in God and the resurrection and went back to work. (2 Samuel 11-12)

3.    Jesus, on the night before the crucifixion, was anxious enough to sweat blood.  That's not an exaggeration or an example of figurative language.  There's actually a medical condition called “hematohidrosis” in which capillaries, the world's tiniest blood vessels, break and leak into sweat glands.  Blood and sweat exit through the pores.  This happens in someone who is experiencing extreme stress.  Jesus dealt with his anxiety by going off alone to pray to God and enlisting his friends to pray. (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22)

 

 

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