Depression and Anxiety

“Like any good father, God allows his children to go through some pain, but he never enjoys it, and he only allows it because he knows that the pain will ultimately produce greater joy. We can trust that God is good because of what his Word reveals about his character. He saved the children of Israel from slavery when he didn’t have to. He sent Jesus to die for our sins when he didn’t have to. We see Jesus’ heart break over every lost sinner and every suffering soul.” J.D. Greear

Are you following The Loved Bible Project on Instagram? Recently a woman contacted me and wanted to give away the Bible she had been journaling in during her severe depression.  I wasn’t sure how to best ‘giveaway’ the Bible, but then decided to do a random drawing through comments added to the post.  I was unsure if anyone would comment, since depression and anxiety can feel like a lonely battle that you keep private. But the response was overwhelming and the comments laid a heavy burden on my heart.

A summary from the anonymous donor of the Loved Bible:

This is my first attempt at a “loved Bible”. I’ve had it for quite awhile and never have a thought about passing it on until recently. Over the last year, I was diagnosed with severe depression.

While I wasn’t thrilled with my diagnosis, I was less enthusiastic to find the stigma that is attached to a Christian with depression. I heard so many different comments such as “if your faith was stronger, you wouldn’t be depressed” and “God has given you so many blessings, what do you have to be depressed about?”. I could feel myself starting to spiral and being not only angry with the Lord about my diagnosis, but actively pushing Him away. Clearly fighting this on my own would be easier (Newsflash: it’s not!)

The Lord is patient and loving—even when I’m busy being stubborn and difficult. Time and time again, His Word kept crossing my path. The more I dove in, though not always easy or fun, the more hope I ended up finding. While I won’t say I’m 100%, I’m certainly in a much better place now.

This Bible is full of my notes, readings, reminders, and even a few additions from my small children. My hope is to gift this Bible to someone in a similar situation to what I was, in hopes that it can be a beacon of hope to them and encourage them in their adventures with the Lord.

We selected a winner, but I encourage you to use these resources to Love a Bible.  Simply…

  • Purchase a Bible:  Amazon or Christian Bookstore have multiple options and price points, but these two are great ones
  • Read through/watch the below resources
  • Mediate on the scripture references and take notes of any key takeaways
  • Highlight scripture and add notes and quotes to the Loved Bible
  • You can write out prayers
  • Once you go through all of the resources, consider giving this Bible away to someone you know going through a similar season.  Pray for God to show you that person.

RESOURCES: 

Psalm 42
 
Philippians 4:4-8

In the Valley of Despair, Call to Mind God’s Goodness

 
https://www.tvcresources.net/resource-library/articles/9-ways-to-battle-depression-condemnation-and-anxiety
 
https://austinstone.org/resources/sermons/690–don-t-be-anxious
 
https://www.ccef.org/resources/blog/secret-dealing-fear-and-anxiety
 
https://austinstone.org/resources/sermons/417–the-gospel-and-depression
 
http://bradhambrick.com/my-favorite-posts-on-depression/
 
http://bradhambrick.com/depressionsermon/
 
https://jdgreear.com/blog/confront-the-whispering-lies-of-depression/
 
https://www.austinstonecounseling.org/the-gospel-and-depression-2/
Note:  It’s important to seek professional help if you have anxiety or depression.  They can provide you specific resources, counseling and treatment specific to your needs.  I am not a doctor, counselor or professional in this area.  I recommend you reach out locally to your church or a family doctor for recommendations local to your community.
If you’ve experienced depression, I would love to hear in the comments ways you been able to fight this battle.

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