At the beginning of this year I asked on Facebook if anyone would be interested in doing a Bible study with me. I didn’t exactly have anything in mind I was just kind of throwing it out there and thinking maybe it could be evangelistic.
My friends Amber, Joy and Lauren responded. They are all sweet sisters in Christ and Joy and Lauren are a part of the home church we attend.
Lauren had already gone through this work book Hope In God A Biblical Perspective For Understanding, Overcoming and Preventing Depression by Kristie Gant. She said it was really encouraging and suggested we use it for the Bible study when I asked for suggestions.
I’m so glad we did!
The work book is broken up into 7 lessons. Each lesson contains a foundation study, a name of God to study and a topic on hope.
The title is based off of Psalm 42:11
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
Kristie Gant emphasis through the study the difference between hoping in God and hoping for changed circumstances in the here and now. It’s also an encouragement to wait patiently for the day when Christ will return and our circumstances ultimately will be changed.
I was uplifted by the exhortations to tell myself truths about God found in the Bible rather than listening to my own feelings of despair.
The study gives an understanding of biblical hope through studying the word hope through out the scripture. I gained a better understanding of hope being a gift from God while at the same time being reminded of my responsibility to keep enemies of hope out of my life.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13
I’s a study on the character of God, His timeline and His eternal plan. It also covers biblical characters such as Asaph and Jeremiah and how their hearts were turned towards God in their sorrow.
One of my favorite parts of the study is the topic study in lesson 4. “A sacrifice of praise.” In my own life, praise towards God is what brings healing in my suffering while at the same time being one of the most difficult things for me to do while I am suffering. The charts she includes throughout the work book are really helpful as well such as one where she writes one column titled, “thoughts which deepen depression” next to another column titled, “truth to know” and next to that “how to know it” (where to find it in the Bible.) In the midst of depression it can be easy to forget these truths so seeing them laid out in front of me like that is a really powerful reminder.
I recommend it if you are depressed, want to have tools to prevent depression in your life or want to learn what the Bible says about depression so you can edify others. It was especially uplifting to do it as a group study so I suggest doing it that way if you can.
Hope in God today my friends!
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly before the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16