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Sunday, 09 January 2005
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Encouraging Bible verses
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One of the major difficulties in facing the challenge of anxiety and depression, is that they can affect every part of a Christian's life. We may notice changes in our thinking and feelings. There are also often numerous physical symptoms and impacts on our activity levels and behaviour. Depression and anxiety also usually affect our relationships - how we respond and relate to those around us. For the Christian, this crucially also affects our relationship with God.

We may notice:

1). Low mood. It is usual to experience a loss of "feeling" God's presence. This can be especially distressing if this has been an important part of your Christian life to date.

2). Anxious fears and doubts about your relationship with God, or with fellow Church members.

3). A host of physical symptoms such as poor sleep, low energy and poor concentration that make prayer and Bible study difficult. You may find yourself reading through the same passage again and again and feel that little is going in.

4). Altered behaviour: for example it can seem just too much to get up and organised enough to go to Church services or Bible study groups. It can also mean that maintaining regular time in prayer or Bible reading seems very difficult.

When facing these challenges, it is important to try to plan your days. You need to be realistic about what you can cover in times of prayer and Bible study. When feeling depressed, it can be very helpful to focus on reading shorter, supportive passages that talk of God's forgiveness and support.

This article contains over 50 short Bible meditations that have been put together by the Revd. Paul Richards. They contain a mixture of encouraging words, and passages to help you reflect helpfully on how you are feeling and seeing things.

We suggest that you read no more than one or two of these suggested passages a day. Spend time stopping, thinking and reflecting on them. The passages are put on separate pages so that you can focus on them in detail.

Please share your ideas of other verses that you find helpful within the Discussion forums on the website (from February 2005).

Last Updated ( Sunday, 09 January 2005 )
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