One of the unexpected joys of the internet is the opportunity for online Bible study. Some of us live outside of town, have 5 little soccer players who each have their own team because I guess it wouldn’t be right to have a six year old playing against a fourteen year old. Some of us are introverts (Hi There) and yet God plopped us in the middle of bustling house full of children and by the end of the day, the thought of more conversation makes us want to curl up in our closet. And sometimes, it’s just that kind of season in life, where you want some community, but on your own terms. An online Bible study is perfect for that season.
Did you know I’m taking part in a 31 Days writing Group? I am and I picked reading and writing about the book of Sirach; my own personal online Bible study…shared with you.
Maybe around five years ago when I was really struggling with my mind, I came across this verse found in Sirach 30:21-23
And I realized the truth in it…I was part of my problem. There were some extenuating circumstances that needed to be addressed and resolved, but the thoughts I allowed to roll around in my mind were keeping me hostage to anxiety, depression and fear as well.
I started searching for tips, tricks and tools to help me get out of this rut of destructive and negative thinking. The Bible. Yes, my Bible–my rarely used, under appreciated, hard to find, dusty Bible–turned out to be one of the major helps in overcoming my mind. (The other was The 4:8 Principle: The Secret to a Joy-Filled Life by Tommy Newberry) Although I looked, at the time, I could not find an online Bible study that addressed the problem I was ready to break free from.
I found “Scriptures about Depression.” Or, “Depression Scriptures,” but nothing that addressed the problem biblically and then taught me to use those scriptures to fight the bad thinking habits I had become accustomed to. And no, I am not saying or even implying depression is just a bad thinking habit. I’m telling you, that what I was struggling with at the time: anxiety, fear and some depression was being fed…and boy howdy did I feed it good…it was being fed by my bad thinking habits.
I would feel bad, so I would consider how bad I felt. And I’d think about how bad I had felt the day before and how bad I was probably going to feel tomorrow. I would read the scriptures of the broken hearted, the lost, forsaken and desperate. But after coming across this verse, I started searching out verses about “Delight,” “Gladness,” and “Rejoicing.” I had my own little online Bible study, just me and my computer.
I would love to say it was easy to just sit down, read happy Bible verses and then feel happy. It was not easy. But it was simple. All I needed to do was make time with God reading His Word. The more time I spent with God in His Word, I noticed some of those old thinking habits changing. Slowly…slowly and every so often they would and still do, rear their ugly head. But I have the solution–time with God in the Bible…the tools, to combat my old thinking habits and it began by looking for an online Bible study.