Faith Forum: What religious verses help lift your mood?

The Rev. Kara Eidson, campus minister, Wesley KU, 946 Vt.:

From Matthew 6:25-34: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you — you of little faith?”

This is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. Jesus spoke these words to people who knew where their next meal was coming from — which is an important distinction; this is a passage that admonishes needless and unfounded worry. When I am stressed out, when I am feeling down, when I am overwhelmed — I often have turned to this passage in the New Testament. Although I tend to worry a lot, it’s probably one of my favorite passages because I need it so much! In a culture of stress and worry, we are constantly in need of these reminders that none of us can add an hour to our life by worrying, and that “each day has enough trouble of its own.” I often find this verse useful in ministry as well — this reminder to people I serve that God will care for them, rather it is in life or in death.

— Send e-mail to Kara Eidson at kara@fumclawrence.org.

The Rev. Barry Watts, associate pastor, Lawrence Heights Christian Church, 2321 Peterson Road:

As a Christian, I believe in the Bible as the infallible word of God, written by human authors through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is described as “God-breathed” in 2 Timothy 3:16.

The Scriptures are full of love; God’s love for his people. The Bible could then be described as God’s love letter to us all. One can read any part of the Bible to lift their mood. Every part of the Bible points to Jesus Christ and God’s redemptive plan for us. Even sections in the Old Testament that some find uncomfortable and politically incorrect describe God’s fatherly love and discipline. It gives accounts of his righteous wrath against evil. He does all this because of his love for us. Every part of the Bible lifts my mood because it is God’s love letter to me.

Within God’s Word, there are certain sections I find particularly helpful as I strive to live the Christian life within this sinful world. The Bible is made up of 66 separate books, and it can be difficult to decide where to turn when you need help in tough times. I find myself turning often to the four letters the apostle Paul wrote while in prison.

Each of these New Testament books have their distinct characteristics, but are useful in their practical application for today: Faith in Galatians, peace and unity in Ephesians, humility in Philippians and the power of Christ in Colossians. The important part is to open up the Bible and read. After all, the ultimate purpose of the Bible is stated in John 20:31, “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

— Send an e-mail to Barry Watts at barry@lawrence-heights.org.

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