Excerpt from Rise Up and Build Study Guide

Key Verse:

He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, and without walls. Proverbs 25:28

Recommended Reading:

Rise Up and Build: A Biblical Approach to Dealing with Anxiety and Depression

pp. 7-14

Inspiration for the Day:

 Did you know that the original Chicken Soup for the Soul  book was rejected 144 times before a publisher deemed it worth the risk to take on? Today, there are over 200 different Chicken Soup for the Soul titles translated into over 40 languages totaling in sales of more than 112 million books. As a writer, this is encouraging to me because I have faced my fair share of rejection. This account that I heard just this week reminds me what I need to do to go beyond rejection and to reach success. What's that? Persevere!

I don't know about you, but I give up on myself far too quickly and far too often. I try something, and when things don't work the way I planned, I try again. But after the fourth or fifth attempt, I label myself a failure and move onto the next task, always wondering what could have been accomplished if I had stuck with it.

Do you remember the passage in the Bible that says, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you? If you look at the root of the words in the Greek and Hebrew forms, you'll discover that this passage is not commanding us to ask, seek, or knock one time. The Scriptures bear the meaning of "ask and keep on asking," "seek and keep on seeking," "knock and keep on knocking." It's like the acrostic PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens. Don't give up when things don't seem to be working. Just keep trying!

What if Noah hadn't persevered through the ridicule of the people? What if Daniel hadn't continued despite the threat to his life? What if Jesus hadn't persisted up the road to Calvary? Whether it takes one rejection or a thousand, we mustn't give up.

Whatever you're facing today, you can find the strength to keep going. You may have to walk or even crawl, but keep pressing on. Who knows what the result may be?

Discussion Questions:

1. Can you remember a time you allowed your emotions to get the best of you and wound up in a mess? Describe the feelings that drove you to the point of giving up.

2. He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, and without walls. What does this verse mean to you?

3. What is your initial reaction when people tell you to “Get over it" or “Let it go"?

4. Consider this: "The sad truth is that many of us are anxious and depressed because we've given up control of our emotions just as I gave up control of my truck all those years ago. It wasn't taken from us. We gave it up willingly whether we realize it or not." Do you agree or disagree with this statement? If you disagree, why?

5. Do you believe you can be free from anxiety and depression? Why or why not?

6. Luke 18:27 says, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. How does this statement comfort you as you begin the process of building the walls around your heart?

7. Have you ever had a burden like Nehemiah but been too afraid to do the thing you felt led to do? How did you deal with the fear? Did you accomplish the task or run away from it? Looking back, do you have any regrets?

8. What would you be willing to do to rid yourself of anxiety and depression for good? How much money would a cure be worth?

Action Steps:

1. Set aside some time to pray and carefully consider what you will do to rid yourself of anxiety and depression. Ask God to give you the strength to make whatever sacrifices are needed to be freed from this emotional bondage.

2. I highly recommend reading through the entire book of Nehemiah. This will give you a good feel for the story as a whole and help you to understand what was involved in the process of building the wall of Jerusalem.