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Depressed people in the Bible

   2/2/11                        Jimmy Petty

Depression usually has a partner called “stress.”

Stress is any life situation that chronically bothers, irritates, or upsets you.


The indicators are:


a)      Worried anticipation of future events that cannot be avoided

b)      Being preoccupied with, and ruminating about these events for a period after they occur


Symptoms of STRESS OVERLOAD… ( that lead to continued depression the longer

the problem stays unresolved )



a)      Decision making becomes difficult.

b)      Excessive daydreaming or fantasizing about “getting away from it all.”

c)      Increased use of drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, tranquilizers.

d)      Thoughts trail off while speaking or writing.

e)      Excessive worry about all things.

f)        Sudden outburst of temper and hostility.

g)      Paranoid ideas and mistrust of friends and family.

h)      Forgetfulness for appointments, deadlines, and dates.

i)        Frequent spells of brooding and feelings of inadequacy.

j)        Reversals in usual behavior.



What is depression?


a)      A general overall feeling of hopelessness, this is the main element.

b)      When depressed, you lose perspective and become apathetic.

c)      There is an inability to concentrate.

d)      A loss of self-esteem.

e)      A change in eating, sleeping habits. A change in physical activity, to become slower or hyperactive.

f)        Withdrawal from others, because of a groundless fear of rejection.

g)      With some people, you will find that there will be threats of suicide.


Are you depressed?   (Take the test below)


 20 questions from Taylor- Johnson Temperament Analysis Test


( Full test, and results for action available through Pastor Petty)


Do you often feel left out or unwanted?

Do you feel that life is disappointing, and not all that you thought and hoped it would be?

Do you usually feel sure that things will turn out all right in the future?

Do you have a deep fear of any animal, thing, or place because it always makes you feel  panicky?

Are there times when you feel blue or discouraged because you don’t seem to be getting anywhere or getting anything done?

Do you feel happy about life and think it’s very much worth living?

Are you bothered at times by the feeling that no one really appreciates or cares about you?

Do you think a lot about unhappy things that have happened to you?

Are there many times when you feel so low that you are close to tears?

Are you often depressed by your personal problems?

Have you ever been so deeply disturbed or troubled over something that you thought about suicide?

Are you troubled by a lack of self-confidence?

Are you easily hurt or discouraged by criticism?

Do you often feel blue or downhearted without knowing why?

Do you sometimes feel completely worn out and exhausted because you are so upset and worried?

Do you smile or laugh a lot?

Do you often get discouraged because you think that you are not as good as other people?

Are there times that you feel so low that you can’t make yourself do anything?

Do you often get depressed when you think about your childhood or certain memories of the past?

Do you sometimes feel sad or depressed for days at a time without any good reasons?


(If you answered most of these “yes” it could indicate chronic depression because of unresolved situations, or your feelings are out of touch with reality)


Depressed people in the Bible


MOSES    Numbers  11:10-17


DAVID    The Psalms (in general)   Ps. 77, 51 ,40, 42,   34:15-18


** ELIJAH     I Kings 19:1-18 (a detailed look at him today)**






PAUL   II Corinthians 1:3-11


**  ELIJAH – One example to look at today from the Old Testament


Background:  875 B.C., A time when the lights almost went out because of Baal worship.

Elijah is running for his life. Queen Jezebel has vowed to kill him.



.Read I Kings 19:1-18



Verse 1-4      Classic manic depression?    {probably not, but similar symptoms for a

short period ( acute) in his case}


Manic depressive defined:  “ Afflicted with a psychosis in which periods of manic

 (madness) excitability alternate with periods of melancholic depression”


Loss of appetite   (the angel had to get him to eat more, v.7)

Inability to concentrate

Desiring to run away from problems

Excessive self-pity

Unmoved by someone trying to help

Wishing for death



Verse 5      Like the tender care of ch.17, but, apparently forgotten, (just like us), as we forget past lessons; depend on a feeling; then suffer again. Rarely do we learn a lesson once and for all times, it makes for great movies, but it is not reality.



Verse 6-10   “What are you doing here?”


                    A rebuke, and a stimulus to confess fears and feelings. Note how important it is to state, out  loud  to God, what you have been feeling.


Impact of Elijah’s Life (at the time of this event I bet he wondered if he really made that much of a difference, since Israel fell anyway.)


Yet we find that he fulfilled a great purpose for others and closeness to God for himself. ( I Corinthians 4:5)


Three great clusters of miracles in the Bible:


1.  Giving of the Law through Moses

2.   Days of Elijah and Elisha

3.   The earthly days of Christ and Apostles


Matthew 17    The Mount of  Transfiguration    Moses    Elijah   Jesus

Only now (in heaven) does Elijah know the full impact he had.


We try to put all the puzzle pieces together when we don’t have all the pieces, but God does and He deliberately gives us those pieces; in steps, over time.

Question: Why not give it to us all at once???

(You cannot build a relationship that way) SHARE


Verse 11-14    Question was repeated, allowing Elijah time to reflect on what just

                           happened.   By the way; what did just happen? SHARE


Wind, earthquake, fire    finally a “gentle blowing

Hebrew  “ a  thinness”- so faint it could only be heard by straining.


Example:     Deer hunting:  You get where you can distinguish between the noise of

different animals walking. In your first couple of seasons you cannot do it.





 This is the primary lesson that Elijah learned.

       It is also a key to overcoming depression



Back to  I Kings 18:38-39


Sounds like Israel finally got it all together by the one big event, right? No, they went down until they were led away into captivity. The Northern Kingdom fell to Assyria in 722  B.C. The Southern Kingdom in 586  B.C. to Babylon.


Elijah needed more than the big event,  he needed intimacy with God, to learn that God works in many ways for His purposes, this is what he needed and that is what he got!!!


Question: Could not God have done this differently? Perhaps already killed Jezebel and not scare the begeebers out of Elijah? SHARE



 Example: My son Grant in the tree. He is 5 years old, 100 feet up, dangerous; he froze,, I went up, put a new task before him (“Let us go eat when we go down”) I did not carry him down, he followed me down and was beaming with confidence. The way I helped made all the difference in the world. God gave Elijah a new task; which had to mean he would live for a while and he still had a vital purpose.


READ  Verse 15-17 

  Why are you where you are?      (This is the question for you today.)


FINAL:  How does one become able to hear His voice?

                     One sure way…


We need long encounters with God where stillness before God is the main objective.


It is O.K. to be depressed for short periods of time, to readjust your thinking to a new situation. But then you have to surrender that depression to the truth of God’s Word. You did not get there quickly so the solution will not be quick, but it can be sure progress.


Some stress is a very good thing.


 Example: A guitar sting has to have stress to make a sound.

Too tight and the string breaks; (as with stress overload, leading to chronic depression.)

But too loose, and we get no sound, (and no clear purpose to exist.)




















Jim Petty in Post on October 05 2013 » 0 comments

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