1999 James A. Fowler
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I. Scriptural statements about depression.
A. Use of word "depressed"
1. II Sam.
13:4 -"Why are you so depressed morning after morning?"
2. II Cor.
7:6 - "God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by
the coming of Titus."
B. Some examples of depression, discouragement,
Job 7:3-11 -"without hope (6); God doesn't care (8); bitterness
- Numb. 11:10-15 - "burden (11); burdensome (14); suicidal
- I Kings 19 - "fearful (3); suicidal (4); self-pity (14)
- Ps. 42,43 - "soul in despair (42:6); disturbed (42:11);
God has rejected (43:2);
- Ps. 73 - "envious (3); questions God's sovereignty (11);
- displeased, angry (4:1,4,9); suicidal (4:3,8,9)
- Matt. 26:37; Mk. 14:33 - (JBP-"desparately depressed")
Greek word ademeneo
"to be filled, glutted" with anguish, heaviness of
heart and emotional concern.
II. Defining depression.
A. Used in English to refer to everything
from mild discouragement to manic- depressive; from
morning blues" to "masochistic blow- out."
B. Webster's Dictionary defines as "gloomy,
dejected, sad, discouraged, despondent, feeling of
C. Greek words
1. II Cor.
7:6 - tapeinous - "lowly, cast down, brought low"
2. II Cor.
4:8 - exaporeomai - from ek=out of; poreuomai=way
through. "No way through!"
III. What brings on depression?
A. Presenting causes.
Death of loved one
Reversal of pleasurable circumstances
Sickness, exhaustion, hormonal changes, inadequate nutrition
Everything is so bad; life is so hard; world is a mess; hopelessness.
Tasks seem overwhelming - student, wife, work
Feel trapped in marriage, parenting, job, financial bind
Mistreated, oppressed, mocked, rejected
Taken advantage of
Inadequacy to meet expectations of husband, boss, children
Unrealized aspirations - to be married, have children, home,
get raise, be successful
Unfulfilled desires of worth, identity, belonging, usefulness,
Feeling inadequate to respond to repetitive indulgent desires
to eat, drink, sex, etc.
Self-pity, envy, jealousy
B. Behavioral cause.
- Personal interest - Isa. 53:6
of failing to respond to God's opportunities by relying on God's
of wrong action - personal aspiration, gratification, reputation.
of wrong reaction - fight, fright, flight.
C. Root cause.
of the Deceiver, Satan, "the father of lies" (John
hopelessness. God in Christ not sufficient.
IV. Response to depression.
A. Inadequate responses.
- "keep smiling; it will go away; things will get better."
action - "Operation bootstrap; Shape up and get your act
together; Get on the stick
get out of the spin."
of "victimization" and symptomatic causes for lack
B. Biblical responses.
of discouragement and frustration. Not wrong to get "down."
we are "down and out" in despair, believing that there
is "no way through." (II Cor.
of sin that causes guilt - I John 1:9
recognizes God's presence - Matt. 28:20
recognizes God's sovereign sufficiency - Job 42:2; II Cor. 3:5
grace - II Cor. 12:10
Spirit - Gal. 5:16; Eph. 5:18
preservation - Phil. 1:6
is receptive to His activity. Heb. 11:6
is a trusting contentment with God's provision in all His providential
opportunities - Phil.
I Tim. 6:6-8; Heb. 13:5
- Confident expectation of God's continuing activity. I Tim.