*WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Can you think of a poem or a song where people express feelings of depression?
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
One of the challenges of depression is that we often feel alone in it. Today we are going to look at some different passages from the Bible that show us we are not alone and give us perspective.
The first one is about a guy named Elijah. Elijah was a prophet of God. He had just boldly stood up to an evil king named Ahab and his wife Jezebel. Elijah took a stand, and called people to return to God. He challenged the false prophets of the false gods to a test and saw God reveal himself in a powerful way. Elijah had just had a huge victory. Let’s see what happened next. (1 Kings 18)
1. What happened in this story? What was Elijah thinking/feeling? (Make a few observations from verses 3, 4, 10, 14)
2. How did the Lord respond to Elijah?
3. How long did Elijah’s depression last?
4. The book of Psalms is a collection of poems and songs that express a variety of deep feelings. Many can give encouragement and perspective to people struggling to have hope in the midst of their circumstances.
Look at the following three psalms. What was the person experiencing? What did they do? What did God do?
HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
5. In the midst of his depression, Elijah believed that he was all alone. God showed him that not only was God still with him, but that there were other prophets who had not turned away from the one true God. Have you ever been upset about something only to find out later that what you were believing was not true? How did finding out the truth help you?
6. When things around us or inside us feel dark, what are some truths we can cling to/place our hope in? Divide up the verses below and match them with the truths.
- Trouble and suffering are normal and not a surprise to Jesus. He is greater than anything we will face.
- Jesus will never leave us or forsake us.
- God’s love and faithfulness are never dependent on us.
- Our sins can be forgiven.
- Even if we feel like our suffering is our fault we can still cry out to God.
- Someday all pain and suffering will be gone.
- Revelation 21:1–7
- 2 Timothy 2:13
- 1 John 1:9
- John 16:33
- Hebrews 13:5
- Psalm 107:10–22
7. If you were struggling with depression, how do you think the Lord would respond to you? What are some truths we have discussed that are helpful to remember?
8. How do you think the Lord would want you to respond to a friend who is struggling with depression? How can the Holy Spirit help you in this situation?
9. Write your own psalm (poem, spoken word, rap, or prayer) to God about a situation in your life. Express your emotions to him (whether anger, sadness, frustration, happiness, hopelessness, or excitement). Include truths about God and things you can choose to praise him for in the midst of your circumstances.
If you’re depressed, tell someone. Tell a doctor, friend, family member or counselor. Please do not suffer alone, especially if you feel suicidal. If your depression is caused by a physical condition, a doctor can prescribe medication to relieve the problem.
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
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