What the Bible Says About Depression

Disclaimer: Depression can be brought on by many factors, and often involves a "roller-coaster" of emotions. If you are having suicidal thoughts please immediately seek the advice of a competent certified counselor or physician.

1 Kings 19:1-8

We often think that doctrine has nothing to do with life on the level we all live at our day and time. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our Scripture also shows us that the Old Testament is very relevant to us in our day.

All of us at some point in our life must deal with the big “D”, Depression. We often think that we are the only person in the world that has to deal with this condition and that as God’s servants’ we're always riding high and never have down times. This text shows us that even the greatest movers in Bible history had to live life in the flesh and we are not alone in dealing with the blues. We see even the Lord God in Christ had to deal with fear, that often leads to depression. Luke 22:39-46


In our Scripture we do not see the angel sent by the Lord give him a vision, or explain Scripture to Elijah or even do a miracle. The angle has this man in the darkness of depression to do a very ordinary thing, to get up and eat.

I. Many times it is much easier to face a big crisis of faith we often come through the time of testing with flying colors and we give the Lord a lot of glory. It is when we come down to everyday life that we find the cave of depression.

1. Elijah faces the prophets of Baal, 450 men and does a great work for God and shows the Lord’s people that the God of the Bible is the One true Living God. Let us read this great happening in the Word of God and let the picture jump from the pages of the Word to the pages of our hearts, minds and lives. 1 Kings 18:20-41

A. It is when we are alone, and out of the limelight that we have the time to think and thus slip into the fear that leads to a deep dark pit of self pity and depression. Like the first long night when we are alone after the funeral of a mate, parent, or a child.

B. When we are tired in spirit, mind, and body the evil one hits us hard to take us out of the game. The hero tells the king to get home before the creeks rise and he can’t get home. The rain comes after the drought and the Lord again blesses the land.1 Kings 18:42-45

2. We have to read what the Lord’s half brother says in James 5:17-18. The Word of God has a way of showing us the truth even in those that we tend to make bigger than life.

A. God loves and cares when we are weak. We have to know this up front because when the chips are down we have a hard time making the flesh see this doctrinal truth.

B. I love the way our Lord shows this man his love when he is down, because it gives me hope when I am down.

C. When we are looking at our lives we must take into account our capacity for depression.

II. Let us look at how God took care of this man in the middle of his depression. 

1. It is often the small things that put us over the top. We see that Jezebel sends a message that she will kill our hero Elijah. 1 King 19:1-3

A. It is when we take our eyes off the greatness of the God of the Bible that we slip into a dark place to live.

B. When we isolate ourselves from those that care for us and that we care for, we are on the slippery slope into a dark lonely pit.

2. The Lord leads Elijah to arise and eat, and drink and get ready to get back into the journey of living. 

A. We must start our way out of the pit of depression by doing everyday things like eating and drinking and thinking about how we are going to get back into service for the Lord.

B. One of the big things to getting us back in life is to get involved in the Lord’s work that moves us past the “Poor Me” attitude that often puts us into the pit anyway.

C. When life is all about how I feel we find ourselves living on a rollercoaster of ups and downs.

3. We have to see that God cares and that He is ministering to us even when we do not see Him first hand.

A. It was God that sent the angel and food with drink. (How many ministering spirits are sent to us in our time of need yet we refuse to see them, much less hear what they are telling us to do.)

B. It is so hard to hear the wisdom of God when we are in the mud of self pity.

4. The last thing I would have us to see is that the Bible is the best food we can eat, Jesus is the Living water.

A. The Word of God is better than any angel food. Yet when we are in a depression we find it easier to be mad than to get into the light of the Word of God.

B. Please see that most of those that did great things for Kingdom Work were often dealing with depression. David, Moses, Abraham, Peter, Paul, etc….

5. When we rely on the strength of the Lord God of the Bible we can go farther and last longer than we ever thought possible.V:8 of 1 Kings

A. Our text from the Old Testament shows us a timeless Doctrine, that when we come to the end of self we find a true fellowship and glimpse of the glory of God in Person.

Let us read:V:9-13

B. We will all face times of depression that is not the question, what is, is how we will handle those dark times.

C. It is in the hour of our darkness that the Lord shines the brightest.

D. Our God has a way of coming to us in the way we often least expected it. V:13

E. We are never as alone as depression makes us think we are. V:18 of this chapter

Compiled by Rev. Brett E. Castle