SPECIAL NOTE: Before studying this outline, we strongly suggest studying the lesson entitled: HOPE FOR YOUR CHALLENGES, as it is a preface to this specific challenge

What is depression?

Webster defines "depression" as low spirits, gloominess, dejection, sadness

Medicine defines "depression" as a decrease in functional activity.

Pyschology defines "depression" as an emotional condition, either normal or pathological, characterized by discouragement or a feeling of inadequacy.

Many people define "depression" as a condition marked by feelings of dejection and/or guilt, with the result being hopelessness and cessation of activity.

With all these definitions, is there another source that we could trust to lead us into better understanding of this widespread malady? Does God have anything to say about it? We will attempt to investigate that question throughout this study. Come along and see!

Is "depression" a disease or illness?

There are some organic malfunctions or other factors that may trigger feelings of depression, but depression is not a disease or illness, a belief held by the medical profession. Some of these contributing organic malfunctions or other factors are:



Surgery and the recovery process

Sleep loss


Hormonal or chemical imbalances

Financial loss


Menstrual cycle phenomena

Physical maladies (i.e.: hypoglycemia, diabetes, glandular dysfunction)

Are some people immune to depression?

No one is completely immune to feelings of depression. We are told in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that: "no temptation (or trial) has seized you except what is common to man."

Many godly and ungodly people experienced periods of depression in the Bible. You may check out a few in the following texts:

Cain – Genesis 4:7

David – Psalm 38:3-17

Elijah – 1 Kings 19:1-5

Jonah – Jonah 4:1-11

Peter – Matthew 26:69-75

Judas – Matthew 27:1-5

It’s important to remember that just because these examples were in the Bible doesn’t justify the depression these people experienced. Please note how God dealt with each of these individuals and where the choice to disregard His advice led two of them. The experience of David in Psalm 38 shows his seeking the Lord’s mercy and Psalm 40 demonstrates the result.

You may have noticed by now that we’ve been speaking of ‘emotions’ and ‘feelings of depression’ in the above statements. This would indicate that depression is primarily focused on feelings. God’s Word never commands us to change our feelings, but we are commanded to change our deeds (thoughts, words and actions).

Let me take just a minute to discuss the above statement concerning feelings. You may be someone who defines your spirit or conscience (some people call this your intuition) as feelings. In actuality, they lie very closely together. We are told in the Bible, God’s Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are His children. After we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, His Spirit takes up residence with our spirit, helping us recognize right from wrong and guiding us as we are willing to follow. (See Romans 8:9-6 and Ephesians 1:13-14)

I will try to give you a personal example. When I was impressed to write this website, my feelings rebelled and I did not want to do it. I had no understanding of or care for the Internet. But my spirit knew that God was calling me to this mission and I have received perfect peace as I have been willing to do what God asked me to do. Feelings have been given us as a barometer of our thoughts and habits, but we must never make decisions based on feelings.

Most symptoms and maladies defined as a cause for depression are rather a result of the unbiblical way a person responds to situations such as:


Tragic loss

Loss of sleep



Financial pressures

Hormonal imbalance

Failure to meet responsibilities

Interpersonal conflicts

"Empty nest" syndrome


Perceived crises


Concern for others in medical treatment

If you are (or know of someone who is) struggling with the ugliness of depression and you are seeking a way through the darkness, let me encourage you in the fact that God understands your situation. He is the great Healer, so let's take a look at His 'view' of your challenge.



It is suggested that if this is your first time through this lesson, that you work through the above links in the order they are given as there is a sequence. For your convenience, these links are offered to give you faster access for repeated reviewing.

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