Counseling One Another

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Counseling One Another

Some Factors in Elijah’s Depression [Guest Post: Pt. 1 of 3]

Depression is a malady of the human experience—one of a multitude of ways fallen creatures wrestle through living in a fallen world. Today, tomorrow, and Wednesday our blog posts are gleaned from my friend Dr. Bob Somerville of the Master’s College. The material provided here was first presented in a workshop at the annual conference of the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors last month.

Drawn from the Scriptures, particularly a biblical case study of Elijah in the book of 1 Kings, our guest will illustrate how a severe cause of depression may come about, explain how God ministered to His servant Elijah in his deep valley, and give us some suggested application projects for ourselves or those whom we counsel.

Part 1: How Do You Develop A Severe Case of Depression?

  • Fear Men Rather Than God – Believe The Circumstances Rather Than God’s Promises (1 Kings 9:1-3). What happened? (1 Kings 18:17-18; 19:3-4; Mat 10:28-32).
  • Neglect The Place Of Your Duty (1 Kings 18:46; 19:3). He ran not for glory of God, not to help the people, but for his life. Hand of God was on him where he was (18:46).
  • Neglect Your Physical Needs (1 Kings 18:1-19:4). Elijah was mentally and physically exhausted while in the will of God.
  • Forget To Seek Guidance From The Lord (1 Kings 19:9 &13). Contrast this with seeking and following the word of the Lord in previous chapters.
  • Pray According To Your Feelings (1 Kings 19:4). Notice the inconsistency evident in the depressed (19:3-4).
  • Reject Your Christian Fellowship (1 Kings 19:3-4). Elijah traveled 80-120 miles to Judah then left his servant and was all alone (19:3).
  • Do Not Take Time To Get Your Facts Straight. Is Jezebel really able to carry out her threat? Am I really the only one left? (19:10 & 14).
  • Center Your Thoughts And Actions Around Yourself  (1 Kings 19:3, 4,10 & 14).
  • These Are Not The Only Steps That Lead To Depression, but They May Definitely Lead Into Depression.

Tomorrow, in Part 2, Bob will explain how God ministered to Elijah in his time of despair. You can order the audio disk from this workshop, “What to Do when the Counselor Wakes Up Depressed” from Sound Word.

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5 Comments

  1. This is incredibly helpful! Thank you for the insightful and thought-provoking post!

  2. It is really good to read these and be aware of how I fall into the same ways of thinking, and then see the danger of continuing in that direction.

  3. The following are ways that I would typically develop depression:
    Fear Men Rather Than God
    Forget To Seek Guidance From The Lord
    Reject Your Christian Fellowship
    Center Your Thoughts And Actions Around Yourself

    Recognizing my tendencies to do these things was helpful.

  4. I think I am going to like these serious. Awesome thoughts.

  5. Appreciated these ways spelled out so clearly. I fall short and often get depressed because I don’t catch myself in these tendencies. Thank you for posting.