Am I Depressed? III

If depression is the common cold of mental illness, what about Bible characters? Were they ever depressed? If I have some or many symptoms of depression outlined in the two previous blogs, am I different, strange, or even sinful ?

Think about Elijah. In I Kings 19, he ran for his life to escape queen Jezebel. Before the nation on Mt. Carmel he had put her pagan gods to the test. In fact, he had ridiculed them for their lack of response. But when she heard Elijah had killed her false prophets, Jezebel wanted him him to pay with his life. From the north to the south, he fled the distance of Palestine, ending in Beersheba. There, terrified and exhausted, he wanted to die.

What about Jonah? After successfully preaching to the enemy city of Ninevah, whose people repent, Jonah feels dismayed: God’s mercy wins out over His judgment. In the 4th chapter of the book, death would be better than this, he says.

Then there’s Jeremiah (chapter 20), not to mention Job (chapter 3). Because the people ridicule him for his treasonous preaching to give up to Babylon the enemy, Jeremiah curses his day of birth. because Job endures the loss of his flocks, herds, farm hands, children, and his health, Job also curses his day of birth. His life has become meaningless, pointless, and purposeless. He also wants to die.

How about Paul? In II Corinthians 1:8, he admits persecution by people hostile to Jesus led to a time in which he felt so overwhelmed, “we despaired even of life.”

Now that we’ve determined, that, yes, God’s greatest servants at times want to die, in our next blog we’ll look at ways God helped them overcome their despair.

About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy ( blog to learn more. provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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One Response to Am I Depressed? III

  1. Judy Blunt says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I love what you are writing and what you are bringing out about our humanness and God’s divinity. Depression doesn’t have to be a life sentence.

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