TOPIC: Depression


MEMORY VERSE: “And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.” – Genesis 30:1 (KJV)

BIBLE PASSAGE: 1 Kings 19:1-4

1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.

2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.

3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.

4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.



Depression is a word from the Latin verb “deprimere,” meaning to press down. It is an emotional response triggered by circumstances beyond one’s mental stability. It is a mental health illness or mood disorder where one experiences unusual persistent sadness. As the saying goes, there is no health without mental health. This shows that other aspects of health such as physical, financial, spiritual, and social can also take a downward spiral due to a depressive illness. Hence, it is important to educate ourselves on the causes, symptoms, and the way out of depression.




Depression is often viewed as a persistent feeling of sadness (Romans 8:20-22). There are many biblical examples of men of God who struggled with sadness, even to the point of depression. David, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), did not gloss over his sadness; he expressed it to God (Psalms 56:8). Both Moses (Numbers 11:15) and Elijah (1 Kings 19:3-5), two heroes of the faith, confessed to God that they preferred to die than live in their current reality.

Depression can be triggered by negative events such as the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, loss of a relationship, loss of a pet, economic crises, financial instability, unpleasant circumstances, etc (1 Samuel 1:6-7; Nehemiah 2:2). Biologically, depression manifests when some chemical changes occur in the human brain due to persistent uncontrollable sad feelings. This causes changes in the levels of some hormones in the brain which include cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine. These changes affect multiple organs in the body including the brain leading to a gross reduction in human productivity and health.

Consequently, symptoms of depression include a depressed mood or feeling of sadness, constant tiredness, reduced or lost interest in previously enjoyable activities, forgetfulness, hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts, and being overly suspicious of people or events. Excessive complaints of body pains, loss of appetite, loss of interest in sex, loss of sleep, and poor attention can also signal a depressive illness.



CLASS ACTIVITY 1: Can a true Christian suffer depression?


Some people use inadequate coping mechanisms for this mood disorder. They may engage in the abuse of alcohol, smoking, absenteeism, spouse battery, over-spirituality, over-socialisation, etc. These maladaptive coping mechanisms give short-term relief but only worsen the symptoms and eventually lead to a severe mental illness.

To prevent depression believers should note the following, in addition to seeking medical or professional interventions:

  1. A Christian is supposed to be filled with joy (Romans 15:13). Joy is something the Holy Spirit produces in the life of a follower of Jesus Christ (Galatians 5:22; 1 Thessalonians 1:6).
  2. God will never leave His own (Deuteronomy 31:8).
  3. God will strengthen and uphold His children regardless of the situation (Isaiah 41:10).
  4. God hears our cry (Psalms 40:1-3).
  5. God is near to the broken-hearted (Psalms 34:18-19; Matthew 11:28-30).

We should also develop positive attitudes; understand our mental limits; build problem-solving skills, resilience skills, and good communication skills.

CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Can a Christian seek medical assistance to depression? Discuss.

CONCLUSION: Depression contributes to poor personal, family, community, and economic growth. It can be difficult to recognise but once any of the symptoms are noticed, it is important to seek care immediately.


  1. Mention five causes of depression.
  2. Identify four things believers must do to prevent depression.

ASSIGNMENT: Write five misconceptions people have about depression (2×5= 10 marks).

RCCG Sunday School HYMN

  1. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
    O how I love Thee well,
    I am happy, it makes me glad
    To rejoice at Thy birth.
  2. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
    Thy friendship suits me well,
    Both young and old will sing Thy song,
    We long for Sunday School.
  3. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
    Christ was Thy first teacher,
    The Holy Spirit, great teacher,
    Does manifest in thee.
  4. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
    This testimony is sure,
    That God, the Father Almighty,
    Poured His blessing on Thee.
  5. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
    Though the sun be so bright,
    Or if the clouds black with rain,
    I’ll be in Sunday School.
  6. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
    I rejoice to see Thee,
    Will thou pass over me today?
    Without my being blest?