Identify Sad People in the Bible

Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Lynn, Eng, Alma and 4 others


For thousands of years, man has been plagued by depression. It's described as a state of being apathetic or sad, combined with other symptoms. Depression can last a few weeks, or go on indefinitely, if left untreated. Depression affects every area of a person's life, from daily routines, to loss of interest in socializing, activities, hobbies, to the inability to function in the workplace to the inability to even get out of bed. Worse than the sufferer staying in bed all day, in the dark, sometimes weeping for hours, is depression can lead to suicide. Medical or mental health books are not the only references for depression. Depression was evident even during the Biblical times. The Bible's depressed characters are strong proof that depression has probably always existed as one of man's most difficult hurdles.

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Causes of Depression


Modern medical breakthroughs have come up with some of the most common causes of depression or extreme sadness. According to the experts, it is a condition brought about by factors such as the environment, personal experiences, psychological factors, and genes. A depressed person is gravely affected when it comes to behavior, mood, thinking, sleep, and appetite. The depressed state can be triggered by an devastating experience or crisis, or can creep up slowly, without an obvious cause.

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Sacrifices and Trials

In the Bible, it was common for God's people to undergo certain trials and perform sacrifices to test or prove their faith. Many of these "tests" included losing their standing in society; loss of possessions and even the loss of loved ones. There were even times when the devil had a hand in these tests, making sure that the person involved would be ruined in all aspects - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The Bible, a book recording the events that occurred more than 2000 years ago, tells many stories and parables in an attempt to teach ethics, love, understanding, and compassion. Many lessons included people experiencing great joy as well as enduring great suffering, all while they experienced God's love.

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Ways of Spotting Sad People in the Bible

The Bible is filled with events that subjected men, women and children to various degrees of tribulations. They had to go through this process to prove their faith, learn humility and realize the power of God's love. Consider the following ways of identifying depressed people in the Bible:

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  1. 1
    Take note of the keywords used
    The prophets didn't really use the words "depressed" when they described the characters that went through tough times. You have to take note of the words that they used such as "discouraged", "mourning", "downcast", "sad", "forlorn", "despairing", "troubled", "brokenhearted", and "miserable". Doing so will immediately tell you that the person of interest in that story is suffering from depression.
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  2. 2
    Consider the events that took place
    The events surrounding the saddened characters are significant. You will be able to discover how the depression unfolded and how God intervened in the end. It was very painful for the characters to experience the troubles they had put upon them. There were times when they lost everything, and this naturally resulted to depression.
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  3. 3
    Look for the significant people of great faith
    The people who experience depression in the Bible are usually those who have great faith in God. This is either because God wanted to test their faith, or because the devil suggested they be tested. Among the more famous characters who experienced depression, were Moses, Naomi, Hagar, David, Saul, Elijah, Hannah, Nehemiah, Solomon, Job, Judas, Paul, Jeremiah, and John the Baptist.
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Selected Passages That Suggest Depression

The Bible depicts the truth that anyone can suffer from depression. Naomi and Ruth were poor people. Solomon was a king. Job and David were young men. Hannah was a barren woman. Jeremiah was the "weeping prophet".

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  1. 1
    Depression after defeat
    When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So, David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. (1 Samuel 30:3-4, Holy Bible - New International Version)
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  2. 2
    Depression because of emotional letdown
    He (Elijah) came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, Lord," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors." Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. (1 Kings 19:4-5, Holy Bible - New International Version) Here, Elijah was victorious in defeating Baal's false prophets on Mt. Carmel, however, he remained fearful of Jezebel's revenge.
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  3. 3
    Depression because of bad news
    When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. (Matthew 14:13, Holy Bible - New International Version) The Messengers came to Jesus at the time and reported that John the Baptist (Jesus's best friend) had been beheaded by Herod Antipas.
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The Solution to Depression

People in the Bible who suffered from depression almost always saw God as their sanctuary and their refuge. This was shown in the following verses:

  • For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn - conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. (2 Corinthians 7:5-7, Holy Bible - New International Version)
  • Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the Lord for him. (1 Samuel 1:19-20, Holy Bible - New International Version)
  • David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. (1 Samuel 30:6, Holy Bible - New International Version)


  • Take note of the timeline in which the character or characters experienced depression.
  • Try to determine the significant event in the Bible that is connected to the onset of depression.

Questions and Answers

Identify any five characters in the bible who were discouraged?

But the answer I got doesn't match the question

Here are five discouraged characters mentioned in the Bible:

  • Job
  • Rachel
  • Elijah
  • Hannah
  • David

These are just 5 out of several biblical characters who faced discouragement in the Bible. When you consider several popular Bible stories you can see some discouragement.

Identify characters in the bible who were discouraged and how they did overcome the discouragement?

Identify the characters in the bible who were discouraged

You can use some of the characters mentioned in this VisiHow article like Saul or David. Job is the most popular passages on overcoming discouragement when he lost everything he ever held dear to his heart and still found his way back to God.

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I need details of the experiences of 2 people who were discouraged in the bible?

Why they were discouraged and how they got out of it

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Article Info

Categories : Religion | Mental Health

Recent edits by: Maria Quinney, Gogo Blessing, Rob

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