This is the first in a nine part series entitled “Overcoming Depression-Anxiety: A Suffering Paradigm.” For the various counseling options available from this material visit

The complementing studies are also available in a video and podcast formats at the links below:

  • “Overcoming Depression-Anxiety: A Responsibility Paradigm”// video and podcast
  • “Overcoming Depression-Anxiety: A Suffering Paradigm” // video and podcast
  • “Towards a Christian Perspective of Mental Illness” // video and podcast

“Starting a Hard Journey on Empty”
PREPARE yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually to face your suffering.

“Living in denial about my depression-anxiety would be more costly than anything God would take me through in the quest for hope and peace. God is good for bringing me to the point of acknowledging my depression-anxiety. Therefore, I will put myself in the best physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual position possible to face my emotional struggle.”

Memorize: Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV), “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “Come to me… I am gentle” – Hope begins with a relationship with Jesus. He wants you to know he is patient.
  • “Labor and heavy laden” – When battling depression everything feels like a heavy laden toil. Jesus gets it.
  • “Give you rest… for your soul” – There will be steps to take, but Jesus recognizes first you need rest and hope.
  • “Take my yoke” – A yoke tied two oxen to the same plow. Jesus is committing to carry this load with you.
  • “Learn from me” – As Jesus walks with you through this valley of despair, you will learn a great deal from him.

Teaching Notes

“Certainly one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to try too much at once. You will fail and be even more depressed (p. 84)… As anxiety and panic attacks are also commonly associated with depression (so much so that doctors are increasingly using the term depression-anxiety when referring to depression), much of what I write will apply to these distressing conditions also (p. 1).” David Murray in Christians Get Depressed Too

“With all the debate about the causes of depression, it is easy to miss the obvious: depression is painful. It is a form of suffering (p. 37).” Ed Welch in Depression, A Stubborn Darkness

“The Psalms treat depression more realistically than many of today’s popular books on Christianity and psychology. David and other Psalmists often found themselves deeply depressed for various reasons. They did not, however, apologize for what they were feeling, nor did they confess it as sin. It was a legitimate part of their relationship with God. They interacted with him through the context of their depression (p. 204).” Steve and Robyn Bloem in Broken Minds

“Being depressed is bad enough in itself, but being a depressed Christian is worse. And being a depressed Christian in a church full of people who do not understand depression is like a taste of hell (p. 14).” John Lockley in A Practical Workbook for the Depressed Christian

“There are usually no quick fixes. For Christians there will often need to be a balance between medicines for the brain, rest for the body, counsel for the mind, and spiritual encouragement for the soul (p. 30)… We will answer the question ‘What is depression?’ by looking at how it is related to and reflected in five areas of our lives: our life situation, our thoughts, our feelings, our bodies, and our behavior (p. 32).” David Murray in Christians Get Depressed Too

“[On John 5:6] Doctors and pastors are often faced with the frustrating situation of people who need the help they can give, yet are not taking the steps required to benefit from this help. Perhaps they have just learned to live with the problem. Perhaps they have given up hope of getting better. Perhaps they lack the will to play their part in the healing process. Perhaps they are frightened of all the responsibilities of life that would come upon them should they be viewed as well again. Perhaps they would miss the attention and sympathy that being ill may generate… You have no hope of recovery from depression unless you want to recover and are, therefore, prepared to play your own significant part in the recovery process (p. 69-70).” David Murray in Christians Get Depressed Too

“Reading Scripture is a discipline that at times in mental illness is almost impossible and yet remains necessary for spiritual health. Why is this so? Because Scripture bears the saving grace of God (p. 163).” Kathryn Greene-McCreight in Darkness Is My Only Companion

Other podcasts on emotions are available at:


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