The following list contains homework assignments and specific strategies that have been helpful for some people.
- Take one biblical story, read it every day, and write down ten (or more) applications of it. (The basic idea with this assignment, and some of the others that follow, is that you want depressed people to meditate on something. Otherwise, their minds will drift further into despondency. As a helper, you may be tempted to keep trying something new rather than stick with one thing until the person benefits from it. If a depressed person can see the merit in this battle strategy, and he or she is willing to do it, stay with the assignment until it is done.)
- Find ten positive qualities in a friend. Write them down and send the list to him.
- Write out your purpose for living. Allow it to be revised by others. Memorize it. Then write it out again using different words.
- Become an expert in what God says to those who suffer. Consider starting with Hebrews 10-2.
- Write down things from the Sunday sermon that are good, important, and true.
- Each day, speak or write something that edifies others.
- Take one aspect of creation (e.g., grass, a shrub, a squirrel, a leaf) and consider it until you can say it is good.
- Listen to God’s Word. Use music that points you to Christ, or ask someone to read to you or teach you what he is learning. Be able to summarize what you heard. Practice listening.
- Keep a sharp eye out for grumbling and complaining. Like gossip, these sins are acceptable in our culture, so we don’t see their ugly roots. What does the grumbling or complaining really say?
- Consider these questions: In this culture, have we forgotten the benefits of hardships? What are the possible benefits to suffering? (Ps. 119:67, 71; 2 Cor. 1:8-10; Heb. 5:8; James 1:3)
(Ed Welch, Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness, p. 210, 211).