Are you one of the 300 million people worldwide who experience depression? Those pervasive feelings of sadness and hopelessness that come with depression are, unfortunately, very common, and symptoms can have a huge impact on your daily life. Depression affects you physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and relationally – and when you’re in the midst of a depressive episode it can be hard to find even a shred of hope.
Everyone experiences depression differently and there are a variety of different treatment options. The effectiveness of medications for depression varies from person to person, too, so medical interventions don’t work for everyone. The Bible, however, is an unchanging, dependable source of hope if you’re experiencing depression.
There are many Bible verses for depression, and it can be helpful to realize that there are stories of some famous heroes experiencing depression in the Bible:
- The most obvious case, of course, is Job, who clearly struggled with depression following his huge losses.
- Jeremiah also suffered from depression and feelings of insecurity. Jeremiah 20:14-18 is a prime example of how depression affected the prophet.
- Elijah is another famous prophet who experienced depression after his victory at Mount Carmel against the prophets of Baal. You can read Elijah’s story in 1 Kings 19.
- The Psalms are full of King David’s laments, indicating that this “man after God’s own heart” also suffered from depression. Check out Psalm 38, 42 and 43 for example.
A common question is “what does the Bible say about depression?” Seeking God’s perspective about depression can help to alleviate intense feelings of sadness and despair. In this article, we’re going to explore 5 Bible verses for depression that can give you hope when your world seems bleak.
The Lord Hears Your Cry
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord. – Psalm 40:1-3
When you’re experiencing deep depression, it can feel like you’re drowning in a pit of despair, just as the Psalmist (David) describes. It’s really common to feel like God is distant or isn’t hearing your cries of anguish, but He always hears your cries. In this, and other Scriptures for depression, we’re reminded that God is always near to the brokenhearted.
No matter how deep the pit of despair you’re in, God can lift you out. Just as He did for David, God can set you back on a path towards hope and He will steady you whenever you start to stumble.
It may take time, but when you put your trust in God, He will lead you out of the mire of depression and give you hope so that you can sing a new song of praise to Him. That’s what David experienced in this Bible verse about sadness.
The Lord Renews Your Strength
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31
Depression can be exhausting. It can feel like you’re dragging heavy chains around with you everywhere you go, sapping your strength and making it hard to do anything. It’s not uncommon to struggle to even get out of bed when you’re feeling depressed.
This Bible verse for depression is a huge source of hope because it reminds us that when our reserves of strength are depleted by depression, God will renew your strength. It can be a great relief to realize that you don’t have to depend on your own strength. When you trust God for your strength you can find hope that you don’t have to find your own way out of the depths of depression.
Jesus Will Take Your Burdens From You
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
There’s no doubt that depression can feel like a huge “Weighed Down”, Courtesy of Jon Tyson, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; burden. Some people describe depression as feeling like they are being crushed by the weight of the world. If that’s how you feel, then this Scripture for depression can help you to recognize that you don’t have to stay feeling that way. Jesus wants to give you rest.
To get the rest from the oppressive burden of depression, Jesus tells us to take our burdens to Him. Jesus speaks of His yoke. A yoke is a device that was used in farming, where two oxen would be yoked together to pull a plow.
In this Bible verse for depression, Jesus is inviting you to share the weight of your depression with Him. It’s too much for you to carry alone. He wants you to be yoked to Him, so that the load is shared, making the weight much lighter and easier to carry. In this way, you can find hope.
God Will Never Fail Nor Abandon You
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you. – Deuteronomy 31:8
When you’re experiencing deep depression, it can feel incredibly lonely. Our perceptions are often distorted by depression, so simple things like friends not calling can feel like abandonment. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you’re completely alone and abandoned when you really need people. There’s usually logical reasons for friends not calling, but the depressed mind tends to dismiss those, unfortunately.
Just as you can feel abandoned by friends and family, it’s common to feel that God has abandoned you, too. When you feel that way, it’s really helpful to focus on this Bible verse for depression. Write it on a post-it note and display it somewhere you will see it frequently during the day like the bathroom mirror.
God promises never to fail nor abandon us and God cannot break a promise. No matter how we feel, God doesn’t let us down like people often do and He is always with us. Combat your feelings of abandonment with the firm reminder that God is not going to leave you alone in your depression. He’s right there with you.
Nothing Can Separate You From God
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39
Experiencing frequent episodes of deep depression can make you feel very bleak and hopeless. You may struggle with low self-worth – and that can make you feel like you’re not deserving of God’s love. When you feel that way, the logical next step is to feel cut off from God, out of a self-imposed feeling of unworthiness.
Romans 8:38-39 is the perfect counter to those fears that you’re forever separated from God by your depression. Nothing can separate you from God. Feeling separated from God is a cruel trick of the depressed brain that can be combatted by meditating on this verse.
God loves you exactly as you are. He doesn’t judge you for your depression. He loves you and is brokenhearted when His children are suffering. Instead of fearing separation, draw closer to God in your depression so that you can experience His comfort and love.
Finding Hope with Christian Counseling
There’s no shame in needing help to recover from episodes of depression. While there are many Bible verses for depression and plenty of examples of people experiencing depression in the Bible, the hope offered by the Bible only goes part way towards helping you to recover.
Getting in touch with a Christian counselor is the logical next step when you’re struggling with depression. Christian counseling gives you the opportunity to talk about your feelings and explore the reasons for your depression.
A Christian counselor brings a biblical perspective to counseling and can teach you skills for managing your depression. You can also delve deeper into what the Bible says about depression during Christian counseling sessions.
“Praying Woman”, Courtesy of Ben White, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Good News is Coming”, Courtesy of Jon Tyson, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Weighed Down”, Courtesy of Jon Tyson, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Gesture of Humility”, Courtesy of ben White, Unsplash.com, CC0 License