By Stephen Altrogge March 13, 2018
Are there Bible verses for depression?
It depends what you mean.
The Bible is not a dispensary that we come to for our daily dose of inspiration or good feelings. The Bible is primarily the grand story of God’s plan to redeem a people for himself for the glory of his name.
Nevertheless, the Bible does speak directly to the depressed, which is good news for people like me who often find themselves engulfed in the darkness.
So yes, there are scriptures for depression. These verses shine light into dark places, give hope to the hopeless, and allow the depressed person to have God’s perspective rather than their own dismal view.
If you’re depressed, burn the following verses on your heart. Print them out. Think about them and rejoice in them. They can be life to you.
Now, one thing that’s really important to note as you read these verses: You probably won’t FEEL any different after reading these verses.
There’s this weird idea in some Christian circles that the moment you change your thinking your feelings will also change. That as you read these Bible verses for depression, the gloom will suddenly lift.
This couldn’t be further from the truth, especially when it comes to mental illness. But here’s the good news: All these promises are TRUE. They don’t depend on you. They’re all about God and his mighty works on your behalf.
As you read these, thank God that they’re true, regardless of what you feel.
With that being said, here are nine Bible verses for depression.
May these give you hope and strength as you wait for God to lead you out of the Valley of Darkness.
9 Bible Verses for Depression
If you want to jump to a particular verse, click the link:
- Bible Verses For Depression #1: Deuteronomy 31:8
- Bible Verses For Depression #2: Isaiah 41:10
- Bible Verses For Depression #3: Psalm 40:1-3
- Bible Verses For Depression #4: Psalm 3:3
- Bible Verses For Depression #5: Psalm 34:18-19
- Bible Verses For Depression #6: Isaiah 40:31
- Bible Verses For Depression #7: Isaiah 42:3
- Bible Verses For Depression #8: Matthew 11:28-30
- Bible Verses For Depression #9: Romans 8:38-39
Verse #1: God Will Never Leave You
Don’t be dismayed because God is with you! Just as he swore to never desert the people of Israel, he will NEVER leave you or forsake you because you are in Christ. You are his child, and like a dad clearing a path through the woods for his small child, so God is going ahead of you, clearing the way.
Verse #2: God Will Strengthen You and Uphold You
…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).
In your depression, you feel like you can’t hang on to God. Like you’re weak and helpless, unable to do anything. Sometimes you can’t even get out of bed.
Good news! You don’t have to hold on to God because he is holding to you. When you fall, he will uphold you with his righteous right hand. When you are weak, he will strengthen you. The reality is, you ARE weak, you’re just feeling it more acutely now. Take heart, because God loves to sustain the weak.
Verse #3: God Hears Your Cry
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God (Psalm 40:1-3).
God hears your cries and sees your tears. He is not ignoring you and his heart breaks over your suffering. He takes no delight in the suffering of his people.
You can be sure that God will respond to your pleas for mercy. Maybe not when you want or in the way you want, but he is your loving, merciful Father, and he can’t ignore the cries of his children. He will put a new song in your mouth and set your feet upon the rock.
Verse #4: The Lord Is Your Shield
But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head (Psalm 3:3).
God is your shield when you are weak, helpless and hopeless. He is standing over you, guarding you, protecting you, keeping watch over you. Even though you are broken by depression, the almighty God is your shield.
He will lift your head out of the dirt and set you on your feet again. He will move you to sweet places and green pastures. You can trust HIS sustaining, protecting power even though you have no strength in yourself.
Verse #5: God Is Near to the Brokenhearted
When you are sunk into the depths of depression, you feel constantly brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. The soundtrack of your life is in a minor key.
God has a special place in his heart for the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. When you find yourself under a crushing burden, God draws near to you. He sees you in the midst of your affliction and moves toward you with deliverance. Even though you can’t feel his presence, God is nearer to you now than ever, and he is working on your behalf.
Verse #6: The Lord Will Renew Your Strength
…but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31 ).
Few things sap your strength like depression. Everything seems overwhelming and impossible. Even the most mundane acts require a massive amount of effort.
The good news is that God is in the business of giving strength to those who have none. He loves to sustain those who are fainting and give life to those who feel completely depleted. Wait for the Lord and he will give you life. He has promised to renew your strength even though you don’t feel it now. He has good things in store for you.
Verse #7: A Bruised Reed He Will Not Break
…a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice (Isaiah 42:3).
A bruised reed is one that that is on the verge of breaking, and a faintly burning wick is a flame that is almost entirely extinguished. That’s a very apt description of depression. You feel as though you’re about to be completely broken or totally extinguished.
But he doesn’t break bruised reeds or blow out flames that are sputtering and smoking. Rather, he nurtures them and heals them and brings them back to life. God doesn’t despise you in your bruised, broken, smoldering state. Rather, he is near to you, nurturing you and sustaining you.
Verse #8: Come All Who Labor and Are Heavy Laden
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 (Matthew 11:28-30).
Jesus gives rest to those who are crushed by the weight of the world. He is gentle and lowly in heart, and he doesn’t rebuke those who find themselves laboring under the overwhelming yoke of depression.
Come to Jesus in your depression and find rest for your soul. Let him carry the heavy end of your burden. Confess your utter weakness and frailty and let him be the burden bearer.
Verse #9: Nothing Can Separate You From God
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
When you’re haunted by the specter of depression, you feel very cut off from the love of God. Everything seems dark and bleak, as if there will never be another good thing in your life. You feel as though God has left you to wallow in the mire.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Because you are in Christ, nothing can separate you from God’s love. The only way God will stop loving you is if he stops loving Jesus. Though you may feel alone and unloved, there is absolutely NOTHING, including depression, that can stop God from loving you.
Fear Not the Storm
Charles Spurgeon, who was no stranger to depression, said:
Love letters from heaven are often sent in black-edged envelopes. The cloud that is black with horror is big with mercy. Fear not the storm, it brings healing in its wings, and when Jesus is with you in the vessel the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven.
In the midst of your depression, all you see are clouds that are black with horror. Remember, it is God himself who controls the storms and Jesus is with you in your boat. You may not feel his nearness and it may seem that he is asleep in the stern, but he is with you nonetheless.
When the moment is right, he will deliver you. Until then, hold fast to these verses.
This article originally appeared here.