Los Angeles Christian Counseling
In 2018, a young and beloved California pastor who had a wife and three small boys committed suicide, which made headlines in newspapers across the United States. It spurred a larger discussion about the openness to talk about depression in the church.If you’re battling depression, you may be doing so silently. You may feel misunderstood, unheard, and a family member or friend may have told you if you will simply pray more, you will overcome it.
If you have contemplated suicide or if you experience a dark and heavy foreboding feeling that hinders your ability to participate in everyday life, the word of God has hope and speaking to a Christian counselor with effective clinical tools and a faith-based perspective can help you begin navigating successfully through depression.
Bible verses for depression can also help you find hope that you can overcome and experience God’s joy and lightness once again. That hope is key. You might not immediately feel a shift in the depression you are feeling, but hold onto that hope and continue to stand firm on the truth that while what you are experiencing is very difficult, God has victory for you.
Depression can take on many forms and affect people differently at different ages and times in their lives. Whether you are looking for scriptures for depression or Bible verses about sadness as you are confronted with a disheartening experience, let’s discuss what the Bible says about depression and turning to the Word of God for hope.
What Does the Bible Say About Depression?
First and foremost, it is important to remember that the Bible is not silent about depression. 1 Kings 19: 3-5 says, “Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness.
He 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.”
In Elijah’s fear for his life and despondency about the rulership decisions and words spoken by Ahab and Jezebel, he experienced a depression that led to a forty-day and forty-night journey until he reached the Mountain of God (Mt. Horeb).
Throughout the Bible, King David laments about the state of his heart and mind. So, as we look at Bible verses for depression, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Some of the Bible’s most influential and important characters faced deep sadness, fear, and depression and turned to God for hope.
While the Bible encourages us with a number of insights into depression, here are five encouraging Bible verses for depression
Answer me quickly, O Lord! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. – Psalm 143:7-8
If you are in the midst of depression, you can probably relate to this cry for help. Many individuals struggling with depression feel as if their spirit is failing.
They desire to know what they should do and to understand God’s steadfast love in a way that’s real and resonates with them. They have often heard God loves them countless times before, but they need the message to sink to their very bones so they believe it.
This particular verse provides a strategy for what to do when you feel depressed. King David speaks directly to God and asks him to answer him quickly, to tell him about His great love, and to show him the way he should go. King David lifts up his soul to God, which is something you can do if you are depressed.
Don’t simply read this verse once, but memorize it. You may have to recite it every hour throughout the day or make it your daily prayer, but use it as a vivid reminder that in times of darkness, speak openly to the Lord about your emotions and feelings and ask Him for help.
Once you understand that it is important to cry out to God for help, it is a huge reassurance to know that the Bible tells you exactly how your cries will be answered. The Lord hears you and will deliver you out of all of your troubles! You can find hope in the promise that God hears you and will deliver you.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:17-18
A favorite word of comfort is found in this verse: The Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. When you are depressed, you are brokenhearted and crushed in spirit and this scripture promises that the Lord is near you.
If you feel alone or like no one understands what you are facing, pause for a moment and look around you. The room you are in may be empty, but the Lord is near you.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
Depression feels like tribulation to most sufferers. They experience feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, guilt, and shame. Their moods are often pessimistic and angry. They often experience increased fatigue and decreased energy.
God’s promise in this scripture is not that you will not experience these tribulations, but that He has overcome all of them. You can take heart that as God has overcome, so you will overcome because He is living inside of you. You have an overcomer working within you!
If you have battled depression on-and-off or for consecutive years, you may wonder if you will ever be free. It may seem like you have fought and fought. This verse encourages to wait patiently for the Lord, to keep your hope alive and to remember that he will turn to you and hear your cry. He will free you, bring you answers, lead you to Christian counseling, or deliver support.
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. – Psalm 40:1-3
This verse is a verse of hope to memorize and cling to. If the song in your mouth is one of defeat and discouragement, imagine the joy of having a new song – a song of praise to the Lord for what he is doing. Imagine feeling as if your feet are finally on a rock and you have a firm place to stand.
When you begin to think things such as “I’ll never escape from the pit of depression” or “I’ve been depressed all of my life,” remind yourself that God is a God who lifts you out of slimy pits, gives you a firm place to stand, and puts a song of joy and praise on your heart.
You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light. – Samuel 22:29
Everyone who battles depression admits that it feels dark. You may feel completely alone and utterly vulnerable. The Lord promises to be your light in times of darkness and to turn your darkness into light.
If darkness envelops you, take a moment right now and tell the Lord that He is your lamp. Ask Him to turn your darkness into light. Each time you feel that darkness and heaviness, pray this verse and ask God for his light to transform your situation and feelings.
Christian Counseling for Depression
Each person experiences depression differently and with different severity. It is important that you take your road to recovery seriously and daily build habits that will help you cope and overcome your depression.
Talking with a Christian counselor can be an effective resource for support and healing on your journey as they possess an awareness of psychological tools and a perspective in line with your faith.
Remember there is hope for depression and you can live a life free from it. Use these Scriptures for depression as an encouragement and as a daily practice to overcoming your depression, and be sure to reach out for help and support from family, friends, and a therapist, if necessary.
“Man with a Bible”, Courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Open Bible”, Courtesy of Ben White, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Open Road”, Courtesy of Danka & Peter, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Alone by the Sea”, Courtesy of Jesse Parkinson, Unsplash.com, CC0 License