What does the Bible say about depression, and how should Christians deal with it? Depression does not discriminate between believers and nonbelievers. While some people may be more susceptible to it than others, it can be triggered by circumstances that most everyone experiences, like the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, divorce, abuse, or unhealthy relationships.
Jesus offers us abundant life and always calls us to rejoice in the Lord. But how can we live in freedom and obey His commands when we feel sad, hopeless, and depressed? The answers lie in understanding what the Bible says about depression, processing your feelings with Scripture, and seeking professional help if necessary.
Common Sources of Depression
Depression can be described as an emotional heaviness that weighs the heart down and often portrays itself as a persistent sad mood or loss of pleasure in everyday activities. Sadness and disappointment are a normal reaction to difficult situations. The Bible teaches that there is a time for sadness and grief. However, depression is a continuous struggle that can last for prolonged periods and control our lives. For some, feelings of sadness and hopelessness can become crippling, making normal day-to-day functioning a struggle.
Seeking Freedom from Depression
Depression is a result of sin in the world. It often requires treatment from licensed Christian counselors or medical professionals. Christian counselors can help patients understand what the Bible says about depression, while medical professionals can offer treatment to help combat the side effects.
Although depression can be the result of spiritual problems, it can also be a clinical diagnosis based on genetics that you cannot control. The tendency toward depression and negative thoughts is not a sin, but how you handle yourself when you feel depressed can lead to sin.
For example, allowing depression to isolate you from other people, stop you from communing with God, lash out at the people around you, or prevent you from completing your job is a sin because you are shirking from the responsibilities God gave you. Spending intentional time with God, studying verses on what the Bible says about depression, and reaching out to others for comfort and accountability can help you guard against falling into sin.
6 Bible Verses on Depression
As you wrestle with feelings of depression and hopelessness, use these scriptures to find comfort, healing, and peace.
- “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.”—Psalm 34:17-18
- “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”—Deuteronomy 31:8
- “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”—1 Corinthians 10:13
- “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”—Psalm 103:1-5
- “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”—Isaiah 53:5
- “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”—James 5:14-16
Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of these truths when the enemy whispers lies. The pain you feel is an opportunity to draw near to the Lord and allow His love to comfort and heal you. Will you invite Him in and allow Him to cleanse your mind?
A Prayer for When You Feel Depressed
Heavenly Father, I know these thoughts and feelings are not from you. As these negative emotions consume me, I recognize this as an opportunity to exercise great faith in Your healing power and love. Help me to be faithful to draw near to You through the pain. Let me feel Your presence in this moment. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
God may not deliver you from depression immediately, but He will hear and respond to your prayers. Praying and reading Bible verses on depression may be the last thing you want to do, but Ephesians 6:17-18 reminds us that prayer and Scripture are part of the armor of God. When you feel depressed, reading God’s Word and honestly communicating your thoughts in prayer can bring victory, comfort, and healing.
Find Hope and Healing
What does the Bible say about depression? The verses above give us promises to cling to, offer comfort in our pain, and remind us that Jesus can heal us and offer freedom.
Don’t try to win this battle on your own. Share about your struggles with trusted people, ask for prayer, and seek help from medical professionals. We would love to pray with you and offer resources to help you find hope and healing. Click here to submit your prayer requests or schedule an appointment with a licensed Christian counselor.