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.
You Won’t FEEL Any Different
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.
Verse #1: God Will Never Leave You
8 And Hashem Himself will go before you. He will be with you; He will not fail you or forsake you. Fear not and be not dismayed!” (Deuteronomy 31:8) (The Israel Bible)
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
10 Fear not, for I am with you, Be not frightened, for I am your God; I strengthen you and I help you, I uphold you with My victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10) (The Israel Bible)
In your depression, you feel like you can’t hang on to God. Like your 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
1 For the leader. A psalm of David. 2 I put my hope in Hashem; He inclined toward me and heeded my cry. 3 He lifted me out of the miry pit, the slimy clay, and set my feet on a rock, steadied my legs. (Psalm 40:1-3) (The Israel Bible)
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
4 But You, Hashem, are a shield about me, my glory, He who holds my head high.
(Psalm 3:4) (The Israel Bible)
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
18 They cry out, and Hashem hears, and saves them from all their troubles. 19 Hashem is close to the brokenhearted; those crushed in spirit He delivers. (Psalm 34:18-19) (The Israel Bible)
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
31 But they who trust in Hashem shall renew their strength As eagles grow new plumes: They shall run and not grow weary, They shall march and not grow faint. (Isaiah 40:31) (The Israel Bible)
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
3 He shall not break even a bruised reed, , Or snuff out even a dim wick. He shall bring forth the true way. (Isaiah 42:3) (The Israel Bible)
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 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
28 “Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) (The Complete Jewish Bible)
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
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers, neither what exists nor what is coming, 39 neither powers above nor powers below, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which comes to us through the Messiah Yeshua, our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39) (The Complete Jewish Bible)
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.