If you are currently battling depression, let it be known that there is hope. I cannot stress this enough. You are not alone, and God sees you. He understands the weight that depression can bring and the pain (Isaiah 53:3). But Jesus took this on the cross, and He did this for you (Isaiah 53:5).
With this being true, it is also true that depression does not always go away on its own. This post is to encourage you that depression is found in the Bible by strong Biblical leaders (so there is no shame), that there are meditations to help you overcome depression, and that God can heal depression.
What does God say about depression? Although the Bible does not explicitly use the word “depression”, it is often very well described by God’s most faithful leaders in the ancient texts. God does not shun those who battle with depression, He actually welcomes them and gives them a purpose for His glory. From Joseph to Moses, and King David, depression is not lacking in the Bible. However, God often shows that He is more powerful than the hold depression has on His people.
And just to get one thing straight; depression is not a sin. It does not mean that you are outside of God’s will, nor does it mean that you must have done something to deserve it. God meets us in our depression and even can miraculously heal us from it.
Bible Verses that Reveal Depression
The book of Psalms arguably shows the most human inner-struggles of all books in the Bible, so its no surprise that depression is extensively described in David’s writings. David was also one of the most loved and fearless leaders by God. This reveals that depression is not something that God looks down on, but that God will listen to our depressed petitions before Him. Although David was a mighty man of God, we can still relate to his times of depression today.
So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed.— Psalm 143:4
When battling depression, this verse can be very relatable. It can feel as though our spirits are under attack and weary. It can also feel like our hearts are sinking and lost, but David writes this Psalm with full confidence that God will meet him in any place that he is in.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.— Psalm 42:11
This entire Psalm has met many people finding themselves in a place of brokenness and depression. Our soul may be downcast and disturbed, the depression pressing in, but the Psalmist teaches us to hope in God. When we hope in Him, we are trusting that He is still God and that He will deliver us from our depression.
Psalm 102:1-5, 8-11
A prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the LORD. Hear my prayer, LORD; let my cry for help come to you.— Psalm 102:1-5, 8-11
Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.
For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn like glowing embers.
My heart is blighted and withered like grass; I forget to eat my food.
In my distress, I groan aloud and am reduced to skin and bones…
All-day long my enemies taunt me; those who rail against me use my name as a curse.
For I eat ashes as my food and mingle my drink with tears…
My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass.
The battle of the side effects of depression becomes very real in this passage. Anyone who has experienced depression can most likely relate to at least some aspect or another of this passage. But what is encouraging, is that the Psalmist later says in verse 17, “He [The Lord] regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayer”. God listens to us, even in our most desperate place, He regards us still.
Meditating on Bible Verses to Overcome Depression
God never intended for mankind to suffer, but nonetheless, because we live in a broken world, depression is found. Yet there is hope. The Bible offers us hope and healing in our fight against depression, and I can personally testify to God’s healing work against depression. He is far greater and more powerful than the weight of depression, even when it does not seem like it. He will be faithful to walk with you through your journey.
When we choose to meditate on the truth of Scripture that He will heal us and that He is walking with us through our journey, we will find hope. Read these Scriptures and meditate on them, reading them over and over to yourself. Ask the Lord to give you the faith to believe the truth of the words.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.— Matthew 11:28-30
Here, we see Jesus’ compassion for those with a heavy burden. He understands that this world places on us a heavy yoke, and how that yoke can oftentimes be depression. But meditate on the truth, that Jesus says He is gentle and that there is rest with Him. In this truth, you may find peace, even in the midst of depression. Jesus trades our weighty depression with His rest that is upon His shoulders instead of ours.
Many Christians believe that if they just prayed more or were a “better” Christian, that depression would leave them. But Jesus does not say this. He says, simply, that we must come to Him. There, we find rest.
But you, O LORD, are a shield about me,— Psalm 3:3
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
In the midst of depression, meditate on this: that God is the one to sustain you, and He is the one to lift your head. During the depression, we may feel weighed down and discouraged, bowing our heads in exhaustion or defeat. But through this Psalm, we realize that the Lord is the one who is to lift us up. Meditate on this truth. He is the sustainer of our care.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.— Psalm 34:18
We may feel brokenhearted or crushed, just as the psalmist. But those words are not what we should meditate on, although relatable. We must meditate on the fact that the Lord is close to us and that He saves us from the crushing of depression.
How God Heals Depression
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
When David was at his lowest, in a pit and full of defeat, the Lord lifted him up. The Lord saved David from his defeat, despair, and depression. The Lord is the one to bring our hopes higher and to put new praise within us.
Let your spirit agree that even in the midst of depression, He will bring you to the solid ground and that He will restore wholeness to you. Jesus is the healer, and who took our pain and burdens on the cross, promising to restore what has been broken.