Over the past few years there has been a sharp increase in the number of diagnosed cases of depression. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a particularly significant impact on people experiencing sustained feelings of depression and poor mental health in general. It’s really encouraging to see that there is a growing conversation in society around this topic, but as Christians we have an amazing opportunity to contribute some Godly wisdom to this conversation. Scripture has some powerful truths and promises that can help those who are battling depression. As such, it’s important that we explore and reflect upon the Bible verses that talk about depression.
The reality of depression
As a society, we are becoming much more aware of the reality of depression, and we are getting better at speaking about it openly. Companies and churches alike are taking positive steps forward with regards to the conversation around depression and the care and oversight that they offer to those who are walking through this particular battle.
However, as Christians, it can often be unclear how best to handle depression. This is the case either when we are affected by it personally or when it affects someone we know. While we have to recognise that each person’s experience of depression is unique and that there are no blanket answers that can help everyone, we can nonetheless look to God’s word for wisdom, guidance and advice.
Many people, Christians included, can feel overwhelmed by depression and are often looking for some wisdom and guidance to help them navigate these challenging times. In these situations, Scripture is a great starting point. The Bible contains some powerful verses for depression that can help us to gain a deep understanding of who God is and what He is saying to us about the reality of depression.
Let’s take a look at a few together:
1. Depression doesn’t separate you from God
Deuteronomy 7:9 says: “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.”
Depression can often cause us to question God. When we encounter feelings of depression we can wonder whether God has walked away from us or left us to fend for ourselves. We may know that God still loves us but we can begin to question His care and His presence. We can begin to think things like, “If God really loved me, He wouldn’t let me go through a challenge such as this.”
One of the key things the Bible teaches us is the never-ceasing, unrelenting faithfulness of God. And we have to bear this in mind when we think about the topic of depression. As we read in this Bible verse for depression, God “is the faithful God”. God is and always will be faithful, in the good times and the bad. That means that even if we are wrestling with depression, God is still there. Even if we feel like God has left us, He is still there. He does not walk away. He is always faithful, and we can be confident that depression cannot and will not separate us from Him.
2. Depression isn’t God’s plan
James 1:13 says: “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me’. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone.”
Another temptation that can come our way is that of believing that God is testing us through depression. We can believe that God is using depression as a method of refining our faith or testing our resilience. But, as we read in this Bible verse in James, God does not tempt anyone with evil! He is a good God, and He desires good things for His creation. God does not tempt us or test us through depression.
Challenges with our mental health are not a test from God. Suffering, sin and illness are a part of our earthly life and these things are simply a result of living in a fallen world. We can be confident that God’s plan is for us to live healthy lives: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
3. Depression will not have the final say
Revelation 21:4 says: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
In this Bible verse for depression we are given a picture of what our eternity will be like. And what an amazing picture this is! We will live forever in a kingdom where there is no more pain nor crying nor tears. There will be no more depression, no more anxiety, nor any other mental illness. While our earthly battles can be challenging and at times overwhelming, we must always remember that God has the final say. We must hold onto this promise that God will make all things new.
Your future is not defined by your battle with depression. In fact, your future will one day be completely free from any feelings of sadness, worry and anxiety. God promises that depression will not have the final say. Rather, God Himself will have the final say, and He will draw you firmly into His presence for all eternity. He promises that one day you will be free from all the battles that you currently encounter.
God is with you
Be encouraged today that God is with you through every battle you encounter, including the battle of depression. The Bible doesn’t give us a quick fix nor an easy answer that takes away the battle itself. But Scripture does promise us an eternity with God, and it encourages us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, always remembering that God is in control.
The Bible comforts us through all our battles and through all the challenges that confront us. Through Scripture we can be assured that depression does not separate us from God, it is not a part of God’s plan, and it will not have the final say. God is sovereign, He is in control, and He promises to defeat depression for good and for all eternity.
If this blog was helpful, there are some additional meditations on the Glorify App that have been curated to help you reflect further on the topic of the Bible and depression.