There is much to say about depression in the Bible. Feeling downcast, hopeless, and sad is very much a part of reality this side of eternity and many characters and writers in the Bible struggled in ways to which we can often relate.
When reading Bible verses for depression, it is important to remember that you may not instantly feel better as a result. It is not at all like “popping a pill” that will automatically lift the darkness, so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t get an immediate emotional boost.
The Bible is ultimately about God’s plan to redeem his fallen people; and yet his Word is able to shine light into dark places, give hope and restore perspective. His promises are true, and that is what we can rejoice in above all. We can thank God for His truth, regardless of how we feel.
As you read through Bible verses about sadness and meditate on Scriptures for depression, write them out, stick them up in visible places, read them constantly, sing them and allow them to be melded to your heart.
The Holy Spirit will meet you where you are. They are words of life and powerful to transform. If your depressive mental state renders you unable to cope with daily life, please see a healthcare practitioner for medical advice.
13 Bible Verses for Depression
With that, here are thirteen Bible verses for depression:
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. – Psalm 34:17-19
In this passage, we have the precious promise that God will hear his people when they cry to Him for help. He promises to come to those who are depressed and sad-hearted because of their circumstances and saves them out of their troubles.
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
These verses display the joyful attitude of David as he looks back on the deliverance that God gave him when he was in the midst of despair. Not only did God rescue him but He changed David’s whole attitude and outlook on life. Where before David was depressed and despondent, now he is giving public praise to God in such a way that others will come to fear the Lord.
But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. – Psalm 3:3
Here, David recognizes that not only is God the One who protects him, He is also the One who brings him out of his despair.
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
God has a special place in his heart for the broken-hearted and troubled; when he sees his people struggling he moves closer to them in the midst of their affliction.
You may not feel his presence but know that when you are feeling low and depressed, the Lord is nearer to you now than ever and working on your behalf. He gives you the strength that you need to make it through each day; knowing that there is nothing more sapping than feeling emotionally burdened.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
Here, God promises to be with His people and be their strength.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31
This passage does not primarily refer to physical strength (although that may be an application) but it is word-picture of emotional and spiritual strength. The sort of waiting that Isaiah means is not passive apathy, but trust that God will strengthen and heal.
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness, he will bring forth justice. – Isaiah 42:3
In this verse, Isaiah is giving a prophecy about the character of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He will not squash the smallest faith in his people but will fan it into flame again.
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. – Deuteronomy 31:8
When we look to the Old Testament for Scriptures for depression, we see many Bible verses about sadness; characters who are full of fear and feel alone and discouraged – in exactly the same way we can feel thousands of years later!
And it is the same God that spoke these words of encouragement his people in the Old Testament, who speaks to us today through the power of his Word. Just as he promised to never desert the people of Israel, so in Christ he will never forsake us. He is a loving father, going away and clearing the way, protecting us his precious children.
“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
In this passage, our Lord promises rest to those who come to Him weighed down by the fatigue and burden of life and sin. Are you tired of your depression? Come to Jesus to find rest. Are you carrying a heavy load of care and worry and sadness? Come to Jesus to find relief. Are you weighed down by your sin? Come to Jesus to find forgiveness and peace.
You only need to come humbly to him just as you are, and He gives rest. You will learn to walk in his paths as you learn discipleship (his yoke) and obedience (his burden) and you will be given rest for your soul.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Paul penned these words to the congregation of the church at Corinth who was undergoing some sort of affliction. Paul comforts them by reminding them that God is the “Father of mercies and God of all comfort,” meaning that compassion is part of His character and that he is the source of comfort. Rather than leaving his children to wallow in their grief, God brings comfort to them by giving them himself!
However, God does not comfort His people just so that they can better lives. He comforts them so that they can “pay it forward” to others who are suffering. Comfort in affliction is never an end in itself. It is to be extended to others who are suffering.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8: 38-39
These precious verses remind us that nothing can separate God’s children from His love. Though you may be suffering from depression right now, meditate on this passage and remember the promise of God’s love.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
Jesus promises peace in the face of the trouble we experience in this world. His peace is comprehensive and lasting and it is not based on something you do. His peace is a peace with God that has both objective and subjective elements.
Objectively, he gives peace with God – a putting aside of enmity. In other words, he gives salvation. Subjectively, however, Jesus gives a peace that (while rooted in objective peace) means that the believer experiences an inner emotional peace because of God’s love and care for them.
The world is a euphemism for sin and all of its effects and consequences. Christ has “overcome the world” and we can have both objective and subjective peace because of it.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. – Philippians 4:8
Ultimately, when we read Bible verses for depression, we see Jesus calling us to come to him; to acknowledge our weakness and helplessness, and to find rest for our souls in him. He wants to be our burden-bearer; what an incredible invitation!
The reality of your emotional state may make you feel distant and cut off from God’s love, but remember that although you may feel as if God has left you to suffer, nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing is outside of his sovereignty, and in due time, he will lift you up from your depression and if you are a believer, to eternal life.
This life may bring sadness, disappointment and crushing burdens but, take heart, He has overcome the world! When we are in Christ, nothing can separate us from a glorious eternal future. And today, the God who sees your every tear wants you to know that you are not alone.
Stay close to him in His Word, regardless of how you feel, and use these Bible verses for depression to wage war on the enemy, who wants us to dwell on negativity and hopelessness rather than the things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable.
“Studying the Word”, Courtesy of Amy Tran, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Blue Door”, Courtesy of Jan Tinneberg, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Comfort from the Word”, Courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Guiding Star”, Courtesy of Aziz Acharki, Unsplash.com, CC0 License