Pastors and their wives, along with other leaders and caregivers may struggle with depression. They give so much to others but may not care for their own souls under God.
There are many Bible verses that offer us hope for overcoming depression. Anyone is a student of the Bible knows that the Bible offers tremendous comfort, encouragement, and guidance for those who are discouraged or depressed. But how are we to lay hold of this hope? We have found these Scriptures to be especially insightful and encouraging to help us take hold of the head of heaven that is reaching down to lift us up.
These Bible verses are like light posts for the depressed, the are good for the soul because they help us to walk with Jesus.
Becoming Jesus’ Student
But we can’t overcome depression simply by applying Bible verses to our lives! Many people try to do it this way, but that’s kind of like putting bandaids on infected wounds or eating comfort foods. The Bible does not present a self-help program for us to improve our lives — it presents a way of life with Jesus Christ. Jesus is our Teacher, we are his students, and the Bible is our main textbook.
The Word of God illuminates a path for us to walk with Jesus. We sing, “Thy word, O Lord, is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Based on Psalm 119:105). It’s a path of apprenticeship to him, learning how to live our lives as he would if he were us.
Bible Verses on Depression
There are many Bible verses on depression. Here are some examples of therapeutic, soul care teachings from Scripture that can be applied as part of a program for overcoming depression.
Develop Support Relationships
“Two are better than one…. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
Ask for what you Need
“Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:24; see also Matthew 7:7-11, Luke 11:9-13)
“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; see also Hebrews 4:1, 9-11)
Enjoy Your Life
“So I commend the enjoyment of life…. Then joy will accompany him in his work in all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 8:15)
Live One Day at a Time
“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
Verbalize your Feelings
“When I was silent… my anguish increased…. Then I spoke with my tongue…. Hear my prayer, O Lord, listen to my cry for help.” (Psalm 39:2,3,12)
Present Your Requests to God
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Grieve your Losses (denied grief becomes depression)
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4; see also James 4:9)
Be Honest and Direct with your Anger (internalized anger becomes depression)
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor… `In your anger do not sin:’ Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” (Ephesians 4:25-26)
Set Limits on Behavior that’s Hurtful to You
“Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt.” (Leviticus 19:17)
Confess your Sins
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)
“Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13; see also Ephesians 4:32, Luke 17:4, Mark 11:25)
Appreciate and Think on the Good
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! …. 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 4:4,8)
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
“The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” (Proverbs 4:18)
“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.” (Psalm 40:1-2; see also Psalm 27:14)
Don’t Give Up Hope
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, `plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11; see also Hebrews 6:19)