What the Bible says about Depression


Depression is something both Christians and non-Christians have had to navigate. In our previous blog, we discussed what the bible says about anxiety, which is something that often goes hand in hand with depression. While the Bible does not always present a quick fix, we can learn God’s heart on the matter of our sadness and depression. In today’s post, we will learn more about our Father and the promises we can hold on to when we face seasons of depression.

What is Depression?

Individuals wrestling with depression endure deep emotions like sadness, anger, and hopelessness, alongside fatigue and other symptoms. Triggers may include life events such as job loss, grief, divorce, or psychological challenges like abuse or low self-esteem. to feelings of worthlessness and even suicidal thoughts, along with a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities and relationships.

It is important to recognize that clinical depression is a physical condition and may need to be treated by a physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist. In some cases, depression may not be caused by any life event but may be a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Depression and the Old Testament

Believe it or not, there are several instances in the Bible where we see God’s people struggling with depression such as Elijah in 1 Kings 19. King David’s struggle with depression, as depicted in Psalm 42, serves as a famous example. We see David’s sadness throughout Psalms as he goes through hardships. In Psalm 31:9-10 he writes, “Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.” David is in a deep, terrible anguish. 

Again, in Psalm 42:5, David openly expresses his feelings of despair. He writes this song, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will praise him, my Savior and my God.”  Yet, amidst his anguish, David finds solace in placing his hope in God, affirming his commitment to praise Him, his Savior. This narrative shows that even leaders like David struggle with depression. 

The Man After God’s Heart

Do you remember what David is known as in the Bible? He is known as “A man after God’s own heart.” Wouldn’t you like to be called that? And yet, to read the Psalms, David is often in tears and despair. 

Yet of all the places of the Bible, one of the most heart-striking places on depression is in Psalm 34. In verses 18 and 19, David, King of Isreal but burdened with sadness writes, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.” The righteous person has many troubles, a broken heart, and a crushed spirit. Similarly, in verses 4 through 6, David writes, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.” Notice that David calls himself “this poor man” who is saved by God. Because he looks to the Father, his face becomes “radiant.” Even in sadness, we can be radiant like David. David was not known for the chronic depression that he faced, but for being the “man after God’s own heart.”

Depression in the New Testament 

The Bible encourages us to embrace joy and praise (Philippians 4:4; Romans 15:11), indicating that God desires us to lead joyful lives. While this can pose a challenge for individuals struggling with depression, the Bible does offer us comfort. In every situation, including times of depression, we are told to pray. We also believe in diligent study and application of Scripture, memorization of verses, participation in support groups, engagement in fellowship with fellow believers, confession, forgiveness, intentional cultivation of gratitude, and seeking counseling.

Wait Patiently for the Lord

In addition, physical well-being plays a crucial role in combating depression. Practices such as regular exercise, spending time outdoors, maintaining healthy sleep patterns, and nourishing the body with proper nutrition are essential. 

With these physical needs met, we can start moving our minds. Dwelling on verses like “casting all your anxieties on Him,” “do not lean on your understanding,” and “trust in the Lord with all of your heart” will help us to overcome the world. 

Another way that helps shift our focus in times of depression is through serving. Serving others offers a meaningful way to instead of focusing on our inward struggles to Christ and His work in the world. By consciously directing our efforts outward, we can often find relief from feelings of depression. It’s a transformative process where turning our attention to Christ and others can bring healing and renewed hope.

Is Depression Your Story?

Depression is hard. David was quick to turn back to the Lord in his times of severe depression, but he also continually praised the Lord in every situation. David is a man after God’s own heart, it seems that he would be a good one to replicate. Let your story be one like David’s, where generations can testify to the goodness of God, even in times of sadness or darkness.

Remember, You Are Not Alone!

No matter where you are in your journey with depression, you’re not meant to go through this alone. Just as David had Jonathan as his constant encourager and advisor, we believe having a Christian community is just as important for you. We would love to connect with you, love on you, and pray for you. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please reach out to us! We’d love to get to know you and encourage you with the love of Jesus.


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