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Can the Bible Help With Depression?

Self | Attie Murphy | 7 mins

The question "Can the Bible help with depression?" is met with answers to both extremes. I've known many Bible believers who would say that God's Word is all you need to "fight your demons." And there are also plenty of people who claim that depression requires only practical help and faith is not productive. I believe that reality is somewhere in the middle. Many studies show that faith has a positive effect on physical and mental health. When we trust in something bigger than ourselves, we release weight from our shoulders, which reduces stress and hopelessness. And the best part is, Jesus makes real change in our lives through His grace. However, trust and prayer do not always make our struggles disappear. The Bible is not meant to eliminate other solutions but is a foundation to apply hope and wisdom in our lives. Physical, circumstantial, and trauma-based depression need to be addressed uniquely, depending on the individual person. You can reach out for help without shame. Love does not guilt us for our pain or our need to find relief. God wants us to take action to care for ourselves, and He gives us reliable guidance when we look for it. 

Identify Your Need 

When it comes to depression and anxiety, we don't always know the source, but we can identify the symptoms. Maybe it's something you've tried to push away for years, or maybe you recently entered a challenging chapter of life. Maybe you just woke up with that heavy feeling, and you don't know why. People may tell you it's something that will just go away, but addressing your depression is productive and does not mean there's something wrong with who you are. What defines our character is how we react to the darkness we face. That doesn't mean we always need to respond with "strength," but with love for ourselves and others. Our bodies and our minds require us to act with consideration toward the warnings we receive from them. It’s okay to cry out to God when we don't have the energy for the next step. Here are some verses that express God’s will for us to care for our needs:

"In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears." - Psalm 18:6 

"Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you." - Jeremiah 29:12

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?" - 1 Corinthians 3:16 

"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - Ephesians 2:10 

Embrace Healthy Connections 

God created us to connect. We are supposed to confide and seek help from one another. (James 5:16) Whether you find that support in a friend or a professional, it is good to share your burdens. In Genesis 2:18, The Lord says, "It is not good for man to be alone. I will create a helper suitable for him." While this passage is about God's purpose for men and women to join and create lives together, it is also a picture of God's fundamental design for us to lean on each other. Our salvation comes from our relationship with Jesus, which reflects how connections open doors even in the darkest parts of our lives. I know it’s hard to ask for help when we feel like we can’t give back, but we also can’t give if we are empty. When we heal through the help of others, we create opportunities to give in the future. 

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." - Galatians 6:2

Rest in His Hope

As we work through our challenges and care for our mental health, we are responsible for our rest. Do you still feel exhausted no matter how long you nap? We usually acknowledge that this is a symptom of our physical health. Still, it can also signal the condition of our souls. Rest for our souls comes from intention. We ignore one of God's most essential instructions when we interpret "be strong in the Lord" as a call to hold everything together all the time. It's okay to turn to God in desperation and put our renewal in His hands. Prayer alone may not take away all our weariness, but rest in God will refresh us and give us clarity to keep going. (Matthew 11:28-30) No matter how disconnected, hopeless, or lost we feel, nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus. (Romans 8:38-39) When we trust in His hope, we can find peace in our trials. We will face uphill battles that will wear us down, yet a new day is ahead, and we will rise again.

"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 

Looking for support? No matter who you are, what you’ve done, or what’s been done to you, God loves you and you are welcome here. You can find encouragement and meet others who are healing at our Grief and Care Groups. If you need to talk to someone now, please call: (480) 632-8920.

Written By

Attie Murphy

An avid writer since the age of 5, who loves to explore new ideas and places. Inspired by Jesus, books, and travel.

Published on Oct 4, 2021