Christian Living

5 Bible Verses to Read When You’re Depressed

I love reading the Bible for many reasons. It teaches me about the Lord and how to obey Him (1 John 2:1-6). It rebukes and corrects me whenever I have sinned in some way (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It calls me to repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15). It provides so many godly examples to imitate (Philippians 3:17), as well as ungodly examples to avoid (2 Peter 2:6). 

It also provides comfort in times of difficulty, and I’m guessing you’ll agree that the past few months can be accurately described as a time of difficulty. The pandemic and other events have caused most of us to experience a host of emotions. We’ve experienced denial, confusion, anger, worry, and frustration, just to name a few. 

Many folks (both inside and outside the church) have also experienced deep sadness or depression since the pandemic began. According to the CDC, symptoms of anxiety and depression has increased considerably in the United States since March. During late June, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use. Perhaps the most alarming stat was that 11% of U.S. adults reported having seriously considered suicide in the 30 days prior to completing the survey.

If you are struggling with any of these emotions or considering suicide, please reach out to a trusted friend or your pastor. They are there to help. In addition, let me encourage you to go to God’s Word. There you will find hope in these dark days. As David writes in Psalm 19:7, “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.” If you need help to know where to start, here are five Bible verses to read when you’re depressed.

Psalm 34:17-18

“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The LORD is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit.”

The Psalms are such a comfort to those who are struggling with depression. I could have easily listed all five verses in this post using only the psalms. It was difficult to only choose one, but the passage above really stands out. We’re reminded that we don’t cry out to a God who does not hear. He hears us because He is near to the brokenhearted. Not only does He hear, but He also responds to our cries by rescuing us from our troubles. If you’re struggling during this difficult season, meditate deeply on these truths.

Isaiah 40:29-31

“He gives strength to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Youths may become faint and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint.”

This is one of my favorite passages in the Old Testament. Isaiah declares that the Lord (who never grows weary) gives strength to those who trust in Him. Even if you feel like you can’t take another step forward in your difficult circumstances, God will give you His strength so that you will “walk and not faint.” He will renew your strength so that you can take one step at a time, one day at a time. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus invites those of us who are weary and burdened to come to Him, and He will provide rest for our souls. What a glorious promise! If you are emotionally struggling, come to Jesus in His Word. Drink deeply from the Living Water. Find rest for your soul.

John 16:33

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

Jesus reminds us that suffering is a reality for everyone in this broken world. It’s not that we might experience suffering; we will experience suffering. But the good news is that Jesus has conquered the world! And because that’s true, we can have peace in the midst of the pain. We are reminded that a better home is waiting for us. A home where there will be no suffering. With that hope, we can have peace in our hearts in this broken world.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”

Paul declares that God is the “God of all comfort”. He can comfort us in every type of affliction that we experience, so there’s really no need to seek comfort in poor substitutes. He alone is able to comfort us. But notice that God comforts us for a reason: so that we can comfort others as well. If you’re struggling with depression during the pandemic, let me encourage you to study the Word in order to be comforted by the Lord. But don’t stop there! Call a friend and share how God has comforted you. Who knows? Maybe they are feeling the same way, but they have not read the same Scriptures as you. My prayer is that the comfort of the Lord will spread further and faster than the coronavirus!

There are certainly many other verses you can read when you’re struggling with sadness or depression, but I pray these will kickstart your road to recovery!

Note: This post is part of a series that lists Bible verses that can help you deal with different emotions or difficult situations. Click the links below for Bible verses on:

Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash

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