What are some Biblical truths to overcome depression?
- There is hope in Jesus
- You can cry out to God and He will give you rest
- It may not seem like it but God indeed has a plan for your life
- Nothing can separate you from His love
- You are not trapped by your mental health difficulties
Almost everyone experiences periods of sadness. Most people get over these in a short while. But for some, the sadness can continue and develop into a crippling depression. Are you feeling resentment toward others, losing interest in the activities you once loved, feeling irritable and frustrated easily? Having a hopeless outlook in life and a growing distrust of God? For those struggling with depression, there are real reasons for hope. Every follower of Christ suffering from the vicious grips of depression can find comfort in the Word of God.
Read these 5 Biblical truths to encourage you, who feel undue guilt for persistent mental health struggles like depression, that your personal devotion is not a panacea. May you find refuge and comfort in the truth that is God is with you through your affliction and He wants you to be filled with joy, peace, and so much more.
There Is Hope In God
Depression is real. It is a cruel illness experienced by all kinds of people and affects the ability to function every day. Globally, about 3.8% of the population suffers from depression. You might come across people who are feeling lonely, hopeless, and hurting daily — while on the way to school, work, or on the streets. In the Bible, many characters also experienced pain and depression engendered by different reasons.
Job suffered through such great devastation and loss that he even wondered whether God cares about Him. In Job 30:20, Job says “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me”.
King David pens his anguish, loneliness, sorrow, and fear of the enemy in Psalm 6:5-7: “I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears”.
When King David was in a depressive state, he described his soul as “disturbed” and “downcasted”. In Psalm 42:11 he says, “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”.
Amidst his misery and affliction, David solely trusted that God is his ever present help in trouble. Despite how hard your current situation may be, remember that like David, you can always place your hope in God.
You Can Cry Out To God and He Will Give You Rest
Many factors can cause depression. There’s depression that is more tied to brokenness while there’s a type that leans off chemical deficiency and is clinical. You may feel depressed because a loved one died. You may have a chronic disease. You may have lost your job or you are battling financial problems. You may have been betrayed by someone. You may have a strained relationship with a friend, family member, or partner. It is normal to feel hurt and sad during these times. What you feel is valid.
Those with battling depression feel heavy burden and hopelessness. However, they don’t have to carry the heavy burden alone.
Whenever you’re overwhelmed, as if you are stuck in an inescapable pit and you don’t know who to turn to, God encourages you to come to Him. In Matthew 11:28, God says “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”.
Matthew 11:28 is a passage that reminds us that God is there to lift our burdens and provide comfort. In Jeremiah 29:12-14 God also says, “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you….”. Allow yourself to cry out to God. Remember that you are never alone and He will always listen.
God Has A Plan For Your Life
When something bad happens to you, it’s totally understandable to feel sad. Each person has a different struggle and you don’t need anyone else to validate yours. The good news is, no matter how hard things are right now, God has a plan for your life. No matter how bleak the future is, He has something in store for you.
Jeremiah 29:11 reads, “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”. You might not completely understand why you are currently going through such struggles, remember that what’s coming is so much better that what you’ve lost.
Nothing Can Separate You From God’s Love
Did you know that sometimes depression is rooted in sin? 1 Timothy 1:19 reads, “holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith”. This verse translates that a person will never have a clear conscience and be at peace if they have done something in their life knowing that it is against God’s will.
If you know you have sinned against God, confess it, repent and ask for forgiveness. You may feel guilty but that’s actually a healthy sign — serving notice that we’ve sinned and need to apply the Lord’s plan of repentance. But guilt after genuine repentance can also be extremely unhealthy, and some people suffer guilt long past any reasonable point. Remember that nothing can separate you from God’s love.
Romans 8:38-39 reads, “ 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”. Even in the depths of despair, you can rest in the truth that God loves you despite all your shortcomings.
You Are Not Trapped By Your Mental Health Difficulties
Receiving a mental health diagnosis can be devastating. Depression can feel like being locked in a black box, void of any light, with no way out and no way in. Clearly, you will feel helpless, completely alone and forever stuck.
The good news is that God has provided wisdom in mental health programs that can forever change your life. It has the ability to set you on a path for a mental health recovery that can exceeds your wildest imagination. See it as a fulfillment of God’s promise in Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.”
Talking about depression can be challenging, but doing so can save lives. When you are hurt and in despair, you can meditate on these 5 Biblical truths to overcome depression. As bad as things are right now, you can put your hope in God and receive comfort. If you are suffering from depression, remember to never hesitate to seek the help of a mental health professional as well.
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