What Does the Bible Say About Depression? – Find Real Solutions for Your Life
Depression is not a new topic; in fact, it’s been an issue in humanity for thousands of years. Today, it is the most common mental health issue that people struggle with worldwide. I want to explore what the Bible verses say about depression. God offers real solutions for depression in His Word; it’s only a matter of digging them up and applying them to our lives.
What does the Bible say about depression?
Although the Bible verses don’t use the modern term ‘depression,’ we can identify it by looking for words that are synonymous with depression. Isaiah 61 uses the word ‘heaviness’ to identify depression.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:1-3 KJV
Could it be possible that what we are dealing with is actually a spiritual issue?
This principle lines up with many other passages in scripture that indicate that evil spirits are able to influence how we think, speak, and act. To understand this further, let’s look at the story of Peter when he rebuked Jesus:
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Matthew 16:21-23 KJV
Here we see Jesus preparing His disciples for the things which will shortly come to pass. Peter did not like this; it didn’t make sense to him why bad things should have to happen to Jesus. And he told Him so. Now look at Jesus’ response; he said, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” Was He talking to Peter? No. Was Satan standing in the room? No.
So what was Jesus talking about?
Jesus recognized that the thoughts that Peter agreed with and spoke out of his mouth were not his own. He separated Peter from those words and identified the real source of that thought – Satan’s kingdom.
Note how He identifies the workings of the enemy through Peter. He says, “You savor not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Peter did not seek to understand from God’s perspective. Instead, he tried to bring God down to his own understanding, which Jesus recognized was influenced by the enemy.
How can the enemy influence our thoughts?
I don’t want to get too technical, but I do want to explain how evil spirits from Satan’s kingdom can influence our thoughts. Science has been able to identify four different brainwaves based on their various wavelengths. Each of them represents a different state of brain activity and engagement. There are alpha, beta, theta, and delta brainwaves.
Today we want to look at the Theta brainwaves. This is the brainwave that bridges the gap between your spirit and your mind.
According to God, we are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. Theta brainwaves are what God can use to speak to us by His Holy Spirit. However, because of Adam and Eve’s sin, evil spirits from Satan’s kingdom are also able to influence our thoughts as long as remain in agreement with them. These thoughts come to us as if they were our own and often sound so familiar that we can’t discern between them and our own thoughts.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. Ephesians 6:12 KJV
Back in the garden, God knew that the fear, guilt, and shame that Adam and Eve were experiencing were not their own thoughts; neither did they come from Himself. That’s why he asked, “Who told you that you were naked?” (Genesis 3:7-11 KJV)
(If you’d like more information on this topic check out this teaching by Dr. Henry W. Wright: Spirit, Soul, Body Connection)
So how does this all apply to depression?
Back in Isaiah 61:3, it says that God wants to give us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. God wants to do an exchange here; He wants to take away the spirit of heaviness and its influence on our lives and replace it with the garment of praise. The garment of praise is something that He wants us to dress up in, that we can wear all the time. According to this scripture, praise is the antidote to depression!
What does the Bible say about praise?
If praise is the antidote to depression, then we must also find Bible verses that speak about praise in relation to this mental illness. Here’s an excellent example of what praise looks like:
Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. 3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. Psalm 150:2-6 KJV
Psalm 150 says we are to praise God for His mighty acts and excellent greatness. You may think, “Well, I don’t see His work in my life right now.” For a moment, let’s look past your circumstances. If you see no good thing, then go to the Word of God, go to the stories of the Fathers of the faith in the Old Testament, and look at the Gospels that document all the mighty works that Jesus did while He was here.
Now think about this, Jesus told us that He was going to go back to Heaven to be with His Father, but He would not leave us comfortless. He sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter, and to do the works and the will of the Father in us and through us just like He did through Jesus. The same power of God that helped the people in the Bible is the same power that can now work in us by the Holy Spirit.
The key to what the Bible says about depression
The key is, we have to be in agreement with God and allow Him to do that work. If we agree with a spirit of heaviness, oppression, fear, guilt, shame, or whatever the case may be, we are not listening to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. If our focus is on what we feel like and we are stuck on the negative things, we will miss out on the good things in our lives. The Bible says that we won’t even see when good comes!
Thus saith the LORD; Cursed [be] the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. 6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, [in] a salt land and not inhabited. Jeremiah 17:5-6 KJV
Why does God want us to praise Him?
When we offer praise to God, we are effectively exalting His power over the enemy in our lives. It’s a verbal declaration of the goodness and greatness of God over the enemy. It’s a powerful form of spiritual warfare; we are lifting up God’s Kingdom in our lives and overthrowing the enemy’s kingdom. We are declaring that we choose to allow God to be more powerful in our lives.
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13:15 KJV
It is a choice that we get to make, but God offers us a warning in Deuteronomy 28. He tells us that the enemy will have power in our lives if we remain in agreement with him and we choose not to serve God and give Him praise.
Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all [things]; 48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies… Deuteronomy 28:47-48 KJV
Replace lies with truth
It is vitally important for us to diligently search out the Word to know God better, have faith in God, and understand His will, and His ways. We need to replace the lies of the enemy with the truth of God and apply it to our lives so that we can be freed from the bondage of depression.
Here is some truth that you can stand on:
God never loses sight of you. He’s always got your back, so why should you worry, or allow yourself to be overwhelmed?
And the LORD, he [it is] that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8 KJV
[The righteous] cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. 19 Many [are] the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. Psalm 34:17-19 KJV
God doesn’t miss a thing
God is completely aware of all of your heartache and struggles. The Psalms say that He is full of compassion towards us:
But thou, O Lord, [art] a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. Psalm 86:15 KJV
God wants to remove your heavy burdens
God knows your struggles and challenges but He also never asked you to carry them by yourself. As you yield them to Him and begin to trust that He will faithfully lead you every step of the way, you will begin to find more and more peace in your spirit.
Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 KJV
Put your trust and hope in God – call upon Him
Sometimes we put our trust and hope in the wrong thing. We may look to circumstances or peopleor we may build up expectations in things that are not based on God’s will for our lives. We must put our hope in God and trust that can never fail us. He is the source of every good and perfect gift.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17 KJV
God has great plans for you; hang in there!
After He’s recovered you from the snare of the enemy and delivered you, God can use your wisdom and experience to help another in their time of need. Where you are, right now, is just a blip in your journey into eternity if you are a follower of Jesus Christ. When you choose to put your trust in God and renew your mind by the truth found in His Word, He can bring forth your healing and recovery. But He doesn’t want to stop there. He wants to use you and the testimony of His faithfulness in your life to help others!
Blessed [be] God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 KJV
God has hope for you and your recovery
He has hope for your future with Him. Will you join your faith with His in that hope?
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. Jeremiah 29:11-12 KJV
Have you considered being great in the Kingdom of God?
Not only does God want to pull you out of the rut of depression and out of the influence of the spirit of heaviness, but He also wants to form you into who He created you to be. You have a special place and purpose in His Kingdom that only you can fill. However, to fill that place, you have to switch your perspective off yourself, your worries, and your problems, and begin to reach out and see yourself and the world from God’s perspective.
If you remain fixated on your own problems, it will effectively keep you from functioning in God’s kingdom, which is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).
The principle of selflessness is evident in the fruit of the spirit, which are the elements of God’s nature that He wants to grow in you:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 KJV
Jesus set the example for us
The Bible says that Jesus came as a servant. He came to show us the love of the Father, to serve us, and to bring healing and restoration to us (as it says in Isaiah 61). Then He told us to do the same.
And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Mark 10:44-45 KJV
Once we have recovered ourselves, God wants us to take the gifts that we receive from Him and share them with others.
As every man hath received the gift, [even so] minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of God; if any man minister, [let him do it] as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11 KJV
You get to choose!
The world and the medical community can offer medications, psychotherapy, and maybe dietary restrictions, exercise regimens, or mind over matter exercises to try to help you to manage your symptoms.
But God offers real, lasting solutions along with hope for a future and purpose for your life so that you can continually walk in freedom and wholeness. He offers you a better way of thinking that will bring your body chemistry back into balance so that you won’t need medications to do that for you anymore.
What are you thinking about?
Philippians 4:8 gives us a guideline for what is healthy to think about. You can measure your thoughts to this standard to help identify who is speaking to you; is it a God thought or is it a negative thought from the enemy that needs to be cast down?
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 KJV
This is my prayer for you:
Father God, I pray that you will meet your sons and daughters by your Spirit. That you begin to open their hearts to hope and life again. Meet them in the broken and desolate areas of their heart and help them to receive your unconditional love for themselves so that any brokenness can be healed.
Father, if there is anyone who has hurt them, or torn them down with their words, help them to forgive that person and to release that person. Teach them to put on the garment of praise when the spirit of heaviness tries to tempt them. I also pray that you give them courage and endurance in their overcoming journey. Renew their minds by your Word and help them to recognize your voice over the enemy’s voices. Help them to put all of their hope and trust in you so that you truly can be their deliverer.
Finally, raise them up to be the person that you created them to be, help them to find their purpose and identity in you so that they, too, can experience the fullness of your righteousness, peace, and joy.
In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
Be blessed and encouraged
You are not alone. Many people have overcome depression because of the truth that they learned from God’s Word at Be in Health. Our team is ready to help you and to support you in your overcoming journey. We have some excellent resources and classes available to help you on your way. The next step towards your freedom is yours to take.
I can’t wait to see what God is going to do for you!
If you’d like to learn more about how to overcome depression, here are some excellent resources for you:
- For My Life Retreat – This retreat is available at our Be in Health campus and also online. Find healing in God for your spirit, soul, and body. And find Biblical keys to freedom so that you can walk and live in wholeness and be restored in every area of your life according to God’s love and His will for you.
- Exposing the Spiritual Roots of Disease – by Dr. Henry W. Wright. This book is a concise and informative book that will help you understand the spiritual roots of disease and mental health issues from both a Biblical and a medical perspective. A must-read for anyone looking to find healing in their own lives or wanting to help others.
- Overcoming Depression – by Dr. Henry W. Wright. This book dives specifically into what is behind depression. It will answer questions like: Why do we get depression? What the Bible says about depression? How do we overcome depression? And How can we help others who are struggling with depression?
Would you like to read more on this topic? Here are some related articles!
- Overcoming Depression – Discover the possible spiritual roots of depression and Biblical insights into beginning your walk-out journey and overcoming depression in your life.
- How to Overcome Self Pity and Depression –It has been said that self-pity is the superglue to our past that keeps us from moving forward. This article exposes how self-pity is a major stronghold in depression and gives Scriptural insights into how to overcome self-pity in your life as well as how to help other people who are struggling with it.
- Monica’s Depression Testimony – Monica shares her journey of how she overcame depression when she applied the Biblical principles that she learned at Be in Health to her life. You will be encouraged and inspired by her story of how God met her and delivered her.
Be sure to visit our Mental Illness Health Resource Page for a complete selection of resources, teachings, videos, and more that we have available. Learn how to defeat every form of mental illness God’s way.
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