As you may or may not know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I love how mental health is being more talked about out in the open. As you may know, I am one who suffers from anxiety and depression. I also have a strong faith and belief in God and it has carried me through many tough times. However, life is really tough and there are times when one can feel like giving up.
Did you know that the Bible features people who were experiencing depression or anxiety? For example, Hannah was depressed because she was barren and her husband’s second wife made fun of her for it. David was plagued with guilt when he killed Uriah, Saul was looking to kill him so he was distressed over that, plus his son stole the throne from him and ran him out of his kingdom. Job had everything (kids, livestock, health) taken away from him and he was depressed. Jacob (Israel) wanted to die because he thought his son Joseph was dead. These are just some of the examples that you will read about in the Bible. Know that you are not alone with your feelings. Things didn’t stay terrible for the examples mentioned and things got better for them!
I want to preface by saying that the Bible is not telling you to not receive medical treatment for Depression and Anxiety. What type of treatment is a personal choice but even Jesus noted that those who were ill needed a doctor (Mark 2:17) and if you have Anxiety or Depression, you’re considered ill and there’s nothing with that. It doesn’t make you any less of a person.
The following scriptures are from my translation of the Bible (New World Translation) but you can look these same scriptures up with whatever translation of the Bible you have. Some of the wording might be different but it’s all the same message.
- “Jehovah is near to those that are broken at heart; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.” – Psalm 34:18
- “A true friend shows love at all times/And is a brother who is born for times of distress.” – Proverbs 17:17
- “For all things I have the strength through the one who gives me power” – Philippians 4:13
- “In like manner, the spirit also joins in with help for our weakness; for the problem is that we do not know what we should pray for as we need to, but the spirit itself pleads for us with unuttered groanings. But the one who searches the hearts knows what the meaning of the spirit is, because it is pleading in harmony with God for the holy ones.” – Romans 8:26-27
- “From the depths of my despair I call to you, O Jehovah.” – Psalm 130:1
- “For look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be called to mind, Nor will they come up into the heart” – Isaiah 65:17
- “By this we will know that we originate with the truth, and we will assure our hearts before him regarding whatever our hearts may condemn us in, because God is greater than our hearts and knows all things” – 1 John 3:19-20
- “Throw all your anxiety on [God], because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7
- “Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
- “Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for yourselves. For my yoke is kindly, and my load is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
- “Who of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his life span?”- Matthew 6:27
- “Never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Each day has enough of its own troubles.” – Matthew 6:34
- “Throw your burden on Jehovah, and he will sustain you. Never will he allow the righteous one to fall.” – Psalm 55:22
- “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be anxious, for I am your God. I will fortify you, yes, I will help you, I will really hold on to you with my right hand of righteousness.” – Isaiah 41:10
Which scripture resonates with you?