Mental health has been a trending topic lately, with depression being a core disease affecting millions of people (Christians and non-Christians). Symptoms of depression often include intense sadness, fatigue, hopelessness, emptiness, and fatigue, among other symptoms. Being depressed can make one feel like they are worthless and might lead to suicide. The main cause of depression is life circumstances like the death of a loved one, going through a divorce, or losing a job. However, what does the Bible say about depression? Is depression a sin?
The Bible does not indicate in any way that depression is a sin. In fact, Jesus Christ tells us that we should turn to him if we are heavy laden, and he will give us rest. However, God encourages us to lead a life full of praise and joy (Philippians 4:4).
So, what does the Bible teach about being depressed? How does the Catholic Church view depression? How does God address depression? How did Jesus address feelings of depression? Can you be depressed when you believe in God? Why do some people believe depression is a sin? Does depression affect your relationship with God? How can Christians overcome depression? What are some bible verses you can read when feeling depressed? Continue reading to get more answers to these questions and more.
What does the Bible teach about being depressed?
The Bible teaches us to lead lives full of praise and joy (Philippians 4:4). In the book of Joshua 1:9; the scripture tells us not to be discouraged or dismayed because God is with us wherever we go. God has been clear throughout the scripture that he shall not forsake the righteous; he shall hold their hands and be their stronghold during tough times.
2nd Corinthians 4:8-10 says, “We are trouble on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body of the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus be made manifest in our body.”
Therefore, we Christians should handle anything with courage because God will never forsake us.
How does the Catholic Church view depression?
The Catholic Church acknowledges that depression is real and, in fact, affects believers. Pope John Paul II addressed the issue of depression and said, “Depression is always a spiritual trial.” Pope John Paul II noted that Christians suffering from depression need help to rediscover their abilities and grow interested in the future.
Additionally, the Catholic bishops of California, through a letter of “Hope and Healing,” notes that mental illness is real and is a source of suffering for many. The bishops noted that though the Catholic faith does not guarantee that one’s life will be free of tribulations, we should be there for each other as Christians to carry each other burdens.
How does God address depression?
God acknowledges that struggle is part of our life. However, what else He is clear on is that he will never leave nor forsake us through it all. Psalm 37:23-24 says, “The Lord makes firm steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”
Additionally, God says in the book of Psalms 9:9 that he is a stronghold for the oppressed and those going through tough times. Therefore, though depression will crush us down, let us turn to God, for he is our stronghold.
How did Jesus address feelings of depression?
One of the feelings that can be accompanied by depression is anxiety. Jesus is keen to remind us that we should not worry about anything. Mathew 6:34 says, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Additionally, as mentioned above, Jesus taught in the book of Mathew 11:28-30 that anyone with a heavy laden should go to the Lord for he will give them rest. He says, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Therefore, Jesus encouraged us to seek comfort and hope in him when we feel like life is getting heavy.
Can you be depressed when you believe in God?
You can be depressed when you believe in God. Theologians Billy Graham and Joyce Meyer note that depression is an illness, and it is real. Joyce Meyer notes that Satan uses feelings of depression to steal a Christian’s spiritual freedom and power. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it full.”
Satan’s main mission is to separate us from God. Therefore, when depressed, he can reinforce the feelings of hopelessness that we are feeling and draw us further from God. He seeks to fill our minds with gloomy and dark emotions. However, Joyce Meer notes that God wants to help us live a life full of hope and joy and free from any feelings of depression.
Why do some people believe depression is a sin?
Some people believe depression is a sin because depression is often a result of unbiblical beliefs, perceptions, and thoughts about oneself. They argue that anyone in God cannot be depressed unless they deviate from God’s word. Even if depression results from a tragic life incident such as the loss of a loved one, such people believe that God gives us comfort when in despair, and thus being depressed is being selfish and caring about your feelings alone. However, what they do not acknowledge is that no one chooses to be depressed, and in fact, depression can be a result of chemical imbalances in the body.
Does depression affect your relationship with God?
Depression can affect your relationship with God. Depression draws us further from God. Some Christians who suffer from depression always feel like God has abandoned them, which may make them seek him less. Depression makes one full of feelings of hopelessness and hence lose touch with their faith. The Bible says in the book of Hebrews 11:6 that without faith, we cannot please God.
How can Christians overcome depression?
First, Theologian Joyce Meyer notes that the first way to overcome feelings of depression is by resisting it immediately. 1st Peter 5:8-9 says, “Be sober and be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
All of us have dealt with disappointments at one point in our life, which deals with discouragement, and if you are not alert, it leads to depression. Do not allow yourself to reach such a point. Once you feel your life is becoming heavy, run to God. He says his burden is less heavy, and those who run to Him will be given rest. Seek comfort in God whenever you feel your life is taking a toll on you.
When depressed, let the Bible be your friend. Read the scripture to uplift and encourage you to know that you are not alone and God is with you. The book of Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s word is powerful and alive. Therefore, it can change how you view your life and even take you out of depression.
Bible verses for when you are feeling depressed
For those going through depression, constant reassurance that they matter is key, as they often feel useless and hopeless. Some verses to read when you feel depressed include;
Deuteronomy 31:8 reads, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Though depression will make you feel lonely, know that God is there with you and will lead and protect you everywhere you go.
Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through God who strengthens me.”
When depressed, you often feel hopeless and fatigued and like your life is ending. However, this verse reminds you that God will give you the strength you need to overcome such dark times.
Mathew 11:28, “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Depression comes with feelings that can weigh us down most of the time. However, Jesus reminds us that we do not have to carry the heavy burden of depression alone but go to him as he will give us rest.
Psalms 34:17-18 reads, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Know that you are not alone in this and that the Lord wants you to turn to him for help so that he can help you and heal you.
What does the Bible say about depression? How can a Christian overcome depression?
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.