What Does the Bible Say About Depression and Anxiety?

Put all your worries on Him, because He cares for you. Don't be anxious about anything, but instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. When the righteous cry out for help, the Lord hears them and rescues them from all their troubles. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, think about whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable—if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise—focus your thoughts on these things.

Because of this, we can struggle to stay focused on the eternal security we already have, even in times of depression, anxiety or any other challenge. Paul continues the call to fight a good fight by saying: In my opinion, Paul encourages that any advice, teaching or thought that makes him feel like a failure, empty, seen as a broken sinner, hungry and thirsty (desperate) for God or that tries to evoke a distant God is not good news “in Christ”.A brokenness mentality only creates more brokenness that leads to “learned powerlessness”. These are states of being that make you feel hopeless and eliminate intrinsic motivators. However, a mindset of totality will generate more fulfillment leading to a “learned hope”.

Honestly, if God says He will be with us, He means it. This is what we hold on to and what we rest on during the ups and downs of depression, anxiety etc. With this safe new perspective, your prayers or Bible reading need not consist of striving for more blessings or spiritual advancement. Think of it as if you were driving a car on the highway; anxiety is like driving a car faster and depression is like driving a slower car. Therefore, we must understand that from a biblical perspective anxiety and depression can be rooted in demonic oppression, in sin in our own lives or in the lives of others (such as environmental and psychological factors mentioned above), as well as physical origins in our fallen bodies (such as biological and genetic factors mentioned above).The NIMH lists several symptoms as possible indicators of depression such as sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, being angry or in a bad mood, not enjoying things or activities you used to enjoy feeling tired without energy feeling worthless thinking about dying or trying to commit suicide etc. Visit the Bible online to search for words if you don't know the specific passage you're looking for.

According to academic literature there are multiple factors that can contribute to depression and anxiety. Regarding depression the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) states that symptoms experienced “most of the day almost every day for at least two weeks could be diagnosed as a depressive disorder. Study and meditate on Scriptures that will encourage you to find peace and joy in the midst of depressing circumstances and feelings. Acceptance does not equate to spiritual failure or to depression anxiety or other disorders being your identity; it means that it is a condition that affects you. In general for depression they are classified as genetic factors biological factors environmental factors and psychological factors. Church members tend to want to address only the spiritual side of things or to believe that anxiety and depression are caused solely by spiritual forces. A) Endure difficulties and fight for the good by ACCEPTING how depression anxiety or any other mental health problem affect you. The truth is that anxiety and depression must be understood from both perspectives because there are many possible root causes that can only be addressed with someone trained in the science of psychology and other fundamental causes that are spiritual in nature and must be addressed by someone who understands the Word of God. All quotes from Scriptures unless otherwise indicated are taken from The Holy Bible standard version in English.

Reginald Thomson
Reginald Thomson

Reverend Thomson is a pastor and Bible scholar with over 10 years of experience in ministry and biblical studies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies, a Master of Divinity degree. As a Bible scholar, Rev Thomson has published numerous articles and books on various topics in biblical studies, including hermeneutics, exegesis, and biblical theology. He is widely respected for his expertise in the original languages of the Bible, and he is frequently invited to speak at conferences and seminars on biblical scholarship. He loves working with his church youth group. He is a frequent guest on the Scripture for Todaypodcast.

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