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20 Bible Verses People Turn to When They Are Struggling With Their Mental Health

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When it comes to mental illness, we Christians haven’t historically been the best at reflecting grace, compassion and hope to those struggling. In our efforts to “encourage” our fellow Christians, sometimes we end up alienating those who need support the most. Oftentimes, this happens when we say things like:

Have you tried praying for God to take away your depression?

You wouldn’t be feeling this way if you were actually surrendering your anxiety to the Lord.

God never gives you more than you can handle.

Though these kinds of phrases can be well-intentioned, they often just come off as being judgmental. (And P.S. the last one isn’t even true — it’s just a platitude people say! God does give us more than we can handle, but he never gives us more than He can handle.)

And while we Christians certainly have room to grow in our responses to people struggling with mental illness, luckily God has provided His Word to speak grace, compassion and hope when we are lacking.

We wanted to know what Bible verses people turn to when they are struggling with their mental health, so we asked our community to share the Bible verses they love. Below you can read what they shared. Don’t see the verse you turn to? Let us know what your answer is by answering the question below.

What are your go-to Bible verses when you're struggling with your #MentalHealth? One of my favorites is: "...I have chosen you and not cast you off'; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." -- Isaiah 41:9-10

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If you are a Christian struggling with your mental health today, you’re not alone. We want you to know you are dearly loved and seen. We hope these verses bring you some comfort today, no matter where you are.

Here are some verses people turn to when they are struggling with their mental health:

1. Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

“This verse reminds me that God is for me and not against me. He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me. He has plans to give me hope and a future no matter how my anxiety may make me feel. This particular verse helps settle my anxiousness because even though I fear the unknown, I know God is with me and already has my life planned. I can overcome any doubt, worry or fear because He is the Overcomer!” — Katlyn W.

“I have borderline personality disorder and depression, and this scripture makes me feel comforted and peaceful in that I am reminded that although I may feel confused, directionless, helpless and out of control, God is in control and has a plan. No matter how big the struggle, it will be OK — He has His hand on my life.” — Kellyann N.

2. Psalm 18:19

“He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.”

“Through my battle with self-harm and depression, I find encouragement knowing God brought me through for no other reason than He delights in me.” — Tonya S.

3. Isaiah 40:31

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

“This is a great scripture that shows with God’s strength, I can make it and rise above those things that are tormenting me.” — Mary M.

4. John 16:33

“‘I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.’”

“We aren’t guaranteed a life without pain, but we have hope that He will make everything right again. Just because you’re struggling does not mean you’re doing something wrong or don’t have enough faith, it simply means you are fighting a battle.” — Alicia N.

5. Psalm 91:11-12

“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”

“Psalm 91 in whole is a wonderful chapter. These two verses help me when my depression/anxiety kick in since losing my youngest daughter 15 years ago. I love the knowledge that God’s angels are protecting me.” — Mary S.

6. Romans 8:38-39

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

It reminds me that no matter what, there is absolutely nothing that will ever separate me from His love — including myself.” — Nicholas W.

“I feel like sometimes my bipolar pushes people away and hurts them and makes me unlovable or unworthy, but I’m reminded that nothing can make God love me any more or any less.” — Lieryn B.

7. Isaiah 43:2

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

“I turn to this whenever I’m in a really hard spot and it helps me remember that I am 1) not alone in any circumstance and 2) going through situations that ultimately will not hurt me — even though it may seem like that or feel like that — because God has a purpose for all of it and intends to use it to make me stronger and get me where I need to go.” — Eden W.

8. 2 Timothy 1:7

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

“This verse sums up my calling as a Christian with severe mental illness. I take comfort in the knowledge that God has seen every thought and image and knows what fears and anxieties we go through with our disorders. He also reminds me He is not a God of confusion, but of order.” — Katie D.

9. Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

“It’s very meaningful because the day I wrote my suicide note I found this written on a card in my locker. To this day I have no idea who put it in there. That was eight years ago. I still find comfort in that verse when I’m going through hard times. Praise God! He has a purpose for everything and everyone.” — Erica F.

10. Psalm 139:14

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

“My best friend has repeated this to me in some of my darkest hours. When I felt suicide was the only answer last year, she spoke this verse to me. Reminding me that God doesn’t make junk! I believe it brought me and my best friend closer.” — Ashley B.

11. Isaiah 53:5

“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”

“Isaiah 53:5, which I have tattooed on my forearm… I got this tattoo to cover up many of my self-harm scars, but I specifically got it right after attempting suicide. It is a daily reminder that though I have many scars from many physical and emotional wounds, I am still forgiven and healed by Christ. I have been blessed with a second chance, and this tattoo is a reminder to make the most of it.” — Katie V.

12. Proverbs 31:25

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.”

“It reminds me that God has provided me with the strength to do what I need to do, whether that means taking a deep breath, remembering to take meds, speaking up for myself, etc., the dignity to live for Him without worrying what others may think, and the ability to live in and enjoy the moment without guilt or fear.” — Amy G.

13. Psalm 46:10

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

“When the thoughts are racing/raging in my mind and I feel as though I am going to just ‘lose it,’ I repeat this verse to myself and it gives me a sense that God is indeed there and he has it all under control.” — Diane M.

“I have struggled with depression and anxiety most of my life. This verse helps calm me when I feel anxiety and helps me to feel grounded and safe.” — Sara D.

14. Romans 8:31

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

It’s more meaningful to me than some of the other promises in Scripture, because it’s an unchanging fact. A verse that promises healing feels trite when I’m struggling with anxiety and depression, but to know God is for me… that’s life-changing.” — Chris M.

15. 1 Corinthians 10:13

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

This verse has helped me cope with thoughts and urges of suicide or self-harm. It helps me remember that [when] I am feeling pain, I have the capability to push through it.” — Spencer A.

16. John 1:5

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

“I struggled with depression and self-harm for years. While I still have days that are hard, I work as a mental health advocate in my community to promote local resources and eliminate stigma. My light shines on to help others. The darkness has not and will not overcome it.” — Katie B.

17. Psalm 94:19

“When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.”

Psalm 94:19, in particular, is one of my favorites… It always reminds me that no matter what breaks me down, He will help rebuild and strengthen me. He will always help to guide me while I live for Him.” — Caitlan S.

18. Matthew 11:28

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

“It reminds me that I can always rely on Him when I am struggling and He will help me.” — Aly W.

19. 1 Corinthians 16:14

“Let all that you do be done in love.”

“It just reminds me to do everything in love. Treat myself physically with love, mentally and emotionally with love and others with love. And to accept love even when it’s hard.” — Samantha W.

20. John 11:35

“Jesus wept.”

“I love it because he saw his people mourning and broken hearted and it moved him to tears. He wept over their pain. Then he raised [Lazarus] from the dead. He sees my pain, he weeps over me and then he walks me through it. He doesn’t always raise ‘my Lazarus’ back to life, but he always sees my pain, he knows my struggle and he knows my future and the joy that is coming.” — Jessica P.

“For me it is ‘Jesus wept…’ It has helped me so much. It has made me feel OK about being sensitive and crying. To let those emotions out. To not be ashamed.” — Bridgette T.

As the two community members mentioned above, Jesus wept and is moved by our pain. He is the picture of empathy, and He understands — even when it feels like no one else does. If you are a Christian struggling with your mental health, we hope you know you are not alone in your struggles. For more on Christianity and mental health struggles, check out the following stories from our community:

What verses do you turn to when you’re struggling with your mental health?

Unsplash photo via Carolyn V

Originally published: February 21, 2019
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