Everyone has their own burdens. While the shape of these shadows can look different, the story is the same. Whether it be anxiety, depression, bouts of anger or jealousy, we all carry something we do not wish to have. While mental health can be a tricky subject to broach, we believe it's important to identify it and uplift it to God. If nothing else, it allows you to know that you're not alone in your mental health journey. An estimated 52.9 million people (nearly one out of every five people) in the U.S. struggle with mental health. We're all doing what we can to live well, grow in our apprenticeship to Jesus, and simply get by.
Today, we're asking the question that many of us have uttered alone in the night or around the table at our church small group: Where is God in my mental health journey? While we don't know all the answers to this question, we can certainly encourage you in your daily walk and provide some encouragement. God is with you every step of the way and He loves you dearly. Here are a few passages of Scripture to remind yourself of when you're feeling low.
Scripture for Anxiety
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." - John 16:33.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7
"In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety." ~ Psalm 4:8
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11
“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27
Scripture for Depression
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” ~ Psalm 42:11
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:8
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." ~ Romans 15:13
“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.” ~ Psalm 40: 1-3
"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” ~ Isaiah 52:7
Scripture to Remind You How Wonderfully You've Been Made (and Loved, Too!)
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~ Psalm 139:14
"Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? ... No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow — not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below — indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." ~ Romans 8:35, 37-39
"And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." ~ Ephesians 3:18-19
"I will be glad and rejoice in Your unfailing love, for You have seen my troubles, and You care about the anguish of my soul." Psalm 31:7
"I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning." Lamentations 3:20-23
A Final Word of Hope
The biggest takeaway we've gleaned from our mental health journey is that we are never alone. We hope you recognize this, too. Dealing with anxiety or depression can feel like the most isolating thing in the world. When left to our own devices, we'll spin the wrong story in our heads over and over and over again. We'll tell ourselves that we're crazy, that we could never tell anyone about this, that this will never go away, or that there is no hope. It's tough to fight these battles on your own, and perhaps even more importantly, we weren't created to fight these battles alone, either. There is freedom in sharing your experience with a close friend, family member, pastor, or counselor. There are those in your life who love you dearly and are rooting for you. They'd do anything to help you succeed. By sharing your struggles with others, you are in no way burdening them. You are doing as you have been called to. Think back to Galatians 6:2, "Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ."
Finally, we encourage you to lift up your mental health journey to Jesus. He loves you perfectly, in a way we humans never could (though we try!), and He wants you to come to Him with your prayers and petitions. Throughout Scripture, we're reminded how closely God is to those who are suffering. Think of Job 5:11, "The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety." The entire book of Job is proof enough that our God is with those who suffer. Think of Jesus' invitation in Matthew 11:28, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Perhaps one of the greatest silver linings in all this is that we get to know Jesus more than we ever could. Our life experiences, for better or for worse, inform us of who Jesus is. The more we lean into Him and put our trust in Him, the stronger we will become. Our Savior is with you now, and He has a plan to heal and restore you. Whatever troubles you may face here on earth, they cannot compare to the eternal glory you will come face-to-face with in heaven. "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17