Comforting Scriptures in Times of Depression & Struggle

In times of depression or struggle, some people find it hard to pray and to read the Bible. This handout is designed to help you stay connected to God during times that are most difficult.

  • Do what you can do.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t try to figure out difficult passages of Scripture.
  • Reading and rereading the same comforting passages of Scripture is okay.
  • Realize depression makes memorization and concentration difficult.
  • Don’t be afraid to get support from friends, family, and church ministers.

When you feel as though you can’t pray or don’t know how to pray, read Psalm 40 as a prayer to God:

1     I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2     He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3     And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
4     Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5     Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
6     Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
7     Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
8     I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
9     I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.
10   I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
11   Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.
12    For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.
13   Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.
14   Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil.
15   Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha.
16   Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.
17   But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

Additional comforting verses to read and reread:

Psalm 27:13-14 “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”

Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Isaiah 43:1-3 “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:”

Isaiah 49:15-16 “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Psalm 103

1      Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2      Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3      Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4      Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5      Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6      The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
7      He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
8      The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
9      He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
10    He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11    For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
12    As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
13    Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.
14    For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
15    As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
16    For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
17    But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;
18    To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
19    The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
20    Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
21    Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
22    Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.

Remember God’s promises are true, even when your feelings don’t confirm that.

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