A woman kneeling on the ground in the rain with her hands lifted up. And a Bible and an umbrella on the ground near her.
Faith and Health

Hope for the Depressed 

By Kimberly Wyse

Do you wake up each morning, the weight of the world pressing down on your shoulders before your feet even touch the ground?  

The battle with depression is not a solitary struggle, although you may feel so alone. It’s an all-consuming force that threatens to drown out the light of hope and joy in your life. 

If you’re anything like me, all you want to do is sleep, but sleep can be the most elusive thing. You feel stuck, maybe not even sure what the problem is. You WANT to get better, but the idea of asking for help seems ridiculous or even frightening. 

Even though it feels hopeless, if I can find relief from depression, you can too. I lived with chronic, undiagnosed, and untreated depression for most of my life.  

Then, the light broke through, and everything changed. 

After years of therapy, I finally got brutally honest with someone about what was truly going on. I hadn’t even realized I was hiding it until that moment when the walls came down.  

What followed was gritty, but it worked. 

  • First, compassionate diagnosis.  
  • Next, effective treatment.  
  • And now, beautiful freedom.  

Knowledge truly is power and learning the root of the issue changed everything for me.  

Let’s see if we can uncover the root of your depression here and get you started on the road to healing, too. 

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” 

-Psalm 27:13-14 NASB 1995
The sun just barely breaking through the dark and the words, "Then the light broke through and everything changed." -Kimberly Wyse

How does hope affect depression?

I know, that’s a pretty bold way to start this post. One post is going to help you uncover the root of your depression, after everything you’ve tried?  

I understand your skepticism because I feel like the chief skeptic. 

Since knowledge IS power, the thing you need to know is that HOPE has a powerful impact on symptoms of depression. Even if you feel like you’re the one hopeless case in the entire universe, that is a lie from the father of lies – Satan, himself.  

Have you ever given much thought to the reality of evil keeping you in this depressed state? 

Satan hates Christians, and he wants nothing more than to keep us stuck in depression. Those invisible cords, tying us down, keep us from being a threat to him.  

So, let’s break his cords now and confront the lie that everyone else in the world might be treatable, but you are not. 

Is there hope for depression? Yes! THERE IS HOPE, EVEN FOR YOU. 

It’s true: there is hope, even for YOU.  

There is so much power in our words, so please say it out loud right now: “There is hope, even for me.”  

Even if it feels like a lie, repeat those words out loud until you believe it. (I’ll wait.) 

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 

-1 Peter 5:7 NLT
A sideview of a woman looking up with her hands by her face and the words, "There is hope, even for me."

What does the Bible say about depression?

Depression is not a new issue, and we read about it in the Bible many times. In 1 Kings 19, when the prophet Elijah achieved a great victory over Queen Jezabel and the prophets of Baal, Jezabel was not happy.  

She promised to kill Elijah, so he ran for his life, finally stopping at a presumably safe distance from the murderous queen. 

“Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again. 

Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” 

So he got up and ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to travel forty days and forty nights to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God.”  

1 Kings 19:5-8 NLT

From this passage, we can gather that at times, what a person needs is: 

  • Someone to care for them. 
  • To eat a nutritious meal. 
  • Get hydrated. 
  • And sleep

Elijah didn’t have the strength to bake bread for himself and find clean water to drink.  

God miraculously provided for Elijah. 

Psalm 34 is another great example of Scripture that addresses depression. David, a man after God’s own heart, writes about depression throughout the Psalms, often ending the songs of lament with encouragement from the Lord.  

In this psalm, verse 18 says it all, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” 

Even the great Apostle Paul, who wrote so much of the New Testament, shares how he and his companions suffered from hopelessness. God used it to fundamentally change them into people who relied solely on God.  

This is powerful! 

“We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us…” 

– 2 Corinthians 1:8-10a NLT
A plant growing in a crack of cement and the verse "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." -Psalm 34:18 NLT

Hope Quotes for Depression

Literature has much to add to the conversation about hope and depression. In “The Prophet,” by Kahlil Gibran, we find this truth:  

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” 

Along with strength and character, we also find some of the kindest souls. 

Jim Elliot was a missionary, and he offered this excellent advice:  

“Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

Is it possible that the source of your depression is the way you’re holding back, not living life to the hilt because of fear of failure? Of success? Of losing? 

Our scars can be the very things that enable us to change the world. Some of the most creative, talented, influential people who ever existed dealt with severe depression.  

Egbert Hubbard wrote,  

“God will not look you over for medals, degrees, or diplomas, but for scars.” 

One of my favorite authors is Henri Nouwen, who writes a lot about laying down our ego in honor of the Lord. He says: 

“The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” 

Did you know that one of the best antidotes for depression is gratitude? 

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” 

-Matthew 5:4 NIV
A woman looking in the mirror at the scars on her arm and the words "Our scars can be the very things that enable us to change the world." -Kimberly Wyse

How to Find Hope When Depressed    

When you believe there is hope for even you to be set free from depression, you can get brutally honest about what’s going on with you.  

Remove the mask and let someone inside, say the thoughts in your head out loud, and give someone with some wisdom the opportunity to process them with you.  

For me, that process was initially excruciating, but once the truth was out, the power it held over me was broken. 

The key here is to find someone with some wisdom. If you say your thoughts out loud and the hearer’s response is something negative or judgmental, stop talking and stop listening.  

That’s not your person.  

Ask God to show you who is the right person and try again. 

If you don’t know how to start, try something like this, modified to your situation: 

“I’m not doing so good right now and I need to tell someone what’s going on. My thoughts are kind of dark, and I feel alone. I’m having a hard time doing basic things like getting out of bed and showering. Recently, I kind of scared myself because I realized I’ve been spending way too much money shopping online. Would you pray for me?” 

The way you know you’re speaking to the right person is that they will listen attentively, offer compassion, and pray for you. They may even know of some good resources to get you help. 

For now, I want to offer you five immediate things you can do to find hope in the middle of this depression. 

1) Find hope in GRATITUDE.  

Write down five things you’re thankful for every day. Even if it’s as simple as a roof over your head, a beautiful sunset, a kind word spoken to you, or the fact that you’re fingers work.  

Find something worth saying “thank You” to God for. 

This tool is more powerful than you can imagine. Think about how you feel when you do something nice for someone and they pause to notice and express appreciation.  

That’s how God feels when we thank Him, so doing this practice is a way of ministering to God. 

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” 

-1 Chronicles 16:34 NLT

2) Find hope in SINGING uplifting songs.  

Whether you have a good voice or not, singing is scientifically proven to lift a person’s mood by releasing endorphins and reducing the stress hormone cortisol!  

Isaiah 54 starts off with the command to sing over the barren places in our lives, believing in faith that God is going to provide the things that have been missing for so long.  

You can sing by yourself, but singing in a group is even better for you. 

If at all possible, go to church in person and sing along heartily. Go to a concert and sing along with the band, but I do advise avoiding artists whose music is primarily sad or angry. Join a choir or just turn up the music in your car loudly and sing along. 

When you sing properly, breathing from your diaphragm, it has been scientifically proven to reduce overall pain in your body. When you breathe properly, it causes all the systems in your body to line up. 

“He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.”

-Psalm 40:2 NLT

3) Find hope in SERVING.  

No matter how bad your situation may seem, there is someone who would likely be grateful for your circumstances. Find a way to serve that person. 

Ways to do this might include serving meals at a homeless shelter, volunteering in a youth program, or holding babies in the church nursery. Maybe there’s a special needs camp this summer that you could help with as a buddy for a child who needs a helping hand. 

There are opportunities within the juvenile justice system to help judges decide custody cases (sometimes called CASAS), and there are opportunities to serve in crisis pregnancy centers.  

Find something that appeals to you, and if you don’t have the energy to make the call, ask a loved one to help you get it set up and even volunteer with you.  

It can be a great thing for a family to do together! 

A woman sitting in a chair with a coffee cup looking up and smiling. And the words, "God created you and He loves you more than you can imagine."

4) Find hope in NATURE.  

When you’re depressed, I know how hard it can be to go outside. For me, what helps is starting small. I step outside the house and pull a few weeds from cracks in the sidewalks. (Very satisfying.)  

Nature can be so healing and soothing. You could start by getting one of those herb kits at the dollar store and try growing something in your kitchen. 

Last year, I started pulling some weeds in between cracks in the sidewalk. I thought it would take 20 minutes. After I got those weeds pulled, I found more in the flower bed I hadn’t touched in two years.

The next thing I knew, I spent the entire summer moving plants and planting flowers in bare spaces until I had a gorgeous flower bed the whole community enjoyed! 

Then, I planted some seeds in the ground and grew my own vegetables.  

It wasn’t a lot, and I didn’t do it perfectly, but I’d spend hours in the garden and it felt like 15 minutes. I came inside dirty, sweaty, and like someone had given me 12 shots of B-12!  

This year, I actually started seedlings for my garden in my house, and I’m happily nurturing them. 

Did you know that getting your hands in the dirt is another way to reduce stress and combat depression?  

It literally changes your microbiome, which is important for immune function, digestion, and mental health. And if you do all that barefoot, well… look up “earthing” or “grounding.”  

It’s fascinating and incredible. 

A white flower on the side with rain falling down. And the verse "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 43:5 NIV

5) Find hope in TRUST.  

This can be such a hard one, but control is only an illusion. You’ve probably seen that by now, but it’s good to be reminded.  

God created you and He loves you more than you can imagine.  

You can trust Him. Even if it seems like He’s far away or has forgotten about you, He’s trustworthy. 

If trust is hard for you, try this exercise today.  

Think of one small thing that would really help you in the immediate future. Then, pray and ask God to take care of it for you. He loves to honor His children’s requests, and as long as we’re asking for something that’s not going to harm us, He will do it. 

One of the most meaningful things God ever did for me was provide a pair of navy high heels on the day before I needed them.  

I had a big interview and I’d spent my money getting the outfit I needed, forgetting about the shoes. By the time I realized the problem, it was too late, and I was out of money.  

Desperately, I prayed, feeling ridiculous. 

A friend randomly called me that night and the subject of the shoes came up. I had no idea we wore the same size shoes, and she had a new pair of navy heels she was happy to let me borrow.  

A late-night trip across town and a big hug from a good friend were one of earliest memories I have of learning to trust that God cares about the smallest things. 

Give it a try.  

See if God doesn’t know exactly who you are and what you need. I’m praying for you right now, that He will answer you in the most meaningful way. 

“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 43:5 NIV
A woman kneeling on the ground in the rain with her hands lifted up. And a Bible and an umbrella on the ground near her. And the words Hope for the Depressed 5 steps to take.

Words of Hope for the Depressed

When you allow this truth to sink in – there is hope, even for me – there is nothing God can’t do to lift you out of depression and fill your heart with peace and joy.  

There is hope for a diagnosis that will allow you to pull out that weed at the root and toss it into the fire.  

There is hope that you won’t be alone forever. 

A woman in a white shawl looking up with a smile on her face while her arms are reaching behind her. And the words, "You are not your depression; you are a child of God." -Kimberly Wyse

If you feel ashamed that you are a Christian and you are depressed, that is another lie from Satan.  

In the Bible, some of the greatest men and women of faith battled depression.  

Look up the stories of Moses, David, Elijah, Jonah, Jeremiah, Hagar, Sarah, and even Paul.  

Battling depression does not disqualify you from being a Christian, and there is hope even for the depressed Christian. 

“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 NIV 

Please consider the possible physical links between mental health and physical health, and take small steps to get your hands in some dirt, walk outside barefoot, and sing.  

They certainly won’t hurt you, and it’s likely they’ll really help. 

Speak your truth out loud to someone with wisdom, accept help, and believe that there is hope for you.  

Ask God to show you the root of the issue you’re dealing with and ask Him to give you the strength to face it bravely.  

You are not your depression; you are a child of God. 

-Kimberly Wyse 

A picture of the auther Kimberly Wyse.

About the Author

Kimberly loves to write about discipleship and parenting on her blog, which you can find at www.kimberlywyse.com. She’s a WFHM with three children, all of whom are a little neruo-spicy. She’s also a life coach and helps her husband with his farm business.

In her spare time, she loves to return the charm to neglected old houses. Kimberly has a Masters of Arts in Practical Theology with concentrations in Spiritual Formation and Transformational Leadership Coaching and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.

For a more in-depth look at how Kimberly combats depression and anxiety, check out her book – Looking Up When Life Looks Down: Shattered Dreams, Medical Miracles, and Restored Hope. In it, she tells the story of hope on her journey through crisis to healing and acceptance. You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook

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