The current pandemic has brought an augmentation of mental health crises. And in this context, the topic of mental health has become increasingly more relevant.
In both Old Testament and New Testament passages, the topic of mental health is present in an almost ubiquitous manner in the Bible.
We find these verses in the Proverbs, Psalms, the letters of Paul, Peter, John and more, so we can grasp that this topic was important enough for Biblical writers to discuss.
In intriguing stories, instances and accounts in the lives of Biblical men and women we will find God’s stance regarding mental health.
We must trust that the Lord can deliver us, strengthen us and help us with all mental health challenges as we learn what to do and when we could be faced with these challenges in our Christian life.
Let’s discover what the Bible’s essential statements about mental health are:
1. 1 Peter 5:7:
7″Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”.
When I go through troubling circumstances, I find it’s essential to remind myself of the apostle Peter’s wish for me to cast my crippling anxieties on Jesus, because he is faithful.
When I obey Peter’s commandment, I find unequivocal peace.
2. 2 Corinthians 12:9.
9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
The societal stigma surrounding mental health struggles encapsulates that the world considers various mental health deficiencies as weaknesses.
But in Paul’s second letter to the congregation of Corinth we find a gem that responds to the world’s purview regarding these illnesses.
The Lord says “my power is made perfect in weakness”, which means that he is there to glorify himself through your weakness and provide healing.
3. Job 2:10:
10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
In this passage, the Biblical figure Job is going through calamitous circumstances and he replies with these words to his wife after she incited him to blame God for his unfortunate circumstances.
This passage from Job is a continuous comfort for my mental health in any delicate circumstance because in these verses, Job implicitly proclaims that trusting in God must prevail, and I find that is amazing.
4. Proverbs 3:24.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
In this verse from the book of Proverbs, we find a Biblical assertion regarding dubious anxieties and mental health conditions hinder proper sleep, and it gives a powerful promise to faithful Christians that they will sleep without concerning troubles or fear.
When we go to bed with various worries or fears, it will become important to comfort ourselves with this verse from Proverbs, in which the Biblical writer reminds us to trust God.
5. Galatians 5:23
22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control”.
In a nutshell, this verse’s theological truth encapsulates that because Christians have the Spirit of God, they will show all of the qualities above.
It also concurrently shows it is God’s will to remove any mental health conditions that hinder the depiction of these qualities in Christians.
6. Psalm 23:4.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
King David speaks in this Psalm of a dark valley, which is a desert located near the city of Hebron in modern Palestine, but this place can be metaphorical, as much as it is physical.
Many could equate the global COVID-19 pandemic as situation of disconcerting obscurity and darkness for the world. So, the Psalm where David states not to fear and emphasizes the comfort of God in places or situations of darkness comforts me immensely.
7. John 16:33.
33 “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.”
Other translations of this verse, instead of “Take heart”, state: “Trust”. What is essential from this verse of John is a dual truth:
Christ provides us with a warning in advance that poignant circumstances are inevitable, and gives us an exhortation to trust him when facing them.
8. Philippians 4:6-7.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In Paul’s letter to the Philippians and the following verse from Matthew, we encounter instructions to engage in an active effort against anxieties.
9. Matthew 6:34.
34″Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”.
Similar to 1 Peter 5:7, I utilize this verse to comfort myself when tomorrow is extremely uncertain. In the context of the pandemic, things got even more uncertain, but just like in Job or 1 Peter, trusting in God is an essential and beautiful commandment.
10. Deuteronomy 28:65
Can sin bring anxiety or mental health afflictions to your life?
65 Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart.
In these verses, we find the first place where mental health is directly and specifically addressed in the Bible, when Moses was addressing the people of Israel.
If we stray into “nations” of sin, we learn in this (often overlooked) chapter from Deuteronomy, that the commission of sin is detrimental to mental health in our life.
During circumstances such as the pandemic, it’s important not to exacerbate mental health struggles with the commission of sin, as the book of Deuteronomy is explicit in emphasizing that this can engender or precipitate mental health afflictions.
11. Psalm 16:8:
“I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken”.
King David wrote many incredibly powerful Psalms, and this one is no exception. As a man who underwent many vicissitudes, he kept believing that as long as he trusted, he would not be shaken.
As various menacing mental health challenges threaten to “grab” us, we must pray like David: “I will NOT be shaken”.
12. Daniel 4:34
34 “At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored”.
God’s power to restore king Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity, should remind us of his power to restore the sanity of anyone.
All of the aforementioned Bible verses provide a cogent picture of God’s stance concerning mental health.
We have found that the Bible repeatedly emphasizes the themes of mental peace and stability vis-à-vis the topic of mental health and to trust always.
They also reveal that in many occasions, some mental health conditions cannot be solved by engaging in human systematic efforts against them, but instead with trust, fasting and prayer.
After reading these Bible verses, I encourage you to not cease to request God for deliverance from mental health vicissitudes. God bless you!