Depression in the Bible

A cheerful heart brings good healing, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Prov. 17:22 NET)

depression in the bible

Depression is a modern medical term used to describe a specific mental illness. However, what we call depression today actually existed long ago and is even documented in the scriptures.

The scripture above gives us King Solomon’s perfect description of depression. He calls it a “crushed spirit.” The New American Bible translation makes it even more clear: “A joyful heart is the health of the body, but a depressed spirit dries up the bones.” A “crushed spirit” is a depressed spirit.

The NET Bible translators state that “‘Crushed’ is an illustration for the idea that one’s psyche or will to continue is beaten down by circumstances.” Imagine a clay jar that falls to the ground and is so shattered that it seems impossible to put the tiny pieces back together. That is the picture of a crushed, depressed spirit. Circumstances appear so hopeless that we begin to feel like our life is irreparable.

But God is the Divine Potter that is able to put together every single broken piece of our seemingly crushed lives. He is the reason why we should have a joyful, cheerful heart rather than a crushed and depressed spirit. He is the joy and hope that always molds our lives for good!


Why do you think depression is on the rise on a worldwide scale? Declare with a confident voice: “I have a joyful heart as a child of God. I am covered by the Light rather than the darkness of depression that covers the earth.” ( Isa. 60:2)


Are you currently depressed or having depressive feelings? Can you identify the brokenness within you and bring the pieces of your life to your Potter to mend? (Ps. 42:5)


Thank the Lord for being your Light against the darkness of depression. Pray that your heart will never be weighed down by depression, because God is the One caring for all your needs in life. (Phil 4:6, Ps. 23:1,Matt. 11:28)

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