Depression in the Bible

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: But a broken spirit drieth the bones. (Proverbs 17:22, KJV)

depression in the bible

As end times events unfold with diseases, natural disasters, political turmoil, and moral decline, people’s hearts fail with fear, anxiety, and depression. Rates of depression in the US increased after COVID-19, and the US Preventative Task Force recently recommended screening all adults under 65 years for anxiety. The world is becoming darker, but we are called to shine brighter as Christians.

For you to shine in a dark world, you must not allow your heart to fail from fear, depression, or anxiety because of these difficult times. This devotional will briefly examine what the Bible says about depression.

In Proverbs 17:22, Solomon states that a crushed spirit dries the bones. The New American Bible translation clarifies this: “A joyful heart is the health of the body, but a depressed spirit dries up the bones.” A “crushed spirit” signifies a depressed spirit. The NET Bible notes for this verse elaborate further that it means circumstances beat down one’s will to continue living.

A crushed, depressed spirit is like a clay jar that has fallen to the ground and shattered into tiny pieces, seemingly impossible to repair. Circumstances appear so hopeless that joy dries up, and there seems to be no reason to continue living.

Thankfully, God, the Divine Potter, can assemble every broken piece of our seemingly crushed lives. He sent Jesus to remove the spirit of heaviness that covers a depressed life like a garment and instead give us a garment of praise(Isaiah 61:3). When we trust in the Lord and believe Him rather than what our circumstances tell us, He gives us His joy to strengthen us; His joy in our hearts is the divine depression-killer (Nehemiah 8:10).

As with any potentially deadly medical condition, following up with your medical provider is important. If you are suicidal, please call your area’s applicable number for immediate help.


Ponder the phrase’s meaning that a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Apply the Word

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit that fills our hearts when the seed of the Word is received and believed. Is there a heaviness over you due to what you believe in your current situation? Let Jesus remove any spirit of heaviness and clothe you with praise as you trust and rest in His love and care.


Ask the Father to help you maintain His joy even during challenging times.

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