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Sometimes as Christians we feel the need to never be sad, or that sadness is somehow wrong, or even worse, sinful. Because of that, many Christians feels a painful need to conceal their sadness from very community set up to help them, the Church. Unfortunately, because of other people’s toxic positivity in the church, many of us are left with an unclear picture of what God says about sadness.
In this article, not only will I be sharing bible verses all about sadness, but I’ll also be outlining some clear points on what the Lord would have to say to us about our sadness and mental health.
Cut To The Chase, Is Being Sad A Sin?
The short answer is absolutely not! Sadness is an emotion and a normal part of life, not a state of morality. There is absolutely nothing in the Bible that would allude that sadness in and of itself is sinful.
But, sadness does seem to be a possible indirect result of sin. In a broad sense, we live in a sin-cursed world, therefore we’re subject to the struggles of it. In a personal sense, when we sin, sadness can come from that. At the end of the day, only you know the source of why you’re feeling down. Only you can realize if your sadness is linked to something outside of yourself, such as clinical depression or unfavorable circumstances, or whether it’s a result of conviction or guilt over something sinful you did.
If God Is Good And Cares About Me, Then Why Am I Sad?
Before I was a believer, this was a major stumbling block for me. As someone who struggled with deep depression as a teenager, I had a hard time believing that God was in my life in any way. So when other people make statements such as “why can’t God just take away the pain, make all of this suck less? If He really loved me, then why does life suck right now?” I have a pretty strong understanding of the pain behind those statements.
To put it as simply as possible, sadness exists as a result of the fall. If sin were never a factor, then sadness wouldn’t be either. In Revelation, the Bible says that in the end there will be no more tears in our eyes, meaning sadness, depression, and pain will no longer exist. Since you are a citizen of this world, you are subject to the things that suck in it as well.
As stated before, sometimes we feel sadness as a result of the guilt or conviction of our sins, but there are other times when our sadness doesn’t have as clear of an explanation. For example, if your sadness is persistent, sin or no sin, then seeing the goodness of God in those tough times can feel impossible. Just like there’s often no good explanation for why tragedies or natural disasters happen, our sorrow may have no good explanation either.
As much as we want to say that “everything happens for a reason,” and that there’s a deeper message behind your mess, the truth is that sadness doesn’t always have a perfect explanation.
So to answer that big question, sadness inexplicably happens to us as a result of living in a fallen world. Sin in general makes living life on earth much harder than it was ever intended to be. But regardless of the power of sin, the love of God overcomes it, and God has the ability to heal any broken heart.
So maybe instead of wondering why such a good God would let you be sad, maybe we need to reframe our thought. Perhaps He is a good and loving God even when we’re sad. It was never the will of God for us to experience difficult circumstances, but it is the will of God that we get to experience his steadfast love for us every day of our life.
So if all of that is true, how can I prove it? Thankfully, the Bible has an unbelievable amount of scripture that shows that with much sorrow comes much wisdom, and when times are hard, God’s unfailing love prevails. Allow me to give you some examples:
Bible Verses About Sadness
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.
2 Corinthians 1:3
Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 Corinthians 7:10
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.
How To Use These Bible Verses
When using scripture as inspiration for life, there’s many ways to make it an effective practice. Here’s a few quick tips:
- Read the verses in the full context. Read the entire chapter, and really take in the story being told. You may gain more out of it when you hear the entire scripture in context.
- Write them down, or print them out. Having a hard copy of these verses wherever you need them could be very beneficial. You could write them on an index card or a post-it note and put it wherever you want. Keeping these bible quotes nearby can be a great reminder of the goodness of God wherever you are.
- Write your own affirmation inspired by the scripture. Think of an “I” statement that would go well with the scripture you’re using, and recite it to yourself. Affirmations often get a bad rap in Christian circles because of its ties to various new age practices. We can demystify the positive effects of affirmation by remembering and acknowledging that our help comes from God alone, and not from how good our affirmations are. I explain this more in detail in this post.
- Pray the scriptures. The Word of God is alive and active, and is an effective tool in prayer. Incorporate these scriptures in your prayer. Making prayer part of your daily life alone is a powerful tool, but pairing scripture with it is all the better. I guarantee you that finding a way to incorporate the Word of God into your daily self talk will create a more genuine positive attitude.
- Don’t keep them to yourself, share them with a friend! Do you have any dear friends struggling with anything? Then share these scriptures or your other favorites with them. We all need encouragement from God’s truths to overcome any mental health struggle. Even something as simple as sending your favorite Bible verse in a text to a friend could be such a profound act of compassion. Not only do others need encouragement, but when we encourage others it lifts us up as well.
The Bible tells us to hide the Word of God in our hearts. So consider your own way to hide these words in your heart. When you find yourself in any kind of emotional state, how do you think you can use the Word to lead you through?
Mental Health Resources
- National Institute of Mental Health – is the lead federal agency for research on mental health conditions. They offer lots of information and statistics on various mental illnesses, and they have a database of healthcare providers. They also have a suicide hotline and crisis hotline (Call 988 For the suicide and crisis hotline) , as well as free crisis text line (Simply text HELP to 741741.)
- Betterhelp – Is an online therapy service that makes therapy accessible and affordable for all people. They have a huge database of therapist with many specialties, and offer many ways to participate in therapy.
- Faithful Counseling – Is very similar to Betterhelp, but is a database of online Christian therapists. If you would prefer to receive therapy from a faith-based perspective, then this could be just for you.
- Brightside – offers online medication and therapy treatments for depression and anxiety. You can get an appointment with an online provider in as little as 48 hours, and each treatment plan is catered to your personal needs.