I have struggled with depression and anxiety for about 19 years. Recently, it got to a very scary place where life felt completely meaningless. Not only my life, but all life in general (but that is another post for another day).
My pastor introduced me to Nouthetic counseling and asked me to look up and memorize 20 verses on “the mind”. I wrote these on index cards and carried them around until I memorized them. Most of them are very familiar verses, but some may be new to you. I hope they help.
*Note, I am not a minister by any means, so please do not take any of the comments I make below the verses as doctrine. They are just my thoughts.* God bless.
- 2 Cor 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
- I read somewhere that most “passing” thoughts don’t come from our own mind. Like when you wake up with a song in your head; you weren’t thinking about that song, it just showed up! It’s the same with bad thoughts. You burn dinner and think to yourself, “I’m a bad wife.” No, you’re not, you’re just human!
- Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
- Our lives follow our thoughts which means our thoughts make us or break us. But we can be transformed by renewing our mind. This is done through prayer and reading the Word as well as worship and listening to preaching.
- 2 Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
- This is probably my favorite on the list. Feeling fearful/anxious? That didn’t come from God!! Anytime I am anxious, I repeat this verse to myself and it calms me.
- Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee
- Want perfect peace that passes all understanding? Keep your mind on the things of God! Easier said than done sometimes, I know. It takes practice, just like anything in life.
- Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
- God can turn your mourning into joy and your heaviness into praise. The oil represents the Holy Ghost and “the garment” is something you put on. So, you must “put on” praise when you feel heaviness.
- 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
- I have a long history of depression and anxiety. I have to believe that those things are passed away and my mind is becoming new! Also, we can use our past as our testimony because it’s over now.
- Prov 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:
- Another favorite! I have heard so many successful people use the concept behind this verse to change their mindset into achieving their goals. Think you’re never going to change and you’re always going to be a depressed, anxious. moody, addicted person? You’re probably right, unfortunately. Think you’re going to change the world and be the best, happiest, healthiest, wealthiest, kindest person you know? You’re well on your way!
- Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- This one goes with Isaiah 26:3. There are days when I was at the end of myself and so depressed, anxious, scared, hurt, angry, bitter that I couldn’t even pray. I just cried and called out to God, but guess what? In every situation, He gave me peace. All the bad feelings were gone, He dried my tears, and I was at peace. Most of the time, I still didn’t have answers right then, but I had peace that God would take care of it.
- Ps 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
- Sometimes there are things in our heart that we don’t even know are there. Ever been in a service and the preaching convicted you of something you did 10 years ago? Me too. God knows what’s in our hearts and will bring things to light so we can repent and ask forgiveness.
- Ps 46:10 Be still and know that I am God.
- We are so busy these days, we hardly sit still anymore. And when we do, we are usually doing something on our phone. Guilty! God is always talking, sometimes you just need to be still enough to listen. Also, sometimes we are trying so hard to come up with a solution to our problem that we forget God’s got it. Oftentimes, if we just get alone with God and be still, He will bring a solution to our mind.
- Ps 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
- This was my favorite verse when I first got the Holy Ghost. I knew my spirit wasn’t right. I knew I had a lot to work on. I knew there was a lot of filth to be cleansed. Thank God for the remission of sins when I was baptized!
- 1 Pet 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
- I used to say I didn’t know how to pray. God doesn’t want pretty, flowery prayers, He just wants you to talk to him. Worried about an upcoming doctor visit? A court date? Your kids? Your future? Your bills? The verse says cast ALL your cares. He’s your father and he loves you.
- Ps 30:11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
- This one goes with Isaiah 61:3. I cannot tell you how many times I have been in church with a heavy heart, but the worship team plays a fast song and, y’all, I cannot keep from dancing! Now, I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to mourn while you’re dancing. I mean, I have shed a few tears while shouting a time or two, but it turned to thanksgiving and gladness pretty quickly.
- Ps 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
- Some days, it’s all I can do to cry on my way to/from work. Not that I am necessarily sad, depressed, or anxious… I’m just overwhelmed with life, kids, work, home. Some of the best prayer sessions I’ve ever had were in my car! Just a little talk with Jesus makes it right.
- John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
- If all else fails, just remember this verse. We’re going to have bad days, illness, trouble, trials, heartache… but Jesus has overcome the world. And if we stay in Him and remain faithful, we can overcome too.