Exile Blog

Finding Refuge in the Word: Mental Health & the Bible


mental health awareness month

Finding Refuge in Scripture

May is the month dedicated to Mental Health Awareness, a cause supported by advocates since 1949. As we take steps to prioritize our mental health today, we can also find refuge and support in the Lord — knowing he cares for our mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

While we take steps to care for our mental health,  we can always turn to the Lord to walk with us along the way.  We’ve prayerfully compiled a list of scripture to provide reassurance and direction on your mental health journey. May these verses remind you that you are never alone!


Conquering Fear & Anxiety

1. Philippians 4:6-7

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

When we feel overwhelmed by fear, we can turn to God in prayer with confidence. He listens to our needs and offers us peace that protects our hearts and minds. While our fears may not disappear instantly, this assurance of God’s sovereignty can bring comfort to our tired and anxious souls.


2. John 14:27

“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.”

The Lord’s peace is like nothing else this world has to offer  — taking root in the Hebrew word “shalom.” Beyond an absence of conflict and trouble, Jesus’ promise of shalom gives his children a chance to discover wholeness, the joy of salvation, and true rest in the Holy Spirit. This promise of peace is a personal invitation to know and walk with the Father, who holds our hand and carries us through every anxiety and fear. This world will bring troubles, but we can take heart knowing the God who has overcome them all (John 15:33). 


3. Isaiah 41:10

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

When you’re feeling overcome with anxiety, this verse is perfect to declare over yourself — speaking truth over your heart and mind amid unsettling thoughts or scary circumstances. There is no better place to be when troubles arise than in the Lord’s righteous, almighty, and powerful right hand! The beauty of this scripture is that, on both the best and worst days, we can find peace knowing that God always holds us securely in his right hand.



4. Psalm 34:18

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Have you ever felt like you are drowning, yet the Lord is nowhere to be found? Even when we cannot feel God’s presence, praise the Lord for scriptures that remind us that he is always there — especially on our darkest days. Commit this verse to memory as a lifeline of truth when the darkness seems to close in — that you may remind yourself the Lord is near and will surround your heavy spirit.


5. Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Have you ever felt like you are drowning, yet the Lord is nowhere to be found? Even when we cannot feel God’s presence, scripture reminds us that he is always there — especially on our darkest days. Commit this verse to memory as a lifeline of truth when you need reminders that the Lord is near and will surround your heavy spirit.


6. Psalms 40:1-3

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.”

In times of heartache, it’s easy to feel like there is no way out. David’s story reminds us that the Lord can rescue us from any hopeless situation, even death!  Waiting patiently on God doesn’t have to mean passively sitting by — getting beaten down by the waves of depression. While taking steps to care for your mental health, we encourage you to dive into scriptures of deliverance. Recounting God’s faithfulness is the best reminder that he is mighty to save! 



7. 2 Corinthians 12:9

“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

In a world focused on climbing the ladder no matter the cost, this verse counters everything our society says we should be. Despite Western culture’s expectations, we never have to strive to reach perfection. Christ’s power shines through our weakness to illuminate a self-seeking world with new hope — hope that has nothing to do with our accomplishments or abilities!  


8. Hebrews 4:14-16

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Jesus understands the challenges of life in a broken world. He meets us with empathy and grace when we fall short — inviting us to draw closer to him in our imperfections. In this way, we can experience his fullness of grace and mercy when we need it most.


9. Hebrews 5:2

“He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness.”

It’s comforting to know that Jesus is always there for us, ready to offer understanding and forgiveness when we fall short. All we need to do is seek him out with humility and a willingness to admit our mistakes. Instead of putting pressure on ourselves to be perfect, this verse encourages us to pursue Christ, who is waiting with a compassionate, forgiving embrace. 



10. Proverbs 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Have you ever felt stuck — like you don’t have what it takes to step in the right direction? This proverb assures us that we don’t have to know what’s next for us; God only asks us to trust him. When we seek the Father’s face, he promises to guide us and make our paths straight. He may not give us the specific directions we are asking for, but he is always working behind the scenes to firm the steps of those who commit to him.


11. Isaiah 43:18-19

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past, See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Isaiah reminds us that dwelling on past mistakes cannot change our future circumstances — encouraging people to focus instead on the Lord and all the new things he is doing. Jesus asks the same of us today: to keep our eyes forward and step in faith with confidence that he is doing something good before us!


12. John 10:10

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Jesus promises abundant life in his presence. He is the Good Shepherd who loves and knows his sheep. Just as a sheep knows the shepherd’s voice, we can learn God’s voice and confidently seek his guidance, knowing he will never lead us astray.


TAKING Racing Thoughts CAPTIVE

13. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have the divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 

It can be challenging to control our thoughts, but with the help of the Holy Spirit and by building a personal relationship with God through prayer and studying His Word, we can submit them to Christ’s power. The deeper we know Christ’s power and character, the better equipped we will be to take thoughts captive! This process takes time, but we can achieve this goal with faith and perseverance.


14. Philippians 4:8-9

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Focusing on sincere and righteous things is essential for our mental health. We can learn from Jesus, who exemplifies these qualities flawlessly. When negative thoughts arise, shift your attention to the truth: Jesus is our reliable Savior and the Prince of Peace.


15. Isaiah 26:3-4

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.

When our thoughts become overwhelming, let us remember the promise of perfect peace Jesus gives us. We can find comfort in trusting Him, the eternal Rock, to be in control. Repeat to yourself, “I trust you, Jesus. You will keep my mind in perfect peace because I trust you.”


Trusted Resources from the trauma healing institute

Powered by the American Bible Society

If you’re searching for mental health resources based on scripture, but don’t know where to begin — look no further. The Trauma Healing Institute offers helpful resources created by certified clinical counselors. These resources are easy to navigate and cover a wide range of mental health topics.
The best part? They are absolutely free!


Browse & Download Yours Today! 



A Note to the Exile Family

You are surrounded & loved.

Taking care of our mental health is a journey that lasts a lifetime. As you engage with God’s teachings, may the Holy Spirit surround you and fill you with the fullness of Christ Jesus. We pray that you find a supportive community and that the Lord places people in your life who love and care for you. Remember, you are never alone. Take comfort in knowing that you are in our prayers and that the Father is always watching over you.









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