If you are feeling exhausted, these bible verses about mental strength can give you the boost of encouragement you need to keep running your race.
Ask any marathon runner, and she will tell you that completing a race is as much about mental strength as it is about physical strength. Months of training are not only for the body to be conditioned to run 26.2 miles, but also for the mind to be confident enough to keep going when your body wants to give up. A runner trains in all types of weather conditions to prepare herself for any obstacle she may face.
Our journey of faith is like a marathon of the mind. When challenges keep knocking you down, it’s your mental strength that helps you get back up and keep going. Throughout the Bible, there are many examples of people overcoming hardship. No one in Scripture had it easy. Even Jesus, fully God and fully human, had his mental strength tested as he went through his ministry and also his arrest and crucifixion.
Challenges are going to come, Jesus tells his disciples in John 16:33 NIV, “In this world you will have trouble…” What does the Bible say about preparing for those times when we need mental strength for the marathon of faith?
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Why is mental strength important
It is no secret that the last few years have affected us more mentally than anything else. Pandemics, politics, and dissension have tested our mental health day after day. Those who lacked mental strength before it all began are glaring examples of what can happen when it is tested. Therapist appointments are scarce, and mental health prescriptions have increased as a result of the past few years of trauma.
In times of mental exhaustion and weakness, the enemy is ready to creep in and fill our minds with fear and doubt regarding the battles we are facing. In John 10:10 ESV, Jesus said,
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
It is not God’s desire for us to be mentally weak. He wants us to live an abundant life. To do that, our minds must remain strong so that the enemy will not steal, kill, and destroy any more than he already has in the past few years.
What does the Bible say about mental strength?
Throughout the bible we are given examples of the importance of mental strength and where we should seek our strength. We are encouraged to be in the word of God daily to strengthen our hearts and minds or the inevitable battles we will face! Reading Bible verses about mental strength specifically can remind us that we are capable of doing all things through the Lord.
The Holy Spirit gives us mental strength for our struggles
In the New Testament, the Jewish nation was dealing with Roman rule and oppression. While they weren’t physically enslaved like the Israelites in Exodus, high taxes and strict Roman laws were taking a toll on their mental strength as they continued to pray and wait for God to send their Messiah to deliver them from this exhaustion.
When Jesus arrived, sharing His plan of salvation with all who would hear it, it didn’t match what their minds imagined. They wanted a Messiah who would physically deliver them. Their mental and spiritual exhaustion didn’t seem as serious as the physical oppression they felt.
Some of Jesus’ final words to his disciples before he was arrested were to strengthen them mentally and spiritually. Jesus knew they would be first-hand witnesses to his torture and would become mentally lost when their rabbi was no longer with them. To prepare the disciples for his absence, Jesus didn’t arm them with weapons to fight the Romans but told them
“the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.”John 14:26 CSB
Jesus was just as concerned with their mental strength as with their physical safety. The Holy Spirit would come to teach and help the disciples remember everything Jesus shared with them when he was with them, giving them the mental strength to endure the days, weeks, months, and years to come.
The Armor of God helps us to mentally stand firm
With the help of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul wrote letters to the churches throughout the Roman Empire. He constantly encouraged his followers to increase their mental and spiritual strength as they endured persecution from the Roman Emperor and pagan influences. When writing to the church in Ephesus, Paul instructed them to put on the spiritual armor of God to prepare for the battles they were facing. He wrote,
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”Ephesians 6:12-13 ESV.
Their battles weren’t always physical, but mental. The spiritual armor of God would strengthen them to stand firm.
The armor of God helps us stand on God’s truth when the enemy speaks lies. It reminds us that we are already in right standing before God, no matter what sins have stained our past. We can walk in peace knowing that God is already in battle for us.
We are given our faith to protect us and God’s Word to arm us. Finally, we have the security and gift of salvation, as we walk forward in battle, God has already conquered our battle and won.
We can be mentally strong because Jesus has already fought and won
After Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would come to them to teach and to help them remember, He gave them an idea of the struggle they would be facing in the coming days. In John 16, Jesus says they would be tempted to abandon their faith. He promised they would be expelled from the synagogues and even be killed.
He confirmed that the rabbi they loved and followed for three years would be leaving them and that they would be scattered. This is when Jesus spoke to the disciples in John 16:33 ESV, and he told them they would have trouble, but he also told them to have peace because,
Jesus has already overcome the battle waging in your mind. You can be mentally strong because the enemy of our minds has already been defeated.
Bible verses about mental strength
Paul talks about his persecution in the letters of the New Testament. In order to withstand multiple beatings, years in jail, a shipwreck, and rejection, Paul knew that he had to keep his mind strong so that he would persevere in what God called him to do: be a witness for Jesus Christ.
Paul’s letters offer several verses about mental strength. The following bible verses about mental strength can be studied as an encouragement while you go through your daily walk.
Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:8-9 ESV
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Phillippians 4:13 ESV
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Ephesians 6:11-13 ESV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Other Verses on Mental Strength
Old Testament prophets relied on God for their mental strength. Delivering God’s daunting messages to God’s people wasn’t always well received. The prophets called out to God to strengthen them as they endured rejection and persecution.
Isaiah 40:28-31 ESV
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 41:9-10 ESV
You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; 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.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 ESV
I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.
Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
This journey of faith is not an easy one. You may not have faced the same persecution that the disciples and prophets did, but your marathon has likely not been without challenges. Mentally, we may never be fully prepared for the cancer to return, the dream job to have layoffs, or that relationship to be severed, but by continually putting on our spiritual armor and relying on the Holy Spirit, we can gain a marathon mindset to help us keep walking in faith, trusting that whatever the enemy tries to steal from us, God is already fighting for us and with us.
Jesus’ death won the battle over the enemy. Jesus wanted all of us to remain mentally and spiritually strong in his absence. We wouldn’t always need physical strength for life’s trials, but we would always need mental strength to persevere.
Written by: Leah Lively
Leah Lively was born and raised in Virginia. As a mom of four, she has waded through the waters of parenting a child with chronic physical and mental health issues. Leah is passionate about helping others focus on God while walking through the chaos of life. Leah writes to encourage others and grow in their faith. She writes to let other parents know they are not alone. She shares her writing on her blog and social media pages and has also published four Bible studies. In her spare time, Leah enjoys listening to podcasts, hanging out with her kids, settling down with a good book and a cup of coffee, or spending time with friends.