From my first tiny pink Bible given to me as a baby, to the large study Bible I currently use, I have gathered a large collection of Bibles over the years. Hardcover’s, leather-bound, paperback, from the King James Version to the Message, the Bible is my handbook for life. Filled with notes from Bible studies, underlined and dog-eared, tear-stained pages and highlighted verses, it is more than a book, it is a living inspiration that I turn to in times of joy, sorrow, and fear. It has never failed me.
Here are just a few of the verses that have inspired me during the most trying times of my life.
1. Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
One of the most difficult things in life is accepting some of the painful things that happen, to understand why so many horrible things happen to wonderful people. Why innocent children are struck down with terminal illnesses. Why drunk drivers kill families on their way home from church. Murder. Cancer. We live in the natural world and as a result, suffer natural consequences. From every single thing that is set in motion in the universe, God will work out His good and perfect plan. I may never see the results, but His purpose will triumph. When I find myself asking “why?”, I turn to this verse.
2. Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe.
Have you ever felt small and afraid? Weak and hopeless? I have – when Hurricane Katrina came and washed away most of our city, when my father was diagnosed with cancer, when I found myself separated from who I thought I was and needed to find my way back home. This verse, and the beautiful song based on it, brings me such comfort. Just invoking the name of God brings comfort and peace to my soul.
3. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
How wonderful to know that the old sin nature – the old me – is gone! The shame, the guilt, the past…..Jesus erases it all for us, and lets us start over. Why? Because of LOVE. This fresh start is available not only for individuals, but for relationships. Marriages can be transformed in Christ, families can be restored, and lives will be changed.
4. Psalm139:13:14 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; you works are wonderful, I know that full well.
This verse was so incredibly powerful to be when I was expecting each of my three amazing children. After they were born, I would look at these beautiful little babies and know that already, God loved them and knew what they were meant to be. When I struggle with self-image or self-worth, I look back to this verse. I may not be where I want to be in life, but God knit me together. He has a purpose for me, and He is getting me there. Just as I loved my little babies, He loves me. We are all wonderful creations with amazing purpose and meaning.
5. Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
My dad was a planner and a dreamer, always planning trips and outings years ahead of time.
My mom always said the only thing you could count on with plans was they were sure to change. She hated to make plans because she said they always fell through. I became a conglomeration of the two, loving to make plans, but expecting to be disappointed. The truth is we should all have a vision and make plans, but in the end, the Lord’s purpose and plan will prevail. So make sure your plans are in line with His.
6. 2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.
There have been a lot of days lately that I have been feeling weak. Not physically weak, but emotionally weak. After a cross-country move, change of jobs, missing my home…..some days are hard. How wonderful to know that I don’t have to depend on my own strength, but that God’s grace is sufficient to carry me through. I am proof that His power is made perfect in my weakness. He carried me through the days following Hurricane Katrina when all seemed hopeless, and He helped me formulate a plan. He carried me through my father’s illness, and helped my sister and I speak the words at his memorial to honor the man we loved so much. He carries me now as I adjust to this new life, with all the changes and the unknown.
I look to the Bible for wisdom, encouragement, comfort and truth. It is there, on every single page.