Not all inspirational Bible verses fit well on a greeting card. Some that have the greatest power to encourage and lift up the spirit are not verses that are commonly quoted. These five verses all stand out to me for different reasons, and have helped me along the way during some rocky times in life.
1 Corinthians 3:17
This verse reiterates the common saying that the body is a temple. Many people don’t take proper care of their bodies. They don’t eat right, don’t exercise, or deliberately alter the body’s natural state for their own pleasure. But this verse declares that people’s bodies are vessels for the Holy Spirit-effectively temples of God.
When I was struggling with an eating disorder, I often treated my body in ways that were unhealthy and destructive. When I read this verse, I realized that God didn’t want me to be doing these things. In purposely mistreating myself, I was mistreating God’s temple. My actions were tantamount to defacing a church. This verse helped me to take steps away from my destructive behaviors and towards recovery.
2 Corinthians 4:18
This verse debunks the idea that seeing is believing. In fact, the apostle Paul states that the things that are seen in an Earthly context are only temporary; it is the things which are experienced by faith and not seen with the eyes that last. This creates an important contrast between the seen and unseen, the spiritual and the Earthly. Paul is telling people to keep in mind that what they physically experience won’t last forever.
While this may not seem inspirational at first glance, I take it to be a reminder of one very important fact: God is eternal. His power and love will endure long after the physical life we know has ended, and that everlasting love can be experienced even during a temporal life.
People often spend their lives searching for happiness or striving to reach a goal that they believe will make them feel complete. However, these verses in Romans encourage a different path. Rather than wandering from thing to thing, spending life in a haze of darkness and vice, the apostle Paul writes that people should “put on the armor of light.” He instructs that people not use their time an energy to fulfill the lusts of the flesh, but to put God first.
It can be hard to have this kind of perspective when money is tight or personal relationships are failing. I like to remind myself of this verse, and many others in Romans, when I feel like I’m backsliding in my faith or putting my wants ahead of God. Remembering that putting God first causes all other things to fall into place is truly inspiring.
Trials and temptations are some of most difficult parts of faith. When things get hard, it’s easy to wonder, “Why is this happening to me? Where is God when I need Him the most?” This verse in James is a reminder that enduring temptation is part of being Christian, and that there will be a reward-the ultimate reward-for those who make it through while keeping their eyes on the Lord.
I feel like this verse is pertinent to just about every day of life. There’s always something going on, whether large or small, that could potentially ruin my mood. When the big things come along, it’s nice to have a reminder that it’s worth it to keep on no matter how hard something seems.
John 3:16 is one of the most frequently quoted Bible verses, but in context it is even more powerful. Jesus’s words clearly state that He came to Earth not to condemn, but to save, and that anyone who believes He is the Son of God will have everlasting life. These verses clearly state God’s purpose for sending Jesus to Earth-that all should be delivered from sin and have access to a life beyond this one.
When I feel like I’m not good enough even in God’s eyes, I think about these verses. To me, the sacrifice of Jesus is the most powerful part of the whole Bible, and it serves to lift me up when I’m walking in darkness. There is no mistaking the power of Jesus in these verses; He came to save so that all may be forgiven.
These are just a few of the many, many powerful verses that jump out when the Bible is read. Different verses will impact people in different ways, but these few are all important to me as I continue to walk in life and in faith.