Here are five inspirational Bible verses that I read daily for guidance in troubled times.
1 Timothy 1:15: “I Am The Worst”
I struggled in life, knowing the me behind the glasses, the beard, the clothes. I know the person my parents didn’t know, my wife doesn’t see and my co-workers don’t talk to. A former biker, I’ve done things that haunt me in my sleep, and shadow me from behind.
Could Jesus love me?
Yes, he does. You see Christ loves all of us, as a parent loves all of his children. As the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners and I am the worst of them all.”
If Paul, who converted to Christianity and lived and died for Christ, could make this statement, surely I could. We are all precious in God’s sight. He only waits to hear us say that today is the day we believe in him and surrender to his wishes.
1 James 1:2 When Bad Things Happen To Good People
When bad things happen to good people, good people find the good in all of those bad things. When I first read, 1 James 1:2, I couldn’t understand it. Nor did I believe it. Then Christ taught me a lesson about this inspirational Bible verse.
James wrote, “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials…”
It was the week after Christmas and my wife, step-daughter and I caught a case of the flu that settled in our chests and left us with 102-degree-plus, three-day fevers. The flu triggered my wife’s asthma and she was hospitalized for five days and through New Year’s Day. Suddenly, I had to care for a child that my wife had always mothered. Despite my fever, I was at my daughter’s bedside, double-checking her condition and backing up my knowledge with as much WebMD that I could learn. When the week couldn’t get any worse, the hot water heater died on New Year’s Day. Then the lesson behind James’ inspirational words came to me. I realized how much I missed and still loved my wife of seven years. My step-daughter learned I would care for her no matter how sick I was. I would care for her as if she was my own and that I loved her just as much.
We grew as a family because of our challenge. Looking back, I wouldn’t change that horrible week for anything.
In Philemon, perhaps the shortest book in the Bible, the Apostle Paul writes to the owner of a former slave, who has accepted Christ as his personal Savior. But Paul wasn’t writing just to the former master, he is writing to us and the book is full of inspirational Bible verses. You see, we are all a slave to sin, captive in sin’s chains and subject to sin’s wishes. Sin tells us how to dress, how to act, what to say and where to go. Sin controls our thoughts from sunrise to sunset. But when we accept Christ as our Savior, we are no longer a slave to sin. Only the love of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit can cut through the chains of sin that imprison us. Through our faith in Jesus, we are set free. We become a master over sin.
James 1:5: Ask And You Will Receive
I’m still waiting for the Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster to appear in my driveway, so I didn’t quite understand what James said when he wrote: “But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it.”
But James wasn’t talking about Harley motorcycles, he was talking about guidance. I remember James’ inspirational words whenever I am faced with a difficult time, a seemingly impossible task or a decision that is humanly impossible to make. You see, Jesus will grant your wish with the knowledge to take the actions he wants you to take.
I remember when I was stuck into taking a position back in the sports department at the local newspaper I work at. Staff cuts and increased duties meant there was no other choice. I struggled with this decision because sports for many people involves worshiping idols who shouldn’t be praised.
I prayed for guidance. Did this mean I needed to quit and look elsewhere for work?
One day the answer came just as James said it would in his inspirational Bible message. Since I write for a weekly newspaper, I have tremendous freedom in the format I use for the stories I publish. I decided that every sports story I produced would follow a religious theme, such as faith overcoming great odds, perseverance providing deliverance or love conquering all. I decided my words would deliver a message that would inspire and guide people and help them in their lives.
Nahum 1:7: The Lord Is My Refuge
Tucked away in one of the Bible’s smaller books are 21 words that make up one of the most inspirational verses in the Bible. Nahum 1:7 says, “The Lord is good, a refuge on the day of distress; He takes care of those who have recourse to him.”
When it rains, when the car breaks down, when the bills are late, when my boss yells, the Lord is there. He is a shining light in a valley of darkness, a guiding hand to help us through a world of evil and sin. He is my refuge, a source of everlasting grace. I pray to him for guidance, mercy and love.
And He listens.