Finding Comfort and Encouragement from Scripture
No matter where you are on your faith journey, you can find encouragement in the Bible. The scriptures are full of Bible verses for everyday people, no matter what they believe, and no matter how certain they are of God and His love.
No one has to be perfect to read the Bible, which is great, because no one is! If you're a new believer, or if you are struggling with faith in God, I hope that some of my favorite Bible verses can encourage you to remain hopeful and seek comfort. If you are open to thinking about God, I hope they reveal how loving God is, and how meaningful and valuable your life is to Him.
If You Feel Hopeless
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" - Jeremiah 29:11
Have you ever felt like you have no sense of purpose, or that you don't know what your purpose is? I have certainly gone through seasons in my life where things feel hopeless and listless. In those times, this verse is a great encouragement to me. I can do a lot to move my life forward, but I can't predict the future. This verse is a good reminder that, when we don't know where our life is going, and when things seem dark, confusing, or hopeless, we are not just drifting through life. Our lives have a purpose, and we have been created with a good purpose and a hopeful life in mind. When you think of a hopeful future, what comes to mind? Does it encourage you to know that God has hopeful and fulfilling plans for your life?
If You Want Stronger Relationships
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
We love talking and thinking about love, friendships, and relationships. This verse is so powerful to many people, no matter what their faith background, because it shows us what a loving, healthy relationship looks like. If you're working to be a more loving friend, partner, sibling, or spouse, this verse can be a good guide.
Even if you're not sure what you believe about God, or if you're just now thinking about God for the first time, you can read this verse and know what His vision for our relationships is like: full of care, full of kindness, and full of joy. When you think of people you love, this verse can remind you of the qualities about those people that you're thankful for. When you tell someone you love them, you can keep this verse in mind as you work to make your relationship stronger.
If You're Seeking Peace of Mind
"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul." - Psalm 23:1-2
No matter what you believe, you have probably heard this verse quoted during a time of sorrow or trouble. We all want to be comforted. We all want to be refreshed. When you have time to yourself, is your mind a peaceful, calming place? Or is it overshadowed by sad and sorrowful things?
Sadness is a normal part of life, and it is normal and healthy to feel a range of emotions. But none of them have to take control to the exclusion of all other feelings. If you're open to turning your mind and heart to God on a tough day, imagine what it would be like to rest in a quiet place. This Bible verse shows us that God does that for our spirits.
If You're Stressed
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7
Anxiety is a part of life for virtually everyone. Whether you're going through a stressful time or living with a painful mental health diagnosis, it's easy to become overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety. If you find yourself unable to concentrate, to think straight, or to sleep well at night, you know how it feels to be gripped with anxiety. But how would it feel if you had somewhere to put those feelings? What would it be like if there was someone, other than you, who knew everything you were dealing with, and everything that was troubling you? This Bible verse shows us that God can take on everything that makes us anxious, and that He cares about us and wants to help us get to the other side of anxiety and feel a greater sense of calm.
If You're Grieving
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." - Matthew 5:4
If you've lost a family member, friend, or loved one you cared about, I know it can't be easy to move forward. Grieving can be hard to understand, and very complicated to work through. On some days, it can seem like grief comes out of nowhere, no matter how long it's been since the loss happened, or how much work we've done to feel calmer and more at peace.
This verse can be helpful no matter where you are in your faith or your thinking about God. If you're in need of comfort after a loss, I hope it helps to know that turning to God can be a source of comfort when we can't seem to find it anywhere else.
If You Need a Friend
"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends. . ." - John 15:15
A lot of times, God can seem distant. After all, we can't talk to him the way we can talk to a friend or family member. And unfortunately, God can sometimes be presented to us in a way that makes Him seem judgmental, angry, and even cruel. How does it make you feel to read this verse?
For me, it is so encouraging to know that I can be honest when I talk to God in prayer, in the way that I would be honest with a friend. Does thinking of God as a friend change your view of Him? I hope it gives you a new way to think about God that is more freeing, so that you feel more comfortable turning to Him during difficult times in your life.
It can be a hopeful thing to think of God as a friend. But we still need someone to talk to in person about if we're struggling with faith or have questions about God. You're in a safe place to do that. You can get mentoring from HopeCoaches at the HopeLine, who are trained to talk through struggles in faith and big life issues without judgment.
Talk to a HopeCoach at TheHopeLine whenever you need someone to talk to about struggles, questions, and hopes for the future. We are here to listen and we believe in you.
Finding hope is tough during hard times, but there are things we can all do to stay strong. Read my blog about finding hope through good times and bad.
Photo by Gift Habeshaw