Inspiration can come to us from many places — the laughter of children, the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, the caring hug of a family member, or the smile of a total stranger. Many Christians, including me, turn to God’s Word for inspiration throughout our lives. There are many Bible verses that inspire me, most of which have been set to music at some point. Here are just a few that come to mind:
- Psalm 23 ‘” I cannot imagine any list of inspirational Bible verses that didn’t include this passage. This is a passage that many people have memorized and recited throughout their lives. I remember learning it as a very young child in Sunday School. However, for me, there is no deeper source of inspiration that these comforting words as set to music by contemporary composer John Rutter. I’ve had the privilege to sing this anthem with several choirs and I still get chills at the end of the piece and Rutter builds to the powerful statement that “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNDSjrdj530
- Ecclesiastes 3: 12-13 ‘” Many people are familiar with the opening verses of Ecclesiastes 3. They were set to music by Pete Seeger in 1959 and hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts when Seeger’s arrangement was recorded by the Byrds in 1965. “To everything there is a season” reminds us that there is a time for everything in life. This entire chapter was read at my brother’s funeral in December, 1991. I heard that pastor read “a time to live and a time to die” and was comforted by that reminder. However, when he reached verses 12-13, I heard something that I had missed before. These verses read, ” I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil'”this is the gift of God. ” Hearing these words at the funeral of someone so young (my brother was just 22 when he died) made my heart soar. Yes, that is exactly what my brother had done with his life. He was happy and did good while he was living. And that — THAT was a gift of God. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4ga_M5Zdn4
- Psalms 46: 10 ‘” “Be still and know that He is God.” This is a simple request, but in today’s world one of the most difficult tasks I can find. Be still. Stephen Curtis Chapman knew that you can be still in music. He took this simple verse and wrote a quiet, reflective piece that was released in 2006. Since then, the song has been recorded by others and has been arranged for choir. My church choir sang this anthem on a regular basis when I was in my late 30s. I had the song committed to memory. I was experiencing some turbulence in my life during that time and was seeking a sense of peace. I found that peace one early morning just as the sun was rising over the North Carolina coast. I sat on the hotel balcony and began singing the words that were imprinted on my heart. I didn’t know if any other person could hear me, nor did I care. I felt God speaking to me in that song, reminding me that to hear Him, I had to be still. As the final note drifted off the beach, I found that stillness. I was able to be quiet. The waves whispered to me. And I found peace. I always return to this verse, and to the song, when I need to quiet my noisy mind. Try it. Be still.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mrhccdi6V1I&feature=related
- 1 Corinthians 13 ‘” In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he speaks of what love should be like. I come back to these words often, particularly verses 4-8, ” 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.” I am inspired by these words to check my own heart as I love those in my life. Patience and kindness, protection and trust are all facets of the Love of all Loves. I remember as a child hearing my mother singing the soprano solo and my father singing the baritone solo in an anthem arrangement of this scripture.
- John 3: 16 ‘” “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This is God’s ultimate promise to mankind. Another great musician, John Stainer, arranged these words to create a stirring anthem that I learned as a teenager in church choir. This is yet another example of how God’s Word set to music imprints on the heart and can last a lifetime. This glorious anthem is performed here by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMMrvfvJlTw
- The final inspirational scripture I would like to share cannot be referenced in a single chapter or verse. This is because the particular words appear in the King James version of the Bible nearly 500 times. “It came to pass — ” Years ago, just after my brother passed away, my Mom began reading books by Barbara Johnson. She mentions in several of her books that “it came to pass” is her favorite scripture because it is a reminder that, when bad things are happening, nothing comes to stay — it all comes to pass.
I could list many others that, at one point or another in my life, have been a source of inspiration, comfort, and joy to me. But I would like to hear from you. What scriptures inspire you? Please share them with me in the comment section below.