1. Romans 8: 1-2, 38-39
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death — No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This passage has been my favorite for as long as I can remember. Even in the midst of a chaotic life, nothing has seperated me from the most beautiful Person ever to walk this earth. Nothing can!
2. Zephaniah 3:17
“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Once upon a time, I was legalist. I went to church every week, had the right answers in Sunday school, dutifully memorized Bible verses, sang the right songs and played the right games. But I did not love, nor did I feel loved. In fact, I could barely tolerate other people. I loved my family, but friends were rare and largely not worth the effort, and perish the thought of fellowship! This verse began a revolution. God, mighty king of the universe, takes delight in me? He rejoices over me with singing? I held to that verse, and it changed my life.
3. Psalm 27:13-14
“I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.”
I discovered this Psalm in 2008, and I needed it every time I turned around, it seemed, for the next couple of years. Psalm 27 was my mainstay, through much upheaval and many difficult lessons. I turned to it so often that I had it memorize. These two verses, particularly, provided encouragement for me. After all, David was hiding in the wilderness, low on food, shelter, water, sleep, and any other form of safety and under pursuit from enemies who wanted to kill him! And he still held on to this confidence. I could most certainly do the same, with lesser troubles.
4. Numbers 23:19
“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
There are hundreds of promises in the Bible. This is a promise from God to fulfil His promises! In His unchanging, omnipotent way, God can and will fulfil His promises. This promise seals the others.
5. Philippians 4:4-9
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me, put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
I used to read this passage and think, ‘easier said than done!’ Anxiety and depression have long held sway in my life. I honestly could not tell you of a time before they crept in to my life, but I could point to a time when nobody knew. It took me a long while to give name to these imbalances, and it was deeply frustrating. It was not until I was able to communicate with other people and read psychology studies, talk to doctors, etc. that I began to understand my own body and mind. During this procress, Phillipians 4 began to take on new meanings. Even when the world does not seem bright, gentle, or beautiful, there will always be something on which I can dwell to pull me from the downward cycle. There will always be the God of peace with me.
6. Isaiah 53:1-6
“Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.”
Need I say more? This prophecy in Isaiah speaks of the coming of Jesus, by whose wounds I am healed.
7. Song of Solomon 8:6-7
“Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame,
Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of one’s house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.”
Song of Solomon is possibly the most passionate love poem ever written, and it is found, appropriately in my mind, nestled in the midst of the Bible. I love this Song because it displays the aching desire of a youthful couple as well as the endurance of love. 8:6-7 reminds me of the strong side of love, not the fluffy side more frequently written of in today’s society. This poem is timeless, and brings out the very best aspects of love. It’s not flowers and chocolate, it is stronger than cataclysms and beyond the scope of wealth.
8. Jeremiah 33:3
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
My friends tell me that I am one of the most curious people they have ever met. Most pale by comparison. Thus, a God that has all the answers which libraries and the internet do not is an appealing God indeed! I love questioning, and He promises answers.