In your life, have you ever experienced ups and downs, ebbs and flows, highs and lows, mountains and valleys? I, too, have experienced the highs and lows of sharing your life with a spouse and kids in good and bad, richer and poorer, and in sickness and health. I have also experienced the pain of losing a job. And for me, it just happened to be a job in the church…a church I closed down. I have experienced and felt hurt, regret, bitterness, envy, jealousy, burnout, grief, hard seasons of life, and anger. I know what it’s like to ask God, “Why?” and “Do you even care?”
In my last post I mentioned that I believe that the Scriptures are the ultimate place to turn to in any circumstance, but most definitely during the moments when life has beat you down and you’re left black and blue.
So, here are 10 passages of Scripture that I continually go back to, meditate on, and memorize. I pray that they comfort, encourage, strengthen, and sustain you as they have me.
1. Matthew 11:28-30 – You might be extremely familiar with this passage, however, check out how the Message Bible puts it:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
2. Deuteronomy 31:8 – God will never leave me. He will never walk out on me. God will never fail me. God will never abandon me.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
3. James 1:2-5 – A call to persevere.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”
4. Isaiah 41:10 – God is with me. He will keep me. He will uphold me. He will strengthen me.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
5. Matthew 12:20 – God is gracious and cares for me in my most delicate emotional state.
“He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.”
6. Psalm 34:18-19 – God hears us and he is close to the brokenhearted.
“The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”
7. Romans 8:38-39– There is nothing that can separate me from God.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord”
8. Psalm 51:1-13 – When I have sinned and I need to confess.
“Have mercy on me, O God,
because of Your unfailing love.
Because of Your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion;
it haunts me day and night.
Against You, and You alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in Your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and Your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But You desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
You have broken me—
now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from Your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
and make me willing to obey You.
Then I will teach Your ways to rebels,
and they will return to You”
9. Romans 8:1 – When I need assurance. I belong to Jesus, therefore, I’m not condemned.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
10. 2 Corinthians 5:21 – God no longer looks at me and sees my sin. Because of Jesus life, death, and resurrection, I have been gifted His righteousness.
“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”