Some days are more challenging than others and we just need something to hang on to. So here are some verses that will help you do just that! This is a random collection of both Old and New Testament verses. Some I have used before. But what that tells me is there are verses that we have and turn to because they have great meaning for us.
Matthew 11:28-30. “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.” The Jews in Jesus day carried many heavy burdens. The majority of them were poor, dirt poor. They lived under Roman rule, which they chaffed at. And they lived under religious authorities who wielded Mosaic Law like a sword. The Romans oppressed them, and the law held them to an impossible standard. Jesus offered a lighter yoke and the chance to give our burdens to Him to carry.
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 about hope. “Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our slight and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” A couple of thoughts here. No matter what is happening in our lives, God can use that to renew us from within and draw us closer to Him. And secondly, what we might be experiencing now could be painful. But compared to what awaits us when we reach our true home with the Lord…this will pass. That is not to diminish our challenges. But there is so much more that awaits us. God gives us strength to endure through each day and at the end of this life He has something far greater waiting for us.
The apostle Paul knew what it was to face challenge after challenge. He was beaten, flogged 5 times, and stoned and left for dead. All because he was preaching the good news about Jesus Christ. His words to the Philippians are familiar. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and sup-plication with thanksgiving make your request known to God. And the peace of God that passes all human understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7. People were already stressed before the pandemic. Now we have seen studies that tell us people are struggling even more. And they are seeking peace and relief in drugs, alcohol, sex, food, and a myriad of other behaviors. What God has to give us isn’t just any old peace. It is God’s peace…peace that calms our souls and settles within us. Peace that allows us to rest and renew when we need it most.
The writer of Hebrews encourages us to be encouraging. “Spur one another on.” Hebrews 10:24-25. This is a call to be one another’s cheer leaders. Paul calls us to bear one another’s burdens…Galatians 6:2…and that is what this is. We are in this slog together. Thanksgiving will look different this year. And that is hard. Who knows what will happen at Christmas. Now is the time to be creative in what we do and how we celebrate. That does not mean it is easy, but it is what we have. If you know someone who is struggling, make a phone call. Send a text or email. Bed the light of Christ in someone’s darkness. Cheer someone on to keep moving forward.
It is easy to look at what we do not have right now and think all is lost. So, check out Psalm 23. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Shepherds lead, guide, protect and care for the sheep. The Lord will lead us toward things that are good, even if they are not what we usually have. He calls us to come to Him and He will provide the best that He has for us. In Him there is security and peace, love, and provision. In Him we have nothing to fear.
John 16:33 reminds us of Jesus sovereignty. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” There is trouble and challenge. But, in Jesus we have a place of refuge from the world.
Some of us look at our troubles and we think they are too insignificant to bother God with. Listen to Peter, “Cast all your worries on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7. God created the universe and everything in it. But He also created us, in His image. He knit us together and He calls us by name. God has named us and claimed us. In this verse it is as though God is saying, why don’t you let me worry about that!
If we had continued on in Philippians chapter 4, we would find these verses. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:12-13. Try as we might, we simply cannot do everything on our own. And when we feel puny or inadequate, those are the times we turn to the Lord. It is in His strength that we find strength. It is in His peace we find peace. It is in His grace and mercy we find enough to share with others.
There are many more verses. No doubt you have your own to turn to. What we have to remember is that even in these strange and challenging times, God is still blessing us. He is still sovereign. And He will never stop loving us.
In His Grip
Pastor Matt W