By Crosswalk.com Editorial Staff, Crosswalk.com
Discover encouraging Bible verses in this slideshow of inspirational scriptures.
The Bible serves to teach us the truth about God and ourselves. The truth of Jesus Christ is known as the gospel, also called "the good news." We should be encouraged by the Word of God, which assures our eternal salvation by faith in Christ and inspired to live righteously as followers of Jesus. Although we may stray and stumble in sin, we can find redemption and forgiveness in repenting and believing in Christ as our savior from death. Scripture gives us the courage to overcome evil and temptation, in the world and in ourselves. Scripture also encourages us to keep the faith in times of hardship and anxiety. God promises to be with us!
May you find motivation and hope in this collection of encouraging, uplifting Bible verses.
Deuteronomy 31:6 - Be Strong and Courageous
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you." - Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV
"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." (KJV)
Encouragement for Today Devotion: Faith vs. Fear
by Ariel Allison Lawhon
Our pediatrician told me that my baby had a collapsed lung. The baby I'd given birth to just an hour earlier.
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the presence of faith."
They weren't the words I wanted to remember in that moment, but they came to me as I sat and listened to the doctor's news, jaw clenched and blinking back tears.
The trauma started the previous evening when my doctor declared that I needed to get to the hospital immediately. A series of sonograms and tests revealed that my son was in distress and dangerously underweight. We had to deliver as soon as possible. So my husband and I packed a bag and left our three other children in the care of my mother. We walked through the door of that hospital afraid that our worst fears were about to become reality. Faith did not come naturally in that moment.
I would have preferred that courage meant I wouldn't fear the path that lay before me. But no, my path would involve hours, and then days, learning the ins and outs of oxygen tubes, IVs, and heart rate monitors. I would learn terms like spontaneous pneumothorax and the dreaded pneumonia. My path contained a great deal of fear.
It is no wonder that God had to remind us in Deuteronomy 31:6 not to be afraid. Fear, it seems, is a natural reaction when we face a challenge, whether it is being led through the desert into the Promised Land, or being rushed to the hospital for an emergency delivery.
But the only antidote to fear is faith. And courage is not something we find within ourselves. It is the result of faith, and even that is a gift from God.
We spent five days in the hospital with our tiny son. And each day God took a little of our fear and replaced it with faith. I have wondered since if our stay in the hospital was as much for my healing as my son's. Thankfully, God healed us both.
Be strong, God said, and courageous. We can do this because He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. He stands with us in battle, and He sits with us who hold the tiny hand of a newborn baby in the Intensive Care Unit. He never leaves our side. Never.
Dear Lord, thank You that You stand beside me today as I face this trial. Thank You that I am not alone. Would You take my fear and replace it with faith? You have said that You will never leave me nor forsake me. You have told me not to be afraid or discouraged. I believe that You will make me strong and courageous. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
*Devotion excerpted from Encouragement for Today's April 4, 2011 devotion on Crosswalk, 'Faith vs. Fear' by Ariel Allison Lawhon. You can read the full devotional here.
Proverbs 28:1 - The Righteous Are Bold as a Lion
"The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion." - Proverbs 28:1 KJV
Daily in Christ Daily Devotional: The Death of Fear
by Dr. Neil T. Anderson
How do you respond to fear situations in your life? The following steps will help you identify and hopefully eliminate any irrational fears.
First, analyze your fear. Most people aren't aware of what is controlling their lives. If you are struggling with anxiety attacks, determine when they first occurred. What experience preceded the first attack? People struggling with agoraphobia can usually identify one precipitating event. It is often associated with some tragedy or failure in their lives, such as a marital affair or an abortion. Satan takes advantage of victimized people if they don't seek a scriptural solution to their crisis (Psalm 38:18).
Second, determine where God's place in your life has been usurped. In what way does any fear prevent you from responsible behavior or compel you toward irresponsible behavior? You may need to confess any situations where you've allowed your actions to be controlled by fear (Psalm 28:1). We will always live less than a responsible life if we fear anything other than God.
Third, work out a plan of responsible behavior. A college student shared with me that she was living in terror of her father. They hadn't spoken to each other in six months. Obviously there was irresponsible behavior on both their parts. I suggested that she take the initiative that evening and say, "Hi, Dad!" We reasoned that there were three possible responses he could give. First, he could get mad. Second, he could respond with a greeting. Third, he could remain silent. It was the possibility of the third response that created the most fear.
We then discussed the fourth point: Determine in advance what your response will be to any fear-object. The young woman and I talked about what her response would be in each of those three cases we had mentioned. I then asked her if she would be willing to carry out our plan. She agreed to do it. I got a call that evening from a happy daughter who exclaimed, "He said 'Hi' back!"
Do the thing you fear the most, and the death of fear is certain.
Prayer: Lord, give me the courage to meet my fears head-on and the persistence to overcome them in Your strength.
*Devotional excerpted from Daily in Christ Devotional, 'The Death of Fear,' by Dr. Neil T. Anderson on Crosswalk. You can read the devotional in full here.
2 Timothy 1:7 - A Spirit of Power and Love and Self-Control
"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." - 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." - 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
Daily Disciples Devotional: A Four-Letter Word
More than once since I committed this verse to memory I have had to embrace it as truth and pray that I not give in to a "spirit of fear." I have come to believe that the word "fear" really is a four-letter word and should be considered profanity. Wouldn't it be great if we could somehow have it censored from all of our thoughts and feelings, like bleeping out a bad word? But instead, fear is very much a part of our reality, even more so than we realize or want to admit. I know there are times when being fearful can be a good thing, such as being afraid of doing something that might bring harm or danger. My husband bought me a motorcycle. I spent a significant amount of time preparing to ride it, taking courses, getting my license, but the bike still sat in the garage. I was hindered with fear from riding it.
The spirit of fear as mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:7 is a different kind of fear. This fear hinders what God has given us: His power, love and sound mind. This fear grips us with doubts and insecurities, waging war with our thoughts and feelings. This kind of fear is not of God but of the enemy, the devil. Fear is one of the greatest weapons Satan uses against us, as it attacks our minds. He tells us that we are no good, not worthy, unloved and useless. These thoughts affect us all, he picks on everyone, no one is spared. How can we fight against such thoughts? By believing the truth of the second part of the verse. God through His Holy Spirit has given us power, love and a sound mind, not in our strength but in His.
Are you dealing with fears today that are gripping you so tightly that you feel helpless and hopeless? How can these fears be conquered? Start by praying for the Lord to open your mind and help you understand how to use the power given by His Holy Spirit. The power precedes love, so next pray for your heart to be filled with His love, knowing that His perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). What a great pair…power and love! Then, ask the Lord to clear your mind and bring to your thoughts His words, taking captive those thoughts not of Him.
O, Lord, I pray that You teach us how to live victorious lives through the empowering love and strength of Your Holy Spirit. And in Jesus name we ask that You break those strongholds of fear that bind us up and keep us from experiencing the peace and joy that You desire for us. Amen.
*Devotional excerpted from Daily Disciples Devotional, A Four Letter Word. You can read the devotional in full here.
1 Corinthians 16:13 - Be Watchful, Stand Firm
"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." - 1 Corinthians 16:13 KJV
Daily Hope with Rick Warren: Stand True to What You Believe
You see it over and over in Scripture. God uses people who show courage, people who stand up when everyone else sits down.
Just look at Daniel. Daniel is one of only two people in history to whom God revealed how the world ends (the other is the apostle John). God used Daniel like few men in human history.
But before God used Daniel to change the world, Daniel stood up to the most powerful man in the world. When King Nebuchadnezzar told him to eat his Babylonian food, Daniel said no. Think about it. He rejected the king. He said, “Sorry, king — your food isn’t good enough for me. I can’t eat it.” Daniel was respectful but firm in his refusal to compromise.
I’m sure there were many other Jewish young men taken captive who saw no problem with eating the king’s food. I’m sure those people said, “But everybody’s doing it!”
But Daniel said, “I don’t care if the whole world eats the king’s food. It’s not right. I’m not going to do it.”
Daniel stood with courage. He was willing to stand alone. History has shown us that the majority is wrong much of the time. Just because the majority likes a particular value or passes a particular law doesn’t mean that value or that law is right.
Only God decides what’s true, not us. Only God decides what’s right and wrong. It’s not up to a majority vote.
We need people of courage today to stand up to evil in a culture that’s turning wrong into right and darkness into light. And because that’s what God calls us to do, he will support and reward you when you stand firm for him.
*Devotional excerpted from Daily Hope with Rick Warren, 'Stand True to What You Believe,' on Crosswalk. You can read the devotional in full here.
Philippians 4:13 - I Can Do All Things through Him
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." - Philippians 4:13 ESV
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." - Philippians 4:13 KJV
Mark Twain said, “Comparison is the death of joy.” I have experienced that joylessness in my life. The pitfall of comparison and the feeling that we are not enough pervades across our culture. Social media highlights how many friends and followers a person has. The brands we own determine the status of our wealth. The longing for more must stop. Recently, my children visited a house and asked me when we could own a house that was a mansion. Discontentment apparently is learned at a young age.
So how can we combat thoughts that who we are and what we have is not enough?
I believe we can learn a valuable lesson from Philippians 4. Paul founded the church in Philippi on his second missionary journey and later wrote the letter of Philippians to the church during his imprisonment in Rome. After persecuting the early church, the converted apostle faced trials of many kinds for the cause of Christ. The theme of joy threads throughout the writing.
Knowing that all his identity and value comes from Jesus Christ alone, Paul declares that he can do all that he does by God’s enabling strength. The lesson for believers struggling today with any thoughts of inferiority is that anything we do is done with the strength God bestowed us with and should be seen as such. Therefore, whatever we do, should be done to the glory of God and should never be seen as inferior because it was done by His power.
I still have days where I want to compare myself with others or where I feel that I will never reach the unobtainable bar called “Enough.” Yet, on those days, I fall back into the grace of my Heavenly Father and simply rest, knowing that my identity and my joy resides in Christ alone.
Psalm 112:7 - His Heart Is Firm, Trusting in the Lord
"He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord." - Psalm 112:7 ESV
"He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD." - Psalm 112:7 KJV
Faith's Checkbook: Unstaggering Trustfulness
by Charles H. Spurgeon
"He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD" (Psalm 112:7, KJV).
Suspense is dreadful. When we have no news from home, we are apt to grow anxious, and we cannot be persuaded that "no news is good news." Faith is the cure for this condition of sadness; the LORD by His Spirit settles the mind in holy serenity, and all fear is gone as to the future as well as the present.
The fixedness of heart spoken of by the psalmist is to be diligently sought after. It is not believing this or that promise of the LORD, but the general condition of unstaggering trustfulness in our God, the confidence which we have in Him that He will neither do us ill Himself nor suffer anyone else to harm us. This constant confidence meets the unknown as well as the known of life. Let the morrow be what it may, our God is the God of tomorrow. Whatever events may have happened, which to us are unknown, our Jehovah is God of the unknown as well as of the known. We are determined to trust the LORD, come what may. If the very worst should happen, our God is still the greatest and best. Therefore will we not fear though the postman's knock should startle us or a telegram wake us at midnight. The LORD liveth, and what can His children fears.
*Devotional excerpted from Faith's Checkbook, 'Unstaggering Trustfulness,' on Crosswalk. You can read the devotional in full here.
Romans 15:13 - By the Power of the Holy Spirit You May Abound in Hope
"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." - Romans 15:13 KJV
Your Daily Bible Verse: How to Have Hope in Difficult Circumstances
by Kia Stephens
Like seasons, we will all eventually find ourselves in a valley, a season of despondency. Sometimes we are able to rebound quickly, sometimes we are left with the lingering feelings of despair. And when the circumstances of our lives prompt discouragement to link arms with the past, it can feel impossible to overcome.
Thus, we may find ourselves plunging deep into hopelessness. This was the place I found myself. I was discouraged. I had been here before, but this time was different. I had prayed the same prayer for years. Though I longed for resolution my prayers went unanswered.
Then I discovered Romans 15:13. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The words of this verse captivated my attention. God was the giver of hope! He was the answer to hopelessness.
In the Greek, the meaning of hope is expectation of what is sure. This meant that God was the God of what we can be sure of. He is not peddling false hope and shallow words of encouragement. Whereas life, people, and outcomes are all unpredictable, God can be trusted. He offers words of life when we are in despair.
Paul prayed that the God of hope would fill us with joy and peace that would never cease. This joy and peace flows in and through our lives, seeping into every area.
Paul also says that God is able to fill us with joy and peace as we trust in Him. God is not dishing out this overflowing joy and peace to anyone who wants it. God has reserved this tangible evidence of His love for those who are trusting and believing in Him. Those who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ can cling to Paul’s prayer with anticipation. What an encouragement!
It would be a tragedy to have the promise of overflowing joy and peace and not take hold to it because of a refusal to trust in God. By placing our trust in him we have the privilege of engaging in an uneven exchange. We give Him our discouragement, and he offers us overflowing joy, peace and hope.
We do not have to live discouraged. We do not have to be perpetually stuck in a place of despair or hopelessness. We can know hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. We do not have to try and make ourselves hopeful or conjure up joy where it does not exist. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God can impart hope to us.
It is important to note that this impartation of hope requires the power of the Holy Spirit. The third person of the Godhead makes this hope transfer possible. We experience the Holy Spirit as Christ described Him in Acts 1:4 (NIV). The Holy Spirit is a gift and He enables us to overflow with hope.
*Devotional excerpted from Your Daily Bible Verse, 'How to Have Hope in Difficult Circumstances,' by Kia Stephens on Crosswalk. You can read the devotional in full here.
1 Chronicles 16:11 - Seek the Lord Continually
"Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!" - 1 Chronicles 16:11 ESV
"Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually." - 1 Chronicles 16:11 KJV
Beloved Women: Remembering the Faithfulness of God
by Carla Lake
Maybe it’s the way our brains are wired, but somehow, we tend to remember our heartaches, struggles, and failures the most. Our eyes shift from Jesus and linger long on the mistakes we wished we hadn’t made. Regret shrouds our days, and we find ourselves living fearful, frail and frazzled lives.
But God has called us to remember His faithfulness. To pause, reflect, and celebrate who He is and what He has done.
God-focused not self-focused remembering helps us to see the accomplishments, joys, thrills and yes, even the blessings of the challenges as gifts from our loving Father. We’ll remember the peace that remained even when days got long and hard, the comfort in our darkest moments, and the power that kept us going when we felt we could not go on.
So, when we fall painfully short of our expectations and stumble under the weight of our responsibilities, let us prayerfully readjust our focus. Let us look backward at all God has done, look inward and remember His Spirit within us, and look forward in anticipation of what He will continue to do as He displays His glory in our lives.
PRAY: Dear LORD, You have done wondrous things for me, and I am glad. From the gift of my salvation to every spiritual blessing and Your continual presence with me, Your works are wonderful. Forgive me, LORD, when I lose my sense of wonder. Fill me anew with awe of who You are and what You have done for me. And may I celebrate You, today, LORD. In Jesus Christ’s Name I pray. Amen.
*Devotional excerpted from Beloved Women, 'Remembering the Faithfulness of God,' on Crosswalk. You can read the devotional in full here.
Galatians 6:9 - Let Us Not Grow Weary of Doing Good
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." - Galatians 6:9 ESV
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." - Galatians 6:9 KJV
Your Daily Bible Verse: When We Get Too Weary
by Anne Peterson
Let’s face it, we all get weary. Wiping the sleep out of our eyes, we know that we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing. A pandemic is one of the worst things some of us have been through. And while it is scary to see numbers rising of infections and those lost, we can at least know that following the guidelines is helping. We are doing what is good. But even that can be taxing.
And sometimes, we look around and see others who are not following suit. And inside of us rises similar feelings like that of the prodigal son’s brother. Here he had been the obedient one and yet, when his prodigal brother returned, he saw his father run to him. Put a robe on his back and a ring on his finger (Luke 15: 11-32).
Sometimes it’s hard to do the right thing when everyone is not complying. And sometimes, like Peter who saw John coming and wondered what John’s position would be with Jesus (John 21:20-22). Instead of just doing what we know we should be doing, we start wondering about others.
What do we do when we get weary? When we think we can’t keep going? The answer is to go to the one who never tires or grows weary (Isaiah 40:28).
God tells us that he will strengthen us and help us (Isaiah 41:10).
He tells us when our strength starts waning, he will renew it and we will soar like eagles (Isaiah 40:31).
And when we think we can no longer do what is asked of us, like Paul we can recognize the source of our strength (Philippians 4:13).
Some have said since the pandemic hit, it feels like one long day. We rise and go through the motions, we watch rising numbers and feel helpless. But we must remember that God is sovereign. We are not in this alone. God has promised that he would never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6). And God is not a man that he should lie (Numbers 23:19).
We are not alone. So do not grow weary in doing good.
*Devotional excerpted from Your Daily Bible Verse, 'When We Get Too Weary,' by Anne Peterson on Crosswalk. You can read the devotional in full here.
Jeremiah 29:11 - A Future and a Hope
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." - Jeremiah 29:11 KJV
My Old Testament professor had this to say about the ever-popular Jeremiah 29:11: “I am going to destroy what this verse means to you, but then I’m going to reframe it so you understand it better within its original context, and then you will love it even more when we’re done.” He definitely had our attention!
We often approach Jeremiah 29:11 as a security blanket: God has a plan for me that is good, so clearly this suffering I’m going through will end soon and then my flourishing will begin! But that is not at all what God was promising to the Israelites, and it’s not what he’s promising us, either.
Author and blogger Mary DeMuth addresses our misunderstanding of this verse in her article, Jeremiah 29:11 Doesn’t Mean What You Think. As she explains, the heart of the verse is “not that we would escape our lot, but that we would learn to thrive” in the midst of it.
Here’s the context for Jeremiah 29: the Israelites were in exile, a punishment from God as a result of their disobedience. The prophet Jeremiah confronts the false prophet, Hananiah, who had boldly proclaimed that God was going to free Israel from Babylon in two years (spoiler alert: God doesn’t do this).
Jeremiah calls out Hananiah’s lie and then states the promise we read in 29:11. God does indeed have a good plan for the Israelites, and it is a plan that will give them hope and a prospering future. Sounds good, right?
The thing is, before he shares this promise, just a few verses earlier, he gives them this directive from God: “seek the peace and the prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (29:7)
This is not at all what the Israelites wanted to hear! They wanted to be told that they were going to go home. They wanted to be told that their suffering was going to end. Instead, God’s plan was for them to stay right where they were, and to help prosper the nation that enslaved them!
And then came the biggest blow of all. In verse 10, God says that he would fulfill this “after seventy years are completed in Babylon.” This meant that none in the current generation of Israelites would ever return to their home.
What a crushing thing to be told!
Mary DeMuth writes:
Yes, of course God knows the plans He has for us. And ultimately He will give us a glorious future. But as we walk out our lives on this crazy earth, let’s remember that the best growth comes through persevering through trials, not escaping them entirely. And when we learn perseverance, we find surprising joy.
What hard thing are you currently going through? In the midst of your suffering, cling to Jeremiah 29:11, but cling to it for the right reason: not in the false hope that God will take away your suffering, but in the true, gospel confidence that he will give you hope in the midst of it.