Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Encouragement for Difficult Times

I recently started reading the information listed in my "Stats" tab on my blogger dashboard. One of the functions of this tab allows me to see what keywords people use in search engines, which in turn leads them to my blog. One of the phrases had to do with Bible verses for difficult times. I didn't think much about it at the time, but with everything going on in the world and in everyday life, I thought maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to list a few verses for encouragement.

Deuteronomy 31:6 "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."

Psalm 10:17-18 "You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, 18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed..."

Romans 5:3-5 "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

Romans 8:31 "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?"

Romans 15:4 "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."

Philippians 2:1-4 "If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 "May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen your in every good deed and word."

1 John 4:18-19 "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because He first loved us."

While going through a difficult time many years ago, I clung to Romans 5:3-5. God used these verses to give me hope during a time of great loss. Not just hope that I would see my friends again, but more importantly, hope, knowing God had a plan and that He would take these tragedies and turn them for His glory.

I hope you find encouragement in these verses. I would love to hear what verses you use for encouragement.

* All Bible verses listed are from the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, (NIV).