Author: Ron Graham
The Bible is very encouraging for human beings, who often feel downtrodden and hopeless. "Whatever was written in earlier times was written for our learning, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope" (Romans 15:4).
Here are but twelve Bible verses of deep and meaningful encouragement in the midst of our many trials in this earthly life.
It's encouraging to know that we are not descended from the animals. Though flesh and blood, we have a special relationship with God. "And God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27).
It's encouraging to know that we are close to God. "God is not far from each one of us, for in him we live and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
It's encouraging to know that God's unique Son became one of us and shared our experiences. "The Word was God... and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory —the glory of a unique one from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:1,14).
It's encouraging that God is ready to forgive our sins. "Come, now let us reason together says the Lord. Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, they will be white like wool" (Isaiah 8:18).
It's encouraging that God, having forgiven sin, will free us forever of our guilt. "I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more" (Jeremiah 31:34).
It's encouraging that one sacrifice for all, and for ever, was offered to God for our sins by his Son. "We have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all...one sacrifice for sins for all time" (Hebrews 10:10-12).
It's encouraging that God shepherds us through life and through death. "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want... Though I walk through the shadowed valley of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me" (Psalms 23:1-4).
It's encouraging to know that in our sorrows and weakness God gives solace and empowers us. "The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).
It's encouraging to be empowered to be overcomers and have victory. "In all these tribulations we are more than conquerors through him who loved us" (Romans 8:35-39).
It's encouraging that God is able to do more good than we imagine. "He is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20-21).
It's encouraging that God will right all wrongs and banish all pains. "God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there shall no longer be any death. Their shall no longer be any mourning or crying or pain" (Revelation 21:3-4).
It's encouraging to know that the good we have struggled to do is not a failure or wasted effort. "Therefore my beloved, be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord" (1Corinthians 15:58).