32 Inspirational Bible Verses to Help You Choose Joy Each Day
- Kristi Cain Contributing Writer
- 2021 17 Feb
Let’s face it: choosing joy is a lot easier said than done. We live in a world that is constantly clamoring for our attention, our energy, and our sense of security, leaving us drained of joy or any kind of positive outlook all too often. But if we could just remember to turn to our one true source of inspiration in life, we would realize how very abundant God’s joy really is. In fact, if you looked, it would be a challenge to limit any list of inspirational Bible verses to just 32.
But that’s my job today, and it has given me great joy to oblige with five Bible Verses to Give You Strength, 11 Inspirational Bible Verses to Encourage You and Others, nine Bible Verses on Hope, and seven Inspirational Bible Verses for When You're Struggling.
5 Inspirational Bible Verses to Give You Strength
Strength is one thing we all wish we had a little more of. It can make the good times even better and the bad times more bearable. On our own, it is something we all lack. But thankfully we serve a God who comprises the greatest super-power in the universe.
In the Old Testament, David’s story was one of the greatest testaments to God’s strength. In a world of warriors and kings, he was a farmer who raised the lowliest kind of livestock. In a culture where power rested on the shoulders of firstborns, he was the last-born. Then, his unlikely rise to favor in the court of King Saul landed him an entry-level position, not as a military leader or a political advisor, but as a harp-player who was used more for target practice than fanfare. Yet God’s blessings raised David to the pinnacle of military and political power, making him the most famous king of Israel.
David testifies to God as his source of strength in numerous psalms, including Psalm 27.
In verse 1, God is David’s light and saving power, negating his need for fear.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1).
In verse 3, he elaborates that no matter how strong his enemies are, his faith is always secure in his much stronger God.
“Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident” (Psalm 27:3).
God’s strength is not only a source of protection but a sustaining and life-giving force.
In Isaiah’s words, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
In fact, God’s favor has often been associated with a supernatural youthfulness and vigor, allowing Sarah and Abraham to conceive in their old age, Moses to maintain a healthy physique until his death at age 120, and armies of the faithful to defeat their enemies in the battle against all odds.
But perhaps God’s greatest glory can be found in the redeeming power of his strength through our lowest moments of weakness. There are few better examples of the beautiful realization of this irony than in Simon Peter, the rock upon which Jesus built his church.
Days before Peter’s biggest church-building work was to begin, Jesus testified, not to Peter’s abundance of strength, but to his lack of it.
At the last supper, Jesus proclaimed to Peter’s chagrin, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:31-32).
With these words, Jesus went on to predict Peter’s imminent denial of him which would be Peter’s greatest failing as a friend and disciple.
But the irony lies in the fact that Peter’s story didn’t end with the weakness that marred his legacy. The fact that even though Jesus knew Peter was about to become grains of flour in Satan’s hand, Peter still had a bolder role to play in the future. A role so powerful, that he would not only have enough strength for his own faith, but he would also develop a divine strength to pour out into his “brethren” and strengthen them with. A strength worthy of a rock to build a church upon. The kind of strength that can only come from a God great enough to fortify any vessel, no matter how weak it once was.
So even though we all feel weaker than we should be in our faith, Peter proves that nothing can limit God’s ability to strengthen you more than you’ve ever dreamed possible.
Even Jesus, the strongest man that ever lived, relied on help from above. Perhaps Jesus’s greatest crisis of faith took place in the Garden of Gethsemane the night he took on the full mantle of the sacrifice he had been sent to make. Anyone familiar with the events of the Passion can’t help but be in awe of Jesus’s unwavering acceptance of the heinous cruelty he was subjected to hour after agonizing hour. And moments before it all began, he seemed to be wondering the same thing. But God did not leave him to face his darkest hour alone. As Jesus prayed so fervently he sweat blood, God sent him help and strength from above.
According to the gospels, “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him” (Luke 22:43).
With God’s help, Jesus was given the strength to endure the greatest suffering ever required of a human being.
Even though none of us are Jesus, Jesus is available to all of us as an unlimited source of strength. And there is nothing we can’t do without him.
As Paul writes, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
11 Inspirational Bible Verses to Encourage You and Others
Perhaps the most inspiring part of the Bible is not just how strong we can be in Christ, but how very loved and very close to him we are and were always meant to be.
From our very foundations we were created, not for evil but for good. To be like God and not separated from him.
According to the book of Genesis, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27).
In fact, God regards our unique creation as a miracle, something wonderful and awesome—loved and intentional—even before our birth.
As David writes, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-14).
What’s more, God does not expect you to dim the light of your creation or spend the days of your life cowering in shame or fear. He wants to lift you up like a favored child for all the world to see.
In the words of Jesus, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-17).
And we can never be reminded enough of how deep God’s love for us truly runs. How very dearly he was willing to sacrifice to bring us back into the fold of his love and salvation.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Even though Jesus is no longer a physical presence on this earth, he reminded us on the eve of his sacrifice that he is still with us forever.
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:16-18).
With the help of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we are also called to use the unique gifting of our creation to serve and glorify him.
As Paul writes, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works in all” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).
In order to please God, we don’t have to be like everyone else or good at the same things as everyone else. We only have to be faithful to our creator and he will bless the unique gifting of our creation for his glory.
The closer we grow to God and the more faithfully we walk with him, the more will become like him, in whose image we were created.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
And as we walk with Him, God will never try to trip us up or cast us down the way the world does but will always try to build us up for the sake of his kingdom.
As Paul writes in his message to the Thessalonians, “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).
Above all, there is no power in the mortal or immortal realm that will ever separate us from the love of God.
Paul attests, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
Finally, Jesus promises that he is with us now and forever until the end of time so that we will never be alone.
In his last words of the Gospels he proclaims, “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20).
9 Bible Verses on Hope
If you ever feel short on hope, a relationship with God is the surest remedy. First of all, God predicates his relationship with us on very firm promises.
One of God’s first major covenants with us, the Abrahamic Covenant, demonstrates this.
“…the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (Genesis 15:1).
The foundation of God’s relationship with Abraham and all of his descendants was the dual promise of protection and reward.
Hundreds of years later, Joshua attests to God’s faithfulness in not only this famous promise but every one ever made to his people.
“Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled” (Joshua 21:45).
Thousands of years later, God continues to be the promise-keeper he always was and always will be.
David knew as well as anyone in the Old Testament about the rewards a close relationship with God could reap. Psalm 16 is in many ways a testimony to God’s unfailing promises. In verses five through eight he testifies to the blessings God provides both in the present and for a future inheritance.
“Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:5-8).
In verses nine through 11 he makes one of the first Old Testament references to the promise of resurrection and eternal life with God, one that was alluded to multiple times in the New Testament.
“Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:9-11).
In Psalm 34, David is experiencing an intense moment of praise and thanksgiving, having escaped the clutches of the powerful warlord Abimelek without the strength of any army, simply by pretending to be insane. First, he gives personal words of praise for the way God delivered him from danger.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them” (Psalm 34:4-7).
But then he expands it to elaborate on the promises God gives to all his faithful.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing” (Psalm 34:8-10).
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken” (Psalm 34:17-20).
Through the centuries, God’s hope has lit the path of the world’s most diverse array of servants, not just his warrior-kings. Even though he was known as the “weeping prophet,” Jeremiah still spoke some of the Old Testament’s most optimistic words about God’s promises in our lives.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
The night Jesus committed to his own death, he still managed to fill his soon-to-be-grieving disciples with words of hope.
“I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3).
Even under the threat of death, persecution, or life’s many misfortunes, Paul reminds us that hope can always be salvaged from any situation.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
With God as our hope, Paul promises our eternal souls will be unshakable.
“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:19).
And even before John was given his Revelation, Peter, the Rock of Christ, was given a very similar prophecy for the future hope awaiting us all.
“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness”(2 Peter 3:13).
7 Inspirational Bible Verses for When You're Struggling
Inspiration is the last thing any of us can begin to contemplate when we’re facing a personal struggle or season of suffering. However, it is the moments when life is at its hardest that the promises of God are at their greatest.
The prophet Isaiah lived at a time of serious struggle for the Jewish people. They had been persecuted both by foreign oppressors God had removed their protection from and faithless leaders abusing their divine seats of power for personal gain and heretical practices. It had been hundreds of years since a ruler as faithful as David had shepherded them. They were running out of options and out of hope, both spiritually and politically.
However, Isaiah’s promises are some of the most hopeful in the Bible, the majority of which allude to the coming of the long-awaited Messiah, including chapter 61, the one Jesus later declared “fulfilled” in the hearing of his Galilean congregants.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3).
Even if the hope of God’s deliverance doesn’t arrive when we want it, the experience of suffering actually makes us more like Jesus, who Isaiah described as “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3).
And every Christian is familiar with the Beatitudes and the conditions for which Jesus calls us “blessed:” the times when we are meek, when we mourn, when we hunger and thirst for righteousness, and most of all, when other people mistreat us without cause.
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).
And even though we don’t always want to be reminded of it, sacrifice and the struggle that comes with it are part of the life we sign up for when following Christ who was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.
“…whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).
Not only that, but our struggles and our seasons of suffering also make us better people and give us greater hope.
In Paul’s words, “…we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).
Paul even goes further to say that our prize will be so great in heaven that the weight of hardship we experienced in our earthly life won’t even matter in the eternal life to come.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
Above all, it is important just to hang in there and keep the faith no matter how bad things get. We are promised an eternal reward, especially after we have shown faithfulness in a time of testing.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap a harvest if we do not lose heart”(Galatians 6:9).
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/PIKSEL
Work looks a lot like fun for Kristi Cain and includes inspirational blogging, writing fantastical stories of Christian fiction, teaching English to teens, and being able to say, “I’m a former journalist.” Home is nestled in the Smoky Mountain foothills with her husband and teenage children. If you ever want a little encouragement in your day, visit her blog. You can also check out her website for her latest happenings and join her Facebook group, a lively, faith-based community.