A lot of Christians have what some have called a favorite “life verse.” That is, there is a verse or two in the Bible that just really seems to “speak” to a person in a unique way, so as to capture their heart and mind, as they journey with Jesus over the years. It’s a verse or passage of Scripture they find themselves regularly returning to, both in good times and bad, that just seems to be a regular source of inspiration for them.
Do you have a favorite verse or two in the Bible that really just gets you going, no matter what season of life you are in? Or perhaps you don’t really have one yet, but think you would like to?
Finding a life verse isn’t about selecting a random cute verse or passage of Scripture that you just so happen to like. It’s about having a word in Scripture that resonates with the core of who you are as an individual, and comes to shape your identity, and the trajectory of the journey you take in life.
In many ways, finding a “life verse” of Scripture is an issue where the Scripture “finds you,” instead of you finding it. There are 31,102 verses in the Bible. One could randomly select any number of passages of Scripture that they really like. But, coming across a word of Scripture that just really sinks into your heart above all else… that is something special.
What’s a “life verse” of Scripture look like? Well, I think there are a couple individuals in the Bible where we can see this idea of a life verse play out. These individuals were all subject to special divine revelation in which God spoke to them directly about an issue, and that particular word ended up defining the rest of their lives.
A Word That Defines Your Life
For example, Abraham heard from God, and God promised Abraham he’d be the father of many nations, and that his offspring would inherit a geographical piece of land forever and ever.
Jeremiah was one who was told that from his womb that God had consecrated him as a prophet, and that though many would try to destroy him, God would deliver him from all the trials he would face.
Jesus told the apostle Peter that he would be a rock upon which the church would ultimately be built, and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. Indeed, this word would define Peter’s life. His apostolic ministry and leadership in the early ended up becoming the foundation to all of Christianity today.
A Word That Blesses You And…
A life verse can be a major source of blessing to you and others. It’ll help you keep your focus in life, especially in the moments life seems a bit of out focus. But, a life verse ends up often being something of a double edged sword.
While it can be a tremendous source of blessing and comfort, like any word of God, you will find it to sometimes almost akin to a curse. Not that the word of God to us is a curse. It’s not. God’s words are words of life to us. They are for our own good.
But God’s word is a weighty thing. It’s a word of substance, and not to be trifled with as someone sort of play thing. Yes, God’s word will build us up and comfort us during hard times, during tragedy and affliction.
But, God’s word will often bring you to the very gates of hell for testing. Not only to test the very word of God so that it might be found to be true, but so that you might be tested with it, and also be found true, as you are refined and stretched through those times with God’s word.
My Life Verse
For me, my life verse has been Philippians 3:7-11. It’s been a passage of Scripture that has always challenged me, that no matter how good or how bad my life may be, to always see my situation in life as an opportunity to better know Christ, and to never be afraid to leave everything else behind.
It’s a passage that talks about suffering, death, and ultimately, resurrection. And in my personal life, I’ve noticed this to be a theme that often gets repeated time and time again. And in each cycle of life in which I’ve seen the theme of suffering, death, and resurrection play out, I’ve always seen the opportunity to not only start over again, but to better know Christ.
Undoubtedly, these experiences in life have at times been hard. But that’s okay, life can be hard. We get presented with trials and tribulations, many of them unforeseen, in which we get blindsided by some tragedy. Our life can sometimes be one of crucifixion, and all the horrors of it. But in such, there is always opportunity to press on three days later, to a day of resurrection, in which you get to experience all things brand new, and to walk in a knowledge of God that you did not previously have.
I’ve not always liked the implications of this passage of Scripture and what it means for me. It means leaving a lot of things behind… even things that are good. It means certain suffering and death. Things that aren’t exactly fun.
But this passage has provided an understanding I now possess of life that gives me the strength I need to endure such trials when they come. And I know, they will certainly come. But with them also comes the opportunity for new life and resurrection..
For me, this passage of Scripture is much more than just a nice passage of Scripture, of the apostle Paul waxing eloquently about his life.
This passage of Scripture for me is a paradigm and model for life itself. A model that helps keep me sane in times when I feel like life is anything but sane. It helps me to press on no matter how dark the night sky gets.
And in picking any good “life verse” passage in the Scriptures, I think we should always be on the lookout for a word that will give us a model for truly living the life Christ has called us to live.