Suffering is the pits—literally and figuratively. Whether we are suffering because of a health crisis, the death of a loved one, a divorce, or some other anguish, it can be hard not to feel hopeless and utterly alone.
But Scripture tells us we are not alone in our suffering. Not only does most everyone experience hardship and distress at some point in their lives, but we also have great hope and comfort in the midst of it. God is with us and sees us in our pain, and even if we cannot see the ways He is working, we can trust that He is.
Still, we all need reminders. Here are some of our favorite Bible verses during times of despair.
1) Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
My hands-down favorite. God will strengthen me, help me, and uphold me. Look out, world.
2) Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV), “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
While we may feel alone, we’re not. God is with us, and His presence and love isn’t dependent on our circumstances or emotions.
3) Ephesians 4:4-6, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
God is in charge. Period.
4) Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
God will handle everything (whatever that means to Him, even if we cannot see His hand in it!) and give us peace in the process.
5) Colossians 2:9-10, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.”
Again, in case it’s not clear: God is in control.
6) Hebrews 4:13, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
God sees all and knows all, and He’s always at work in and around our situation.
7) Jeremiah 29:11, “‘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.’”
I may feel rejected now, and life is really hard, but God still has a plan for me.
8) 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
Everyone suffers. God is there for us through it, He sends people alongside us to comfort us during our hardship, and in turn He put us alongside someone else who is suffering, so we can comfort them, too.
9) James 1:2-4, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”
The hard stuff we go through tests our faith and builds our reliance on God.
10) Matthew 10:28, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
What matters is God, His Holy Kingdom, and the soul.
11) Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?”
The world is nothing compared to the power of God.
12) Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Evil cannot get the better of me, for my comfort is in God.How about you? Do you have a go-to verse when suffering brings you to your knees? Share in the comments below (and share this post with a friend experiencing hardship).