One day, I was attending a commencement ceremony for my church’s leadership school. As each graduate steps on the stage, a verse from the Bible is read. I was intrigued so I asked the person sitting next to me and he said those are life verses.
I decided that I should have one too and I found the following verse to be very appropriate for me:
"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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV
The verses above hold a special meaning for me. Not only did those verses save my life, but they are a source of comfort when I face discouraging situations.
Embedded in those verses are promises that address all my needs:
1. The promise of Provision("… prosper you..") - God is Jehovah-Jireh, the God-Who provides. He always provides and He is always on time. He’ll provide my needs, but will He give my wants as well?
I have observed parents who, trying to maximize value, will tend to buy cheap things for their kids. Yet the same parents would also from time to time buy something beyond their budget. That is also true for me. There are times when I take the least expensive route but from time to time I splurge. In both instances, one thing holds true: my spending is not dependent on how good or bad the recipient is, but is dependent on how much I want to bless the person.
From this point of view, would God also provide my wants? Definitely!
2. The promise of Protection("…not to harm you…") – I have always adopted the viewpoint that Christian life is that of a battle. Although most of the fighting is done in the heart and in the mind, it’s a worthy battle nonetheless.
Whenever calamity strikes, people say "it's God's will". I disagree. Man-made calamities are what it is: man-made. Violate nature's laws, there are consequences.
Whenever sickness strikes, people say "it's a blessing in disguise". Again, I disagree. Take your health for granted, you get sick. Suppress anger, you get sick. Carry resentments and guilt in your heart, you get sick. When did disease become a blessing? Sickness is a curse, always been one.
God's will is for us to move forward beyond these calamities; healing is the blessing. God allows for these things to happen to turn it into greater good. When calamities and sickness happens, God sends the grace for us to withstand, to overcome.
3. The promise of Encouragement ("…to give you hope…") - One of the most difficult things a person will encounter is hopelessness. I have learned that a person does not become hopeless all of a sudden. Hopelessness seeps in gradually, tearing life apart like acid, and then you find that you have fallen rock bottom.
God is also Elohay Mauzi-God Of My Strength, the God Who will strengthen you even when you have lost all hope. He will renew your strength, if you let Him.
4. The promise of Something ahead ("…and a future…") - Why do we have hope? Because God also promises a future for us, a future that is way better than a future we can ever dream of!
I used to be like this: "God, this is what I want to do. Bless this." I made plans for God and expected Him to bless my plans. Now, knowing that His plans for me are way better, I am trying to be like: "God, show me the Grand Plan so that I may be able to plan my life according to Your will." Is it easy? No! But it becomes less difficult as I grow in faith.
5. The promise of having Someone ("…and I will listen to you…") - There is something about loneliness that drains life out of a person's heart. Being alone in a deserted island is one thing, but how about feeling alone in a big city? How about being rejected by family? Or abandoned by loved ones? No matter what the world throws at you, no matter what other people do to you, there will always be Someone. God is Elohim Mikarov, the God Who Is Near.
Feeling low, angry and hopeless? Bring it to God! God is big enough.
6. The promise of a Relationship ("…and find me when you seek me with all your heart.") - I used to find it difficult to accept that God wants a relationship with me. How can someone as big as God wants to have a relationship with me? It would be like me wanting to have a relationship with an atom. But it's true. One of the most liberating realizations I had was that God is concerned not only of my spiritual life but also with all other aspects like career, finances, health, relationships, etc. Nothing is too small for God.
Yet this relationship comes with a cost: "…all of your heart." It means that there will be no other person, thing or ideology that takes the #1 spot. Not even our spouse, children, parents, nor friends. Not career, money, nor earthly possessions. Not religion, superstition, nor any philosophy.
What does God offer? A love that knows no bounds, grace that overflows and eternal life.
I hope this has encouraged you to seek out a Life Verse for yourself!