10 Scripture Verses to Strengthen You in Hardship

“The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude of divine providence is concrete and immediate; God cares for all, from the least things to the great events of the world and its history. The sacred books powerfully affirm God's absolute sovereignty over the course of events …” (CCC 303)

Ivan Aivazovsky, “Walking on Water,” ca. 1890
Ivan Aivazovsky, “Walking on Water,” ca. 1890 (photo: Public Domain)

Facing rising inflation, escalating fuel costs and the likely shortages of necessities may be hard, but it need not be scary. Our country has faced scarcity before. We weathered the shortages during the Revolutionary War, colonial times, the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II, to name just a few. We have proven that we can do it, and we’ll do it again, with God’s help.

In these troubled times, I have found consolation and encouragement in Scripture. The Bible is filled with God’s promises to those who suffer trials of every sort, including persecution, uncertainty, oppression, homelessness and famine. Those promises didn’t pass away with the centuries and ancient peoples who received them. God’s word is eternal, therefore the promises he made in the days of old are just as valid today. I’ve stopped myself from thinking, “that’s what he promised them, then” to “that’s what he promises us, now.” This has changed my perspective on our current crises by replacing fear with confidence in God’s power and love for his children. That doesn’t mean I’m never shaken by what’s happening in the world, but it does mean that my shakiness fades quickly and doesn’t get the best of me.

There are a multitude of consoling and encouraging verses in Scripture, but I’ve chosen 10 to share with you. Spending 15 to 30 minutes a day pondering one or more of them empties me of apprehension and fills me with hope. They are an assurance to me that God’s love and mercy are more powerful than any crisis or adversary. I am his cherished child, and so are you. He will never abandon us.

1. “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:26)

2. “Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)

3. “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

4. “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all.” (Psalm 34:17-19)

5. “I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” (John 16:33)

6. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith, for you know that your brothers and sisters in all the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:6-11)

7. “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

8. “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

9. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

10. “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

José Benlliure Ortiz, “Leaving Mass in Rocafort,” 1915

On Suffering and Hope and Forever

‘In the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer, and work, are united with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so acquire a new value. Christ’s sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with his offering.’ (CCC 1368)