It’s a question I grew up with. A go-to question for Christians to ask other Christians. Right up there with “What’s your favorite color?”
Okay, so maybe the question isn’t that popular. But, still. If you’re a Christian, you’ll likely be asked at some point.
While I don’t say that as a negative, I will say, I remember feeling pressure growing up to have a favorite verse—just to be able to answer that question. It was almost as if not having a favorite verse meant you didn’t read the Bible enough. At least, that’s how I felt. So I always had one prepared.
For a long time, it was Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Solid verse, right? Pretty well known and widely applicable to life. Though I don’t think I fully understood it as a kid, I believed it.
Favorite Bible Verse(s)
But, I’ve always been one to buck the trends a bit. Going back to favorite colors for a sec, I refused to declare pink as my favorite when I was a kid, just because ALL the girls liked pink. So, I went with purple… and then yellow… and at one point even olive green. So, at some point I decided I didn’t want to have a super common favorite verse. Sorry Phil. 4:13!
I went through a few different favorites after that. Honestly, I can’t recall what they were—but I feel like there was a 1 or 2 Timothy in there and maybe a 1 Corinthians.
As you can see, similar to my favorite color changing throughout the years, so did my favorite Bible verse. For a long time, I thought maybe that was too wishy washy. Like, I was supposed to pick one “life verse” — anyone else heard that phrase? Most people I saw as “Super Christians” seemed to have a life verse to lean on, For a long time I thought not having one meant I was just kind of subpar in my faith. So untrue!
Today, I see favorite verses very differently. I wish I could tell my younger self not to worry about it so, so much. That it’s okay to have multiple favorites. That it’s okay if they change because we all go through seasons and verses ebb and flow in terms of how they apply to our lives. That memorizing, understanding, and applying verses is more important than having a favorite one.
I’d honestly be shocked if God cares what our favorite Bible verses are. He just wants us to read the Bible and apply it, however that looks.
A list of favorite Bible verses
At some point in 20s, I did start writing out lists of my favorite Bible verses—though there was always one, maybe two, that I could pinpoint as my favorite, if asked. I have no idea where those lists are today, which is why I now have a favorite Bible verse list in my phone.
Besides today’s list being digital, there’s another difference. I no longer feel compelled to have a favorite because that’s what Christians do. The verses on my list are verses I want to remember because, y’all, the Bible is MASSIVE. My brain needs help. Hence the list.
Curious to know what’s on the list? Good. I would like to tell you.
I also know I’m missing some. I don’t always remember to add them to my phone, but I sure do underline them in my Bible—which I’ve had since I was 18 years old, by the way, so it’s now over 20 years old. That’s a lot of underlining!
And now, several from the list:
Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Romans 12:9-12 (NIV)
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Matthew 6:34 (NIV)
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Ephesians 1:18 (NIV)
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people…
My favorite Bible verse right now
After reading all of that, are you still curious to know if I have one?
Here’s what I’ll say about it. I no longer feel like I have to pick a favorite verse, and yet, there is one that’s become a go-to verse because it applies to pretty much any situation in life. Plus, it’s short and easy to remember!
So, if anyone wants to know, my current favorite Bible verse is:
Well, more like the latter part of that verse: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (NKJV)
Help my unbelief!
While I firmly believe in God and Jesus, and believe the Bible is truth, I also know my human weaknesses. Selfishness. Pride. Anxiety. Stubbornness. Anger. Judgment. The list goes on. All things that can easily block my belief if I let my guard down—even momentarily.
“Help my unbelief!” is the cry of my heart whenever I waver. And before I waver to hopefully prevent it from happening.
I also love verses like this in the Bible because they do speak to our humanity. God included them to show that we are not alone in our struggles and it’s okay to acknowledge our doubts. Even David questioned God in the Psalms—and God still called David a man after His own heart. See?!
God wants a conversation from us. Not a one-sided, “Do as I tell you, or else.” That’s not love. That’s not God.
This verse tells me that God loves me and listens to me and won’t turn His back on me when I am weak. Because then HE is strong. (That’s 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, right there!)
How do you feel about favorite verses? Do you have one? I’d love to hear some other perspectives!
One thought on “What’s Your Favorite Bible Verse?”
Jayme – I totally agree with you that as we mature and experience life, that we claim and cling to a variety of verses that give us encouragement as circumstances change. And you are so right about those perceived perfect Christians that seem to have it all together and have had a favorite verse from the cradle. That was never me. Fortunately I was raised in a Christian home, with loving Christian parents and grandparents that prayed over me. Unfortunately I went about my merry way well into my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s before I got my act together and realized what I mess I created. I have to daily lay down my independence at the foot of our Father and allow him to take control, and there are days I try to pick it back up right after laying it down. All that to say that I live by Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not in your own understanding. In all ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” So in other words Theresa, God’s got this, buckle up for the ride – don’t try to run the show. My other favorite verse is a promise given by God about my daughter and SIL. I raised my daughter in a Christian home, but was not always the best example that I could be. My biggest regret is not fostering that love relationship with Jesus – I didn’t teach her to be in love with Jesus. What a Mom fail. About 12 years ago I was in a church service where the speaker invited us to the altar to receive a scripture. I had been praying over my kids during the service and I walked to the altar took my piece of paper and this promise appeared – “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 11:19-20 I haven’t seen fulfillment yet, but God keeps all His promises. There are many days my prayer is Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the darkness . . . I hope that my words can encourage you as much as your blog encourages me – you are a blessing !