27 Verses for Crises

hard timesThe Bible doesn’t promise us that life with Jesus is easier. The difference is that when life gets hard, we have somewhere to turn for strength, courage, hope, and peace.

Here are seven passages to keep handy when facing crises:

1. 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 Bible tells us to remain joyful not because we know what happens next, but because we know the end. We will be stronger when we reach the other side. Each trial is an opportunity to step closer to perfection—complete and utter dependence on and trust in God.

Bonus verse: Romans 8:28.

2. Matthew 11:28–30

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

When asked what the greatest commandment of the law is, Jesus said: one, love God, and two, love others. He continued, “On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:36–40). When we focus on what really matters to God, it simplifies our lives. Jesus cut through hundreds of Jewish laws to reveal that they could all be reduced to these two simple commands. When life feels complicated and heavy, Jesus says, “Come to me” so he can lighten the load.

3. Philippians 4:6–7

“. . . do not be anxious 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.”

The peace of God doesn’t make sense. The NIV translation says it “transcends all understanding.” It’s beyond, higher than, out of reach of all understanding. We can be calm in the midst of complete chaos when we have that peace—and it protects us. Jesus guards our hearts against anxiety and stress by filling us with a peace that the world can’t understand (because it doesn’t come from this world).

4. 1 Corinthians 10:13

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Sin wants to hide. It wants to bury itself in our hearts and make us feel alone in our temptation. Your life is unique—the temptation you face is not. The world is full of brothers and sisters in Christ who share in your struggles with sin. Fight it together, and most importantly, invite God into the struggle. The way out may not always be easy, but God promises it will always be there.

5. Hebrews 2:18

“For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

Jesus never sinned. When we hear that, sometimes it’s easy to feel like we have to hide our sin from him—like he doesn’t know what it’s like to be a sinful, broken human being. Make no mistake—Jesus suffered when he was tempted. He knows how you feel when you’re torn between your desire to do what’s right and the sinful desires in your heart (Romans 7:15). Because he can identify with your pain, he can help you.

6. Psalm 23:1–6

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

“You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the lord

Sheep trust their shepherd. Experience and the surrounding flock tell the sheep that wherever the shepherd leads, they will be provided for. Even as the valley gets dark, rocky, and difficult, the sheep trust the shepherd to lead them out of it. For me, this passage is a reminder that even when I have no idea what’s going on or where my life is going, God is in charge, and I can trust him.

7. Matthew 6:25–34

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Verse 27 really puts things in perspective: “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” In other words, what do you gain by being anxious? Food and clothing are valid concerns. God knows you need them. But he doesn’t want you to be anxious about them. Anxiety is an internal state of being, and it doesn’t change our external circumstances. See Philippians 4:6–7, and let God replace that anxiety with peace, trusting that God knows your needs.

For biblical insight into suffering, crises, and pain, check out these great resources:

What verses do you turn to when times are tough? Share with us in the comments!


  1. Bruce Kalish says

    Mt 1:23 reminds me that God became one of us to be one with us, "Immanuel, God with us." When I face tough times I draw encouragement from knowing I am not abandoned. Like St. Patrick, Christ's incarnation has bound me to the Triune God who has conquered death in all its forms.

  2. Joseph Mcfaddin says

    Maybe I missed them but where is the rest of the 27 verses. I was looking forward to reading all 27 scriptures. Here’s a few more. Ephesians 6:10-20, Hebrews 4:12-16, Hebrews 10:31-32, 1 Timothy 6:12, James 4:7-10, Philippians 3:14, Acts 14:22, Isaiah 41:10, Ephesians 3:16-21, 1 John 2:27, 1 Peter 1:15-16, Proverbs 3:1-6, Philippians 4:6-8, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 13:14, Colossians 1:9-14, 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, Romans 6:1-14, Matthew 7:14, Ephesians 1:7, 2 Timothy 2:22, Ephesians 4:20-30, 1 Corinthians 6:15-20, John 14:6, Luke 1:37, Philippians 4:13, Romans 14:12, Isaiah 55:6, Jude 24, James 1:8, Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5, Hebrews 12:1, Matthew 6:19-24, 1 Peter 5:7, 1 Peter 5:8-9, 1 Corinthians 10:13 I want to serve JESUS CHRIST all the days of my life, even thought I’m struggling a bit right now, reading the scriptures is always good for all of us.

    • Ryan Nelson says

      Thank you for sharing these empowering verses, Joseph. Those are great ones to know well.

      The post contains 27 verses in total, but not 27 passages. Perhaps that was the confusion. There are certainly always more (as you’ve just demonstrated), so it isn’t a comprehensive list—just a list of some of my favorites.

  3. Ron Hall says

    2 Corinthians 4:17-18 minister greatly to me during times of trial. It is good to be assured that my affliction is “but for a moment” and is working for me “a far greater weight of glory,” and to be reminded my sight is to be fixed upon the eternal, not the transient. Couple this with Psalm 103:13-14, where we are told God has compassion on us as a father does his children and He remembers that we are but dust, and I have assurance both of assistance and deliverance.

  4. Henry Phillips says

    It is very encouraging to hear the people of God speaking of God in the manner I see here.To hear the faith of others gives me great joy.We do serve a great and mighty God who loves us very deeply.Thank you all!

  5. says

    Such good verses to follow and we always need to remember that everyone goes through tough times at some point in their life. Everyone needs God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to carry them through.

  6. says

    ““Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”” (Psalm 46:10, ESV) In the midst of a world of crisis "“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah” (Psalm 46:1–3, ESV)

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