We asked some Youth for Christ workers to share their favourite verse. Here’s what they came up with…
Schools’ worker with Trafford Youth for Christ
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
When I was really struggling, before I even joined this job, I remember talking to a woman from my church. I was sharing some of the ways I was feeling challenged and she asked me what my favourite Bible verse was? I said it was Joshua 1:9.
She asked me why this was my favourite Bible verse. And I said, because this is God commanding me to be strong and courageous. And because in the few verses beforehand, these ideas are repeated numerous times, to be strong and courageous. If God says things multiple times in scripture that normally means for us to take heed to listen to what he is saying. So I said that I had to be strong and courageous. That is something that that has to be inbuilt within me.
She said: “No, no, you’re misunderstanding where this strength and where this courage comes from. You’re taking this off your own strength, you’re thinking that it comes from within, but you’re forgetting that it comes from God. And if it comes from God this is something that will be constantly supplied to you, it will never run out.”
As I look at this verse now, and I see it is really freeing. God has commanded me to be strong and courageous. But also he says: “Don’t be afraid. Remember that I’m there, I’m with you. And I’m the person who supplies this. So go forth, do my will work for me, but do it in the strength that I supply you with.”
Director of Wyre Forest Youth for Christ
“Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.” Proverbs 30:7-8
These verses have come back up to me several times over the years for me.
It’s so easy to get distracted into thinking that if I just had enough resources, I could then do what God wants me to do. Or on the opposite end – I’m going to use illicit means by which to gain the things I need!
But actually, these verses remind me to just trust that God has given me all I need.
So I use what I call ‘double prayers’. I’ll pray: “God can you please provide? Can you please give us the resources we need? And at the same time, can you help us to work with whatever resources you have given us?”
So we’re not to think we can’t do anything until God gives us this resource, because he may have already given us something really simple, and we’re able to do amazing stuff through it.
Centre director of Swadlincote and District Youth for Christ, Derbyshire
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
This was a Bible verse that as important to me as a child.
I used to worry about absolutely everything. If there was something that could be worried about, I would worry about it. And if there was something that didn’t need to be worried about, I’d worry about that too! My mum was really faithful. And she said to me: “You need to learn 1 Peter 5:7 when you’re worrying and stressing about stuff. You need to repeat it to yourself and bring it to mind and think about it.”
That’s stuck with me ever since. And now I’ve kind of learned to pray it into myself so that when I’m feeling stressed and worried about things, I kind of just say, God, I take this verse for me, and I don’t worry as much as I did. It can still be a challenge not to be anxious, but I can see how God is working in me.
Centre director at Kenilworth Youth for Christ
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
This is special to me because when my wife and I were having our first child, it was an extremely long labour. We were getting to a point where the doctors had sort of said: “Look, if things don’t change soon it’s going to be an emergency situation.”
So I’m freaking out and bells are going off and doctors are racing, and I just felt this verse was given me: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” And it was in that moment that I was filled with peace. It turned out that things were fine. My wife was awesome.
This verse speaks into any of our situations. When things are going a bit crazy when things seem out of our control. I think the Lord is always saying to us, no matter the outcome that we need, just be still.
Liverpool Youth for Christ
“The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24
I had this verse on my wall while I was working from home during the pandemic not doing a lot of youth work, indeed not doing any face-to-face use work at all, and just kind of living on Zoom through a lot of training and chatting to other youth workers from across the country.
It really encouraged me because I really felt this call in on my life to work with young people and yet here I was, for a good two years doing very little youth work. I felt fed up that God had called me to this work, but I wasn’t doing it!
But this verse is a declaration that the one who calls me is trustworthy, he’s faithful and what he’s called into my life, he will bring to completion.
Now I’m back doing my job with young people. I’m seeing that during those two years while I was sat at home the verse was on my wall, I was able to count on him. And what he has called me to, he’s going to see it through – not in my own strength, but in his strength. He’s going to see that through to completion.
Director of Swindon Youth for Christ
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
We live in a society in a country that is so full of the ‘what if’s, in the fear of the next energy crisis or the pandemic or whatever it is. But the spirit of love, power and self-discipline is one that I feel that God gives us for the journey ahead.
He says: “Here is my love, go and take it out to the world. You have the Holy Spirit inside you, which gives you the power of God and one of self-discipline where you know you can choose to do X, Y and Z, but actually it’s better to live a life that is humble and disciplined in how you go about your life.” This is so much better than just flippantly moving from one thing to the next and next, without a gaze on Christ. That’s what it means to me is to be a follower of Christ – to live in love, live in power and live as a self-disciplined believer.
Wirral Youth for Christ
“‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10
I just love this verse, because the world around us is so uncertain. I know lots of people who have gone through really, really hard times, not just in the pandemic, but since the pandemic. If it feels like your world is being shaken and the hills are being removed. Everything is crumbling around you. But actually, God’s love is never shaken by that stuff. Even if we feel shaken by all the things going on around us, God isn’t shaken by that and his love for us is unfailing no matter what we go through.
The verse talks about his peace as well. While we might be feeling the uncertainty and anxiety that comes with all those things, his peace is still with us. We can pray and ask him to give us peace in those situations.
Some translations remove the last part: “says the Lord, who has compassion on you”, but I really like idea. God is a compassionate God. He cares about us. He loves us. In the Gospels, we see Jesus wept with people because he really cares about what we’re feeling like. I come back to this verse time and time again. No matter what I’m going through, it’s a verse for a good time or a hard time. I have it as the lock screen on my iPad. I might be feeling anxious about something. I just know that God loves me and he can bring peace in any situation.