Embracing the Struggle: Bible Verses You Need in Life’s Trials

The Bible isn’t silent in the face of our struggles. Numerous passages in Scripture remind us of God’s plan and purpose for us in every season of life.

Have you ever experienced a time in your life that feels like one big long struggle? Every time you get ahead, another unexpected downturn comes your way.

Maybe your difficulty involves a relationship, a job, or finances. Sometimes it’s a diagnosis, or even a devastating loss that defines our struggle. 

Grief and sorrow and hard times are not new to the human condition. But they are so very painful, nonetheless.

Young woman leaning with her head against a wall with text overlay "10 Bible verses for life's struggles"

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The bad- and the good news- about hard times

Truthfully, I’d prefer to always have sunny days and be on top of the mountain – not buried under it.

Most of the time we don’t invite struggle, but it does seem to find us in this world stained by the curse of sin.

The question is not if we will face trials, but when. And Scripture provides answers to the elusive Problem of Pain in our lives, because – fortunately for mankind – the central message of the Gospel is one of hope. 

Image of a rainbow after a storm on a rural landscape; concept of hope.

Realizing God is fully aware of our situation and can empathize with our deepest hurts and disappointments can bring immense comfort.

Knowing he can use our sorrow and bring something good out of those trials- for us and for others- can also help align our perspective closer to His.

He is not a god who squints at us from lofty heights when we are in despair; He bends down to listen

In the Struggle: Bible Verses that comfort and draw us closer to God

The Bible speaks to the struggles of life over and over again. In fact, it’s hard to narrow down a short list of passages on this topic!

In this post, we’re highlighting ten of the best “struggle Bible verses” that can encourage and equip Believers to live the life of faith- no matter what.

#1. John 16:33 (NIV)

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus is preparing his disciples for his departure, and the trials they will soon face. Their true test of faith was ahead, though they couldn’t fully comprehend what that would mean.

But Jesus is assuring them – and us – that peace is found in Him, despite the difficulties we are certain to encounter.

#2. James 1:2-4 (NIV)

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,  whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Woman blowing dandelion in the wind outside; concept of hope in struggle.

Joy is probably the last thing on our minds when we’re stuck in the mud of hard circumstances. But James exhorts followers of Jesus to look deeper, past the current trouble and to persevere.

God is able to take our tests and turn them into maturity as we draw closer to Him.

#3. Job 1:20-22 (CSB)

“Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshiped, saying: Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Throughout all this Job did not sin or blame God for anything.”

Oh, Job. We all know the dreadful story. His property..and then all his children, gone in an instant.

What is even more astounding, though, is his response. He recognizes every blessing was given to him by God,  and even the greatest blessings must be held loosely in this life.

To have such an eternal perspective and refuse to “curse God and die” (as even his wife urges him to), is the marker of a life submitted to the Lord.

Read next: Bible Verses for Anxious Hearts

#4. Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Woman knelt down on an ottoman in the living room praying with a Bible in front of her.

In these famous instructions to put on the “armor of God” (verses 11-18), Paul gives us insight into the true nature of the battles we face every day as Christians.

Summary: it’s not just the visible battles of this world that we need to be prepared for.

#5. Psalm 90:10 (CSB)

“Our lives last seventy years or, if we are strong, eighty years. Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow; indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away.”

Compared to eternity, our lives are short; yet the struggles we face in this life will also pale in comparison to the glory we will enjoy forever in heaven.

#6. 2 Timothy 3:10-11 (CSB)

“But you have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, and endurance, along with the persecutions and sufferings that came to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured—and yet the Lord rescued me from them all.”

The apostle Paul was certainly a case study in Christian persecution. His ministry was fraught with opposition, imprisonment and a laundry list of personal trials.

Yet he acknowledges the Lord’s sovereignty through it all, as he encourages Timothy to endure in his own calling.

#7. Hebrews 10:32 (CSB)

“Remember the earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings.”

In this passage, the author calls Jesus’ followers to remember the struggles they faced in the past. We are quick to forget or be surprised when trials come our way. It is human nature.

But recalling God’s faithfulness through past trials gives us strength to persevere, no matter the cost.

#8. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

What happens when we endure affliction, according to these verses? We not only find the comfort we crave, but in turn we are able to better help others in their time of need.

#9. Deuteronomy 26:7

“So we called out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and the Lord heard our cry and saw our misery, hardship, and oppression.”

In this chapter, Moses is giving instructions to the Israelites at the end of his life, as they will soon enter the Promised land. Recounting the story of their deliverance from Egypt was crucial.

They could not afford to forget that their long-awaited reward came through much hardship, and it was their mighty God who brought them there. It is the same mighty God who still hears our cries and sees our moments of misery, today.

#10. 2 Timothy 3:1 (CSB)

“But know this: Hard times will come in the last days.”

My pastor likes to remind us that we’ve been living in the “last days” ever since Jesus rose from the grave and ascended to Heaven.

Needless to say, we are all subjected to hard times, and we can’t escape them. But we can overcome them through the power and wisdom the Holy Spirit gives to us.

Woman standing outside her car with arms outstretched, facing a beautiful mountain range- concept of overcoming struggles.

Viewing Struggle through a Biblical lens

When I read these verses, several common points emerge:

  • God is aware of our struggles
  • He longs to comfort us
  • He can use our struggle to help others during their own trials
  • When we’re on the other side of a struggle, we need to remember what God did for us and through us
  • Enduring life’s struggles is part of the Christian life, but this life is so temporary compared to the eternal life promised to us.

Friends, let’s be encouraged today that Jesus gives us everything we need to fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith.

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