The Best Bible Verses To Memorize For A Joyful Life

What’s The Point Of Memorizing Scripture?

Since I was young, I’ve heard scripture memorization is an important way to strengthen your faith. So, I have. Well, sometimes. I mean, I used to. And now I kinda do. And recommend that you sometimes kinda do it too.

My motivation came from plenty of sources, ranging from guilt, to a desire to do “the right thing,”  to genuine interest, to a fear of my 70-year-old Sunday School teacher with a smoker’s cough that could scare a cat up a tree. Hi Ms. Eldridge, hope you’re well (gulp and shudder).

We’ve all got scripture at the touch of our fingertips, right?

At any moment, we can pick up our phone, open an app, and find any verse in any translation in twenty seconds or less. 

Access to the Bible, in any language, any translation, with commentary, maps, study guides, and a paint-by-number coloring book of the Twelve Disciples is an enormous privilege. That not only goes for the Bible, but for all of the resources, history, and education we can drum up in an instant, religious or not. It’s an amazing time to be alive. We can learn and access more than any civilization throughout humankind. Frickin’ awesome. 

Our question today is this:

Why is it worth the effort to memorize scripture anyway?

While it’s an undeniable godsend to have so much freedom and ease when it comes to accessing God’s words to us, there’s an equally undeniable power available to us when we choose to put God’s message to memory. We’re talking spiritual growth out the wazoo.

Who of us hasn’t binge-watched a Netflix documentary on a serial killer? It’s a horror too engrossing to turn away from. So fascinating, so eerie, and a detailed education on how to prevent its application in your own life (that is: never trust a single white male neighbor who brings snickerdoodles to your front door- that’s a Red Alert there). Hours pass as our mind receives what passes onscreen.

Once the show is over, we can feel dark, unsettled, suspicious of all men wearing flannel button-ups, and more in touch with the evil surrounding us.

To further ensure our subconscious deeply absorbs the nastiness, we dream ALL. Night. Long. about serial killers, being chased by one, being one, investigating one, watching one watching a documentary about one…it’s a mess.

Now, when you watch lighter fare, the opposite-same-thing happens.

Watching Leann Morgan talk about squeezing into a Miracle Suit for a family vacation at the beach will give you funnier, happier, and more swimsuit-centered dreams and thoughts.

Our minds will hold on to what comes to them. They’re like Venus fly traps and will gobble up what crosses their path. What our minds focus on, takes life in us.

So when we fill our minds with thoughts of God’s everlasting love, joy, and provision, we’re optimizing our spiritual and mental well-being.

When you take it a step further and learn a bible verse that speaks to you, believe in, and can remind yourself of when in doubt, it becomes a part of you.

I like to think of it this way:

Know how you still remember your home address from when you were a kid? Gosh, I still know my home phone number from when I was five years old. In fact, besides my own, it’s the only number I know from memory. Every few months though, I practice memorizing my husband’s phone number… (777) 7 something 7 something something something 7.. Almost got it.

When I think of Mom and Dad’s address, my family home, I feel tied to something. There’s a ton of memory and connection to this place that will always be a part of my identity.

Similarly, learning a new verse of scripture can go from feeling like this two-dimensional black and white writing that you’ve had to learn because your Bible Study teacher told you you needed to, to something that becomes alive in you.

It becomes a part of your identity and is an instant source of connection and familiarity to you.

When chosen from the heart, the verse will create grit, strength and peace in you. With the bonus of when various circumstances arise, it will show up for you and create an immediate connection to the Lord, with mere acknowledgment of Him at the very least.

Your fear turns to trust, calming your nerves. You’ve got something to rest on, not just worry on.

If you’re out of school, most likely memorization isn’t a top skill set like it was in the younger years.

“Fear not…(hey, that’s in the Bible a bunch! See….scripture comes flowing out)”

I’ve got a few tricks to help you get back into the swing.

Six Tips to help with scripture memory:

Choose a verse that means something to you:

When you’re choosing what scripture to memorize, make sure you pick a verse that connects with you on a deep level. If it’s going to become a part of you, why pick anything that you’re wishy-washy on?

Understand the context:

Of course, you’ll read the entire passage, but make sure to read the whole book it comes from too, and do some research.

You want to know what the verse means, why it was written, and what the point is/was. One of the coolest things about scripture is how many lives it can have- it can change shape and take on new meanings and have more life-

For a verse to have the freedom to come to life, you need to know the original intent. Read the entire book it’s from. Who wrote the book, what was going on at the time, and who was the verse originally written for and why.

Once you know its original context, you’ll understand more about who God is and how he is and it can come to life in your own story.

Sound like a chore? Nah. You’re going deep, not wide. So if you want this verse to bring power and genuine meaning to your life, know it. Understand it.

You’re not doing this a million times. Just make sure you aren’t willy-nilly remembering verses because they’re popular and can be squeezed and shifted into any cut-and-paste situation. Take the time to Respect the history. Respect the context. Treat the words with dignity. Then… watch it shift and shape in your own life.

A good way to get started is The Bible Project. These guys are great.

Start with a short verse:

Picture it, you’re anxious in difficult times. You need your verse. But Esther 8:9 (arguably, the longest verse in the Bible) isn’t showing up for you! Plus, what the heck is “the month of Sivan” anyway? Not helpful.

Large sections of the Old Testament are gonna be a tough pull. Might not be the right verse you need to get started.

And remember, memorization is a muscle that needs strength training. Start small and build your way up. Once you’ve conquered a short verse or two, you can graduate to two verses, a paragraph, and all of Hosea! Yippee.

Use an app for memory verses:

Technology is here to make our lives easier. That is, until the war of the robots, after which, we’ll become their dogs.

But until then, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and consider them our helpful friends implanted in our mobile devices, here to make learning and organizing our lives efficient and easier. Here are a few that may help:

The Bible Memory App

Verse Locker

Remember Me

Write it down:

Channel your tenth-grade biology self and whip out those flash cards for some rote memory. Writing something in your own hand with pen and paper aids in the memorization process.

After it’s written on a small card, you can place it in a spot you’ll see it every day.

Regularly seeing the verse throughout the day, and taking a little extra time to think of the words and meaning will help you remember it.

Doesn’t have to feel like hard work. Just build in habits to review verses at particular times or places each day.

*Rote memory is alright if that’s what it takes for you. Just be sure you take the additional step of actually paying attention to what you’re reading or saying. With passages of scripture, it’s best not to slip into a passive posture if possible.

Choose a translation that resonates with you:

Are you turned off by stuffy, formal talk? Like things loose and casual? Go for The Message

Like feeling contemporary, yet rooted in tradition? Go for the New International Version

Does your professor’s mind like to dig in and know other possible phrasing? Reach for the Amplified Bible

At the most recent count, the number of different Bible translations comes in at a whopping million bajillion. Pick your favorite.

Good Bible Verses To Memorize: 

I’ve done some groundwork for you and have some powerful Bible verses to give you a kickstart.

Check out the following verses and see if any of these stick out to you:

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him?”

Matthew 7:7-11

It’s proof that God gives a crap. He personally cares about our individual lives. And He wants to care for us. Even more than Mommy and Daddy…and even more than we care for our own children, Mommy and Daddy.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. “

Galatians 5:22-23

It’s great for discernment, making decisions, and doing a gut check. If you’re feeling full of peace, joy, kindness, and the others, it’s a good sign to know you’re being led by the Holy Spirit or that God is speaking to you.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

It shows that God is all about Life. He wants us to enjoy our lives and share goodness. I think this one can apply to mortal life and eternal life.

A reminder that the dark stuff, that’s not Him.

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

For so many reasons. To me, this one speaks to a lot of things- enjoying our time and relationship with God, enjoying the natural gifts He’s given us, following our heart and dreams, looking to God first, and following His lead.

“Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add one moment to his life span by worrying?”

Matthew 6:26-27

God is our provider. He cares for us. No need to worry, God’s got your back.

“The Lord passed in front of him and proclaimed: The Lord—the Lord is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger abounding in steadfast love and truth” Exodus 34:6

I mean, this is a huge takeaway from the entire Bible. God is compassionate and loving– towards us, towards others, towards the earth. That’s who and how He is. And! No! He’s not mad at you. Isn’t this a nice counter to the courtyard preacher screaming “Little, children, beware the wrath of God! The wages of sin is death?” (Yikes!) Slow to anger…ahh..that’s so nice!

“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3

God is relational! See, it’s right there. He calls us by name. We’re not a bunch of randos. We’re children of God. He knows us each intimately and loves us each with loyalty.

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

Isaiah 26:3

For one thing, the language! Isn’t that pretty? Different translations will be more practical, but I wanted to share this beautiful phrasing from ye ole King James.

This is such a serene and calming passage. Put your focus on God, and find peace. God is always talking about not worrying. He’s got us! Isn’t that a relaxing thought?

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

My mom has said this verse to our family all our lives. What a wonderful message to assure you that God always knows what’s going on and He will lead you, one step at a time. This one is very much about trust and surrender. Let go of what you know, think you know, or see, and let God be God. He will not fail you or lead you astray.

Enjoy The Process!

As always, I encourage you to have fun with this. Take the pressure off, shift your focus to deeply learning and understanding a few words or phrases from the Bible that bring you life and that you can count on. Once you master a verse or two, you might make this a regular practice. On your own terms, for your own reasons.

Other posts you may be interested in:

Is Life Better If You Believe in God and How To Create Joy In Your Life.

If you want a closer connection with God, but have things to work through, check out my Heart To Heart With God coaching package

I'm Caroline busick

I believe that life is meant to be enjoyed and you are made to live with purpose, passion, and JOY! 

As a life and spiritual coach and certified mindfulness teacher, I'm here to support you as you choose to live with intention and clarity. 

With my one-to-one online coaching, digital resources, and retreats available, we'll work together to ensure that you create a
life you love and love how you're living it. 

Nice to meet you!


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