Scripture Guide for Transitions

Following are some verses of encouragement, guidance, and comfort that may be especially helpful during times of change and transition, loss, or adversity. These verses also offer anchoring truths and steady instruction to help you stay the course—living today in such a way that you will finish your life well, however much time you have left on this earth.1

Recommendation: Read the category of verses that seems most pertinent to what you’re going through in life right now; pick one or two to memorize and review regularly throughout your day.

Note: All Scriptures quoted below are in the English Standard Version (ESV).

Leaning on the Eternal and Unchanging God

Our lives are ever-changing and comparatively brief, but God never changes. He and His Word are everlasting—as are those who have placed their trust in Him.

The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
(Psalm 46:6)

Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
(Psalm 90:2)

My days are like an evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.
But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
you are remembered throughout all generations. . . .
Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you will remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
(Psalm 102:11–12, 25–27)

But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children.
(Psalm 103:17)

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
(Psalm 145:13)

All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.
(Isaiah 40:6b–8)

And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
(Daniel 7:14)

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
(Malachi 3:6)

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
(Matthew 24:35)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13:8)

 

Resting in Our Future Hope

Those who know and follow God have an anchor for their souls—a firm hope rooted in a promise from the unchanging God that they will not be “cut off.” They will live forever and the works they do “as unto the Lord” during their earthly lives will endure and be rewarded.  

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God,
whom I shall see for myself,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!
(Job 19:25–27)

[The Lord] will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever . . .
(Psalm 37:28)

Wait for the Lord and keep his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
(Psalm 37:34)

O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!  Selah
    Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.
(Psalm 39:4–7)

So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom. . . .
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!
(Psalm 90:12, 17)

Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
(Proverbs 23:18)

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
(John 10:27–29)

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
(Romans 8:22–25; start with verse 18 for the full context)

. . . he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.
(2 Corinthians 4:14)

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
(2 Corinthians 5:1–5)

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
(Ephesians 1:13–14)

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
(Philippians 3:20–21)

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever . . .
(Hebrews 6:19–20; start with verse 13 for the full context)

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. . . . But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
(Hebrews 11:13, 16)

According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
(1 Peter 1:3–5)

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
(1 John 2:17)

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
(1 John 3:2–3)

Investing in the Eternal Over the Temporal

God wants us to put “first things first.” He does not want us to live presumptuously (as though we have all the time in the world) but to avoid the temptation to put off the important in favor of the urgent.

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.
(Proverbs 11:4)

Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
(Proverbs 11:28)

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. . . . But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
(Matthew 6:19–21, 33)

For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.
(1 Timothy 6:7)

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
(James 4:13–17)

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.
(1 John 2:15–16)

Embracing Biblical Stewardship

For as long as God puts us on this earth, we are His stewards (managing His affairs and possessions) and His ambassadors (on His business, not ours). We should always hold to any wealth and temporal belongings/gifts with a loose grip, recognizing them as coming from Him and using them for His purposes and glory.

Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery . . . Beware lest you say in your heart, “My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.” You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
(Deuteronomy 8:11–14, 17–18)

If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
(Proverbs 25:16)

Wisdom is good with an inheritance,
an advantage to those who see the sun.
For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money,
and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.
(Ecclesiastes 7:11–12)

Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 6:1)

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
(Matthew 6:24)

And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
(Mark 12:43–44)

And [Jesus] said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
(Luke 12:15–21)

What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
(1 Corinthians 4:7)

On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper . . .
(1 Corinthians 16:2)

Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
(2 Corinthians 9:6–7)

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
(Colossians 3:23–24)

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
(1 Timothy 6:9)

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
(1 Timothy 6:17–19)

Finding Comfort in Suffering, Trials, and Loss

From disease and sicknesses early in life to the bodily weaknesses and limitations that come with age, God does not guarantee healing but He does promise to comfort us in our afflictions, whether our aches and pains are small or large, temporary or chronic.

The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
(Deuteronomy 33:27)

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. . . .
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.
(Psalm 23:4, 6)

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
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
(Psalm 46:1–5)

Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation.
(Psalm 68:19)

This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life.
(Psalm 119:50)

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
(Isaiah 43:2)

Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
(Lamentations 3:19–24)

We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
(Romans 5:3–5)

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
(Romans 8:18)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
(2 Corinthians 1:3–5)

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
(2 Corinthians 4:16–18)

In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
(Philippians 4:12–13)

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13–14)

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
(1 Peter 4:12–13)

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
(1 Peter 5:10)

Finishing Well

God calls us to remain steadfast, persevering to the end of life, in our pursuit of Him. There is no expiration on His call and promise to use us for His kingdom purposes, even as the circumstances of our lives change—sometimes dramatically.

O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come.
(Psalm 71:17–18)

The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the Lord is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
(Psalm 92:12–15)

The one who endures to the end will be saved.
(Mark 13:13)

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
(1 Corinthians 9:24–27)

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
(Galatians 6:9)

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time . . .
(1 Timothy 6:12–15a)

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful.
(2 Timothy 2:11–13)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
(2 Timothy 4:7–8)

For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.
(Hebrews 3:14)

And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
(Hebrews 6:11–12)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
(Hebrews 12:1–3)

Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
(Revelation 13:10)


Notes:

[1] Boa and Abel, Recalibrate Your Life, 231.


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Recalibrate Your Life: Navigating Transitions with Purpose and Hope

Times of transition, especially in midlife or later life, are ideal moments for recalibrating our priorities and habits. Gain practical tools and the eternal perspective needed to evaluate your God-given gifts, skills, wisdom, resources, and opportunities in order to life meaningfully now and for the rest of your earthly sojourn.

Recalibrate your life