The Bible is full of memorable and meaningful verses, but some of the richest treasures are often unfamiliar to the average Christian. What are some of the underrated verses or passages in the Bible that rarely make it onto the memory flashcards but are nevertheless worth remembering? We asked a few Biola professors to weigh in.
I love the word picture these verses give of our life as a sanctified journey on a road facing into the dawn, headed into the daylight. So as we walk in the right way following our Lord Jesus as his righteous ones, we have more and more light as the sun comes up and we can see temptations coming; we know and recognize them and we can avoid stumbling! Jesus is the light of the world!
— Betsy A. Barber, associate professor of spirituality and psychology; associate director of the Institute for Spiritual Formation, Talbot School of Theology
There can be much sorrow in life: financial problems, hurtful relationships, loss of loved ones, emotional and physical pain and suffering. Yet through all of life’s trials, God offers us not happiness as unbelievers know it, but a joy that only God can give us in the midst of troubled times. When we lose our joy we are weak and vulnerable. … Joy comes from knowing our Lord intimately as the Great Provider, the Great Physician and the Great Comforter, no matter how our circumstances may appear.
— Annette Browning, associate professor of nursing
Lamentations is a book depicting both rugged history and poetic beauty. It is a dense treatise of the counterintuitive ways that God works in our world and among his people. In this passage, God allows the un-retouched shame of his people’s disobedience to intersect with his radical displays of mercy and grace. In Lamentations, we see ourselves and find God.
— Freddy Cardoza, associate professor; chair, Christian education department
This verse reminds me of the Lord’s faithfulness. After we go through a difficult season of loss and suffering, the Lord still has something special in mind for us. Maybe it won’t be until we see Jesus, but for me I am overflowing with the blessings promised in this verse.
— Tom Finley, professor of Old Testament and Semitics
When Paul prays for the church at Ephesus, he doesn’t merely pray that their minds will be enlightened, but that their hearts will be awakened with God’s truth. The word heart in the New Testament refers to the center or focus of our personal life, the motivation of all of our desires, motives and choices. The great danger of studying and teaching at a Christian university is that God can become a subject and the Scriptures a text to be studied. Paul’s prayer is a great reminder to me that my faith shouldn’t be merely an intellectual exercise, but something that touches all of me.
— Tim Muehlhoff, associate professor of communication
This verse conveys the importance of our present effort and ability for the future applications of a more complex or advanced nature. As a biblical principle, it communicates the need to be diligent and responsible “in the here and now” with one’s work ethic, discipline and personal endeavors in order to be prepared, trained and capable for eventual achievement and success. For college students specifically, this can be applied to graduate studies, career pursuits, personal relationship matters or spiritual/ministry involvement.
— Marc Apkarian, associate professor of kinesiology
This verse reminds me that I too often do not seek God as my source of refreshment but try to stockpile resources that will meet my needs. What I choose is always inferior to what God offers me. What I think will meet my needs in the future dissipates in the waiting. I am reminded that God is a fountain of living waters that is always there. He deserves my honoring him and always brings me fulfillment as I wholeheartedly seek after him.
— Tim Stranske, professor of education and chair of graduate studies, School of Education
In times of difficulty and struggle, this verse is a reminder that God has been good in the past and so will be good in the future. It is an instruction to myself to rest in God’s goodness. Note to self: God has been good!
— Jason McMartin, assistant professor of biblical and theological studies