By Whitney Hopler, Crosswalk.com
Reading the Bible is a vital practice for spiritual strength. You can feel free to read the Bible in whatever ways work best for you. What’s important is that you know what the Bible says and apply its wisdom to your life, to help you grow closer to God. Here are the top 10 most popular Bible verses from recent rankings. Let these popular Bible verses spark your curiosity to learn more, and inspire you to read the Bible regularly.
What Makes These Bible Verses Popular?
Several themes connect these popular Bible verses: Connecting with God, living with purpose, and finding strength. Those themes are all vital aspects of living well.
People searched for verses on connecting with God themselves, and helping others connect with God. People are relational, and the most important relationship people can have is with God. Scriptures about how God gave the world Jesus to connect with him, and about sharing that Gospel message, made the list.
Online searches show that verses about living with purpose were also popular. Readers want to know how to make the best decisions in their lives, so they can spend their time doing what matters most. They’re seeking God’s guidance in scripture on how to discover and fulfill his purposes for their lives.
Finding strength was another popular search theme. God offers any type of strength people may need – hope, wisdom, courage, and more. Life in this fallen world is full of stress and challenges. People searched for Bible verses about how God can empower them with strength. Those verses serve as valuable reminders that help from God is always available.
10 Most Popular Bible Verses
Here are the top 10 most popular Bible verses from 2021, according to online search rankings from BibleStudyTools.com:
1. John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This well-known verse summarizes the Gospel message. It’s a classic that has proved to be popular yet again. John 3:16 shines a light on God’s plan for humanity to connect with him in saving relationships for eternity. It’s a powerful scripture that highlights the ultimate hope God offers to everyone.
2. Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This scripture quotes God talking about his good plans for each person’s future. God’s promises here can encourage you as you face uncertainty and seek God’s purposes for your life.
3. Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This verse highlights God’s purpose. It can be especially helpful when you’re dealing with difficult circumstances since it assures you that God will ultimately work out any situation – even the most challenging ones – for your good.
4. Philippians 4:13: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” This scripture emphasizes how God empowers people. You can boost your confidence through this verse, which reminds you that God will help you with everything you need. You don’t need to worry about feeling weak; instead, you can ask God for the strength to do whatever you need to do.
5. Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” This verse, which is the very first one in the Bible, sets the foundation for readers by declaring that God created the universe. It introduces you to your Creator and reminds you that you are part of God’s wondrous creation, where everyone and everything is connected to the God who made it all.
6. Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” This scripture urges you to place your trust in God rather than just on your own understanding. Keep in mind that God’s perspective is unlimited, while human perspectives are limited. Trusting in God’s wisdom to make your decisions will empower you to do what’s best in any situation.
7. Proverbs 3:6: “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” This verse is a continuation of the verse that ranks number 6 that we’ve just explored. It describes what trust looks like in action (acknowledging God in all your choices) and how God will respond to your trust (by making your path forward clear so you can move forward with purpose).
8. Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” This scripture emphasizes the importance of discernment in order to make the best decisions. The Holy Spirit can renew your mind when you ask him to do so regularly. Then, after God’s wisdom fills your mind, you will be able to figure out God’s will for your next steps in any situation you face. By following the advice in this verse, you can move forward with purpose.
9. Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” This verse urges you to turn your worries into prayers. It frees you from anxiety by giving you a much more effective way to deal with your concerns: communicating with God in prayer about them.
10. Matthew 28:19: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” This scripture, which quotes Jesus, directs all believers to share the Gospel message with other people. It highlights the importance of serving God by sharing the hope he offers with others in our global family. This verse is a vital call to action.
How to Choose Your Own Favorite Verse
You can choose your own favorite Bible verse to read, reflect on, and pray about whenever you need encouragement. Which scriptures stand out the most for you? Pray about them, asking the Holy Spirit to guide you to focus on one that is especially meaningful and helpful in your life. If there are several verses that you’re drawn to, feel free to focus on them rather than limiting yourself to just one. The Spirit will lead you to whatever verse or verses are most useful for you to focus on right now.
When you have a favorite verse (or several), you will be motivated to read the Bible regularly. Reading on a regular basis can give you many well-being benefits. A research study I cite in my book Wake Up to Wonder found that just 30 minutes of reading a day leads to less anxiety, isolation, loneliness, and stress, and more confidence, community spirit, creativity, cultural awareness, empathy for others, and good quality sleep. You can experience those benefits from reading just about anything you enjoy, and when you read the Bible, you gain even more benefits. Several research studies I mention in the book show that worship activities such as Bible reading lead to more awe, greater wisdom, and stronger mental health.
The top 10 most popular Bible verses from recent rankings show that readers are searching online for themes of connecting with God, living with purpose, and finding strength. You can benefit from reading these popular verses and others that you choose, as the Holy Spirit leads you. When you make Bible reading a habit, you can experience many blessings along the way!
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Grace Cary
Whitney Hopler is the author of the Wake Up to Wonder book and the Wake Up to Wonder blog, which help people thrive through experiencing awe. She leads the communications work at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations, including Crosswalk.com, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel on angels and miracles). She has also written the young adult novel Dream Factory. Connect with Whitney on Twitter.