Life’s Instruction Manual

One of my grandmother's Bibles

It always irritates me whenever I come across quotations that say something about how life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Life and knowing how to live does come with an instruction manual: it’s called the BIBLE. It’s not only the only manual a human will ever need in order to know how to live but it’s also loaded with fascinating stories.

All my life I have referred to the Bible to help me get through life’s difficulties and worries. And with our lifestlyle, it seems like there’s always something to worry about.

My mantra has been, “If your troubles aren’t big enough to pray about, then they certainly aren’t big enough to worry about;” (author unknown) which I share with my kids frequently. Whenever I’m struggling with something, I’ve always been able to find verses in the Bible to help me get through. The Bible reminds me to be more forgiving of others as well as of myself.

I’ve gained a better understanding of the purpose of my life through scripture in the Bible and have referred to it regarding all of my relationships as well as when I’m grateful, satisfied, and content. I refer to it often regarding how to use my God-given talents and gifts. It’s helped me deal with my shortcomings, jealousies, attitude, anger, and frustrations. It’s also taught me how to worship and pray better, be of service to God and others.

Years ago I started underlining Bible verses that really helped me and guided me through a tough time, decision, or worry. Eventually, I started writing the verses down on blank pages of my most-read Bibles (I have two that I regularly refer to: one given to me as a Christmas gift when I was 8, and another one I received from my church in high school) so I wouldn’t forget where each one could be found in the Bible if I wanted to refer to them again. Writing them down has also been helpful in guiding and comforting my kids whenever they have struggles or worries. Sharing meaningful Bible verses with them has built stronger bonds with them and has taught them how to rely on scripture when they face challenges also.

When I come across a verse or verses that really speaks to me, I write them down along with a word that describes what it’s about. I also have many of my family members and closest girlfriends share with me their favorite Bible verses so I can add them in my Bibles with their names next to them. It’s been a cherished way to feel connected to them.

I have a few top favorite verses that I refer to the most and will share them with you. One of them I put on my cell phone’s screen so I am reminded of it every time I turn my phone on: I Peter 5:7

(I’m a worrier).

Whenever I want to look up what the Bible says about a specific topic, I have come to rely heavily on a great Bible reference book called, Where to Find it in the Bible: The Ultimate A to Z Resource by Ken Anderson. This has been very helpful in using my Bible. Here is my shortlist of meaningful Bible verses in addition to the one I mentioned above:

These first five are ones I’ve referred to the most.

  • Proverbs 3:5-6 Trusting God
  • Philippians 4:6-7 worrying
  • Matthew 6:34 worrying about tomorrow
  • Proverbs 29:25 worrying what others think
  • Psalm 55:22 Feeling troubled
  • Isaiah 41:10 & 13 being afraid
  • Deuteronomy 31:6 God is with you
  • Hebrews 13:6 do not be afraid
  • James 1:3 Enduring
  • Hebrews 12:3 not giving up
  • Hebrews 11:1 Faith
  • Proverbs 20:22 Revenge
  • Proverbs 19:8 Learning
  • Proverbs 16:32 Patience
  • Proverbs 17:9 Forgiving others
  • Proverbs 11:25 Helping others
  • Proverbs 11:18 Doing what’s right
  • Proverbs 11:2 Being modest
  • Proverbs 3:27 Do good to others
  • Colossians 3:23 Working for God
  • Proverbs 20:30 changing
  • Philippians 4:13 my son’s favorite
  • Proverbs 9:10 my husband’s favorite
  • Psalm 119:105 my daughter’s favorite
  • Romans 12 God’s will, my gifts, seeking revenge
  • Romans 12:9-21 treatment of others
  • Psalm 23 The Lord Our Shepard
  • Psalm 121 The Lord Our Protector; being afraid
  • Philippians 1:3 thanking God for those in your life
  • I John 4:19 on love
  • Philippians 2:5-6 your attitude; Jesus’ attitude
  • Hebrews 6:10-12 God remembers; helping others
  • Hebrews 10:35 courage; patience
  • Hebrews 12:3 Being discouraged; what Christ endured
  • Hebrews 13:5 avoid loving $; being satisfied
  • I Timothy 4:3 false teachers about eating certain foods/God created foods to be eaten
  • I Timothy 6:11 what to strive for in life
  • Colossians 2:16 no rules about what to eat/drink/holy days/Sabbath
  • Colossians 3:15 Christ’s peace; decision making
  • Colossians 3:23 doing work for God; not others
  • Philippians 4:6 worrying/praying
  • Philippians 4:8 filling your minds w/good things
  • Ephesians 5:15-17 on doing what God wants
  • Philippians 2:1-11 Christ’s humility & greatness
  • I Corinthians 7:17, 20 God’s call for you
  • I Corinthians 10:13 on being tested
  • I Corinthians 12:4-11 using our gifts
  • I Corinthians 16:13-14 be brave, strong in faith/do work in love
  • II Corinthians 1:4 helping others through our own troubles
  • II Corinthians 1:9 Rely on God
  • II Corinthians 5:10 we will all be judged
  • II Corinthians 6:4 enduring hardships
  • I Timothy 4:6-16 being a good servant of Jesus
  • Ephesians 2:5 saved by God’s grace
  • James 1:3, faith/endurance in trials
  • James 1:6 Pray without doubt
  • I Peter 1:7, 3:4 true beauty
  • I John 5:14-15 Reassurance that God hears us

A really good Bible for anyone trying to choose a good one that we’ve discovered is called the MacArthur Study Bible. A book that transformed my life and is an excellent companion to the Bible but also helps understand our life’s purpose is The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I hope some of these verses prove as helpful to you as they have to me.

3 responses to “Life’s Instruction Manual”

  1. Kari Sanders Avatar
    Kari Sanders

    Thanks Amy!!

  2. Val Avatar

    Amy, Kari Sanders encouraged us to visit your site. There have been some recent changes at church and I have not adjusted very well. Thank you for being there and for all the great inspiration. -VG

  3. Amy Avatar

    Hey Val, thanks for visiting! Sometimes I try to remind myself what it is that I truly want to get out of church when I experience similar situations. That sometimes puts things in perspective for me.

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