The concept of ‘stronghold verses’ was first introduced to us by a friend some years ago. The idea was that there were a series of special verses that you took to heart and kept close as constant go-to verses for help and encouragement. They are like fortresses that you can shelter in when life gets tough. Like it says in Psalm 91:2:
“I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'”
Or again in Proverbs 18:10:
“The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”
God is a refuge for us and so is His word. But the Bible is big and can be daunting – how do you find what you’re looking for when time is short and panic is rising? You need your stronghold verses, words you can reel off by heart and use to strengthen yourself. They need to be at your fingertips, ready at a moment’s notice. Inside them you are safe, with strong walls between you and the storm, between you and the enemy.
You can’t learn everything or hold the whole Bible in mind at once. Not everything stays with you, and not everything is meant to. But some things will endure the test of time and stay with you through thick and thin. These are words to cherish and nurture in your heart. Meditate on them, explore them, delight in them, and let the lies and discouragements of the world smash themselves against their strong walls.
These verses can be different for everyone – there are strongholds enough for all of us. In this series I will share some of mine, both as an example and in the hope that they will encourage you. What are your stronghold verses? Maybe there are some favourites that come to mind straightaway? Good, go back to them and learn them even better, and add others too. But if not, go and find your stronghold verses. Use apps and websites and all the universe of resources out there nowadays and explore God’s word with their help. When you find your stronghold verses – those sentences and clauses that jump out and comfort you – make a note of them – highlight them – write them on your wall – and come back to them again and again.
When the storm comes it will be too late to start building. So have your strongholds ready now. You will need these places of safety and comfort, sometimes every day, sometimes every minute. Stay as long as you need. But when you come out, be ready to share them with others. Everyone can benefit from this, and there’s room enough to spare.
Find your strongholds and live your life by them.