For some strange reason, I’ve managed to memorize key Bible verses that are reminders of God’s Truth, especially throughout my period of unemployment. In random moments of panic and anxiety, right through to times of intentional prayer, I have found the Bible verses memorized helps me to maintain focus.

Jeremiah 29:11 happens to be the third verse I’ve memorized since last week:

 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.” (NIV)

Not knowing the plan is part of my frustration, but I am reminded that it’s also part of my solution. Being goal-oriented is often a good attribute to have, but when you’re unemployed, the goal is much more difficult to achieve. The verse reminds me that God’s in control, that He is sovereign, that He hasn’t forgotten about me, and that He has designed a plan for my life that is for my benefit (and not my harm).

Unemployment brings with it such immense uncertainty, and trusting that God’s plan for us will always be for our good, will bring us back in tune with His purpose for our life. I know all too well that this faith is not always present in my life, that in my state of mind, I can spinout and think that there is no hope, no meaning, no plan. Yet the better side of me knows that Truth always trumps my own emotions and feelings. If I have the verse in my head and heart, I can quickly get off that merry-go-round of emotions that tends to take me on the verge of emotional exhaustion.

One trick that I’ve found useful in memorizing the Bible verses is to begin by stating the citation, and then recite the complete verse. Then after completely reciting the verse, end it with the citation once more. For example, here’s what I would literally say:

“Jeremiah 29:11. For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.”

I hope this post will be an encouragement to you, especially those who are in the same situation as me.