#101: People around the World are Struggling and Need God

Christianity Today ran an interesting article that summarized YouVersion’s top 10 most popular Bible verses of 2014 based on 164 million users of the app. Because the app is translated into 1,000 languages, 70% of the world’s population can read the bible in their heart language. And because the base of users is huge it tells a story of what is on people’s minds.

Bible, YouVerse

Summarizing the World’s Bible Readers

We don’t know how many of the people around the world reading the YouVersion app are believers, but from the top 10 verses I’ve drawn five conclusions:

  • People want to know that they can trust God.
  • People want to know how God expects them to live out their lives.
  • People want to know how to deal with difficult situations.
  • People want to know how to find peace in their lives.
  • People are generally fearful about their current and future situations and are looking to Scripture for comfort and guidance.

The Top 10 with My Affirmations

As I read through these verses each one resonated with me, especially because I am in the midst of planning ministry work in 2015. I thought about the implications of these verses in my life and recorded an affirmation or an action that I plan on taking for each one.

#1: Romans 12:2 (ESV). 2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Stand Apart. I must not conform to worldly values, but rather I must focus on discerning the good and perfect will of God and His plan for my life.

#2: Philippians 4:8 (ESV) 8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Focus on the good. There is so much negative stuff going in the world today. I need to cleanse my life of the worldly, and focus on and think about what is Godly.

#3: Philippians 4:6 (ESV) 6  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Pray instead of worrying. Being anxious about something doesn’t fix anything. Whenever I feel anxious I need to take it to God in prayer.

#4: Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) 11  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

God has good plans for me. God knows the plans He has for me, and they are good plans for the future full of hope.

#5: Matthew 6:33 (ESV) 33  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Seeking God is a priority. I expect a lot in this life, but first and foremost I need to seek God. When I seek God first He will provide all I need.

#6: Philippians 4:7 (ESV) 7  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

God is the creator of peace in my life. God is the creator of peace, and real peace in my life comes not from man, but from God.

#7: Proverbs 3:5 (ESV) 5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Trust God, not ourselves. So often I rush out to get work done or solve a problem leaning on my own understanding. I need to trust God with all my heart in every situation.

#8: Isaiah 41:10 (ESV) 10  fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Have no fear, lean on God. I don’t need to be fearful or dismayed because God is always with me, ready to strengthen me, help me, and guide me.

#9: Matthew 6:34 (ESV) 34  “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Don’t worry about tomorrow. Every day may have some kind of trouble and it doesn’t solve anything to worry about future troubles that may or may not ever come to pass.

#10: Proverbs 3:6 (ESV) 6  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

God will guide me. No matter what else is going on in my life I will acknowledge God and He will guide me.


My Responsibility as a Leader

Millions of people are looking to God for answers to many of life’s difficult situations. I feel especially blessed and fortunate because I rest in the firm knowledge that God is in control and He has great plans for me. As a leader, I pray that God will use me in the coming year to help people who need God’s peace, comfort, and direction in their lives!

Join the Conversation

As always questions and comments are welcome! What do you think of the top 10 verses? Which one speaks to you in particular? How can you help meet other’s need to know God this year?

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Category: Personal Development | Dependence on God

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • John P. Weis says:

    I really like Philippians 4:6 , “Do not be anxious about anything.” We tend to get so wrapped up in our problems and forget that control is largely illusory and up to God in the end. Thanks for a good reminder, Ron!

  • Matthew Alvarado says:

    The premise of this article could not be any more accurate. In our growing society, more and more people are losing touch with their faith and are being swayed towards the norm what our society sees as acceptable. As for the highlighted in Matthew 6, we are called to seek God. We are called to seek Him in all of our efforts and practices. That may prove to be a more arduous task as we advance in society with more and more focus being on the notions of things that are acceptable by societal standards, but not necessarily by biblical standards. As Christians, it is our reasonability to be the best possible stewards of the Lord and be the living example of what he intended us to be.

  • Malachi Kobayashi says:

    I believe that not only personally but with a lot of college kids my age or in general there is a lot of anxiety put on graduation. For some reason we are taught and expected to have this huge step in life to get a job and start a job that we will be working for the next 40 years of our life. This is true and the expectation of college is to find a job but I think too often we forget that the step in life isn’t the same for all. Yes some people are finding awesome jobs straight out of college and the societal pressure is there, not to forget the pressure of loans and finding a means of income. However like the points you stated earlier do not be anxious and wait upon the Lord, do not lean upon your own understanding. We try to rush our lives like were running a race but this is a journey and the destination is somewhere we don’t know. In the mean time we musn’t rush and get worried because God’s plan will be apparent when we lean upon Him and hear what He has in store for us. In a less theological perspective I was talking to a buddy about all this anxiety and expectations that is put upon us and I laughed. What if instead of seeing this as a purgatory place where our college careers and lives go to do die (whether we end up working jobs we didn’t expect) we should look at this time in our life as a blessing. This is a time where we are given a freedom that we will rarely see in life again. Prior to this period we are in the homes of our parents and in school and after this in the long run we will have families and spouses that we will have responsbilities towards. But in this moment we are free as a bird with very little responsiblities and unlimited possiblities. In a sense we can do and go wherever we want. As far as the bills and other “necessities of life” the Lord says to not worry because we can be assured by His creation around us that we serve a God who loves and takes care of us. I think to the verse where he talks about the flower of the fields and how beautiful they are we have to ask ourselves “why doubt our God who promises us so much more”? However in order to feel this peace we musn’t look towards man because man tells us we need so much more to find peace, instead we must find peace in God and His desires for us. It is until then that we can be fully relaxed and confident in what we are doing and know that God is here with us. This is where we find peace.

  • Ariel Wong says:

    I am surprised that 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 was not listed as one of the top ten verses. This was one of the verses that really stuck to me when I was learning about God’s love for humanity. In this broken world where it is not uncommon to be cheated and abused in human relationships, it is comforting to know that there is a greater being out there who loves each and every one of his children unconditionally. This verse may be overused at weddings and romantic settings but it is wrong way to view this verse, this description of love. I feel that everyone wants to be loved and only God can show such a crazy love, described in 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”. No one can top Jesus’ ultimate love for humanity, to take on all the sins of the world so that God would forgive each and every person from the time of Jesus’ death to the far future.

  • Adrie says:

    I think the main concern for people is knowing that they can trust God with their lives. It is easy to get wrapped up in the worries of everyday life and forget that we have a greater purpose. The world is constantly sending us message of what our lives should look like, but it never even mentions God. The top ten verses place God right in the center. Time after time God tells us to come to him. If we are worried about something, he says come to me. If you are unsure about your future, come to me. If you fear what tomorrow will bring, come to me. It becomes clear that at every step in life we must place God first.

  • Matthew Puliz says:

    I really like your five conclusions about the verses because all five of them are true about today’s world. People really want to believe what you said near the end, “I rest in the firm knowledge that God is in control and He has great plans for me.” People want God but he seems out of reach and too far away for most. This is our fault as Christians because we always expect a direct and immediate answer from God. I have had the same doubts and fears as what you brought up in your conclusions. The problem for me is I don’t spend time listening for God to speak. People are concerned about what the world is coming to, and I think the answer lies in the fact we never stop from being busy. People (including myself) need to allow God to become a part of every part of our lives.

  • Jessica Rice says:

    When reading the top 10 Bible verses of 2014 I was not surprised by the five conclusions that you were able to draw from them as well as the content and meaning of the verses, what was more intriguing to me was reading the article that was referenced in the post and seeing the verses that were most popular in various locations.
    It is amazing to me that technology will now not only allow us to make the Bible accessible to 164 million users on an application, but that it is able to be translated into over 1,000 languages. This technology not only allows for the Bible to reach more people than possibly before, but it allows one to see what verses are being accessed in each location and the frequency that they are being read/shared/posted.
    This post was a great reminder of the constant presence that God is in our lives and that in every community around the world Christians have similar doubts, questions, and anxieties and look to the same types of verses in order to find that peace and faith in God.

  • Lisa Olivarez says:

    The topic of the ten most popular Bible verses this past year was very interesting to me. There seems to be reoccurring themes of verses that seek faith, reassurance, faith, stability and peace through God. As a senior these themes are very relatable and resonate with the uncertainty that awaits in the future work field. But this topic also reminded me that as long as we carry our faith in every situation we can be good leaders and good business people as well.- MKTG 364

  • Jamie Montgomery says:

    This article was very interesting to me and hit me because I searched and read up on those verses many times last year. To see the list of the top 10 verses and the interpretation you give for each one makes them more personal. I have recently been reading Proverbs and I made a not of Proverbs 3:5. I do need to trust in the Lord more and work on turning towards Him instead of running around keeping myself busy and going through the motions. I need to turn towards the Lord to fix my problems and work towards knowing Him instead of getting stuff done.
    The rest of the verses as well are topics I need to work on for 2015 and are a part of how I plan to strengthen my walk with the Lord. Every single verse listed is important to becoming the person I want to become.

  • Josh Romero says:

    “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34 <—— Couldn't have come across this verse at a better time!

    I was raised in a Christian home and attending Christian private schools from my whole life from elementary school up through college and I think I have become blind to the fact that there are people that follow a life without God and genuinely want to know Him. I do agree that people want to know that they can trust God, that people want to know how God expects them to live out their lives, that people want to know how to deal with adversity, that they want to know how to find peace in their lives, and that people want to find comfort and guidance when they have struggles in their life. People want all these things but don't know where to start or might not feel comfortable seeing help. I trust the Lord will take care of me and I find comfort in that but how can I be blessing to others and be the "leader" He wants me to be? I get so caught up in my own life and knowing that God has my back and I want to remind people and reassure them that God is there for them as well.

  • Sophia Bowles says:

    I find it fascinating as well to read the top most viewed verses of the Bible because it seems there is a central theme. The theme that came to my mind is letting God lead and following Him by trusting Him. The sermon this Sunday at the church I go to was also about faith. I think being a faith-based community is such a precious thing because it is true that the world is corrupted. Therefore, we mustn’t love things of the world, we must keep our eyes fixed on God and His good and perfect will. I have learned that peace does come from God when I am content with what He has given me and have faith in His way for me. I should not have a worldview where I pursue and try to make all of my hopes and dreams come true but rather a worldview where I trust and rely on God to satisfy my needs. I know God loves me and wants me to have His peace which transcends all understanding. That is why He calls me to think of praiseworthy, honorable, true, and noble things. I know I must detach my affections to the world and attach to Him. Therefore, Philippians 4:8 speaks to me because it is a sort of instruction. I can help to meet others’ needs to know God this year by living they way I am instructed to live by God. Micah 6:8 is a clear passage that says the Lord requires me to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Therefore, as I walk humbly I will be able to lead in a way that points others to God instead of myself.

  • Samuel Han says:

    I found the five conclusions that were made from the top 10 bible verse accessed was interesting for me, because it describes human nature, essence, and personality perfectly.
    1. People want to know that they can trust God.
    2. People want to know how God expects them to live out their lives.
    3. People want to know how to deal with difficult situations.
    4. People want to know how to find peace in their lives.
    5. People are generally fearful about their current and future situations and are looking to Scripture for comfort and guidance.

    Breaking down from top to bottom. People that do not believe that God exist wants to either trust themselves or at least trust in someone else for their well-being and security. The truth is that no one in this world as a human will perfectly keep their promises nor will they ever stay the same and never change. It is incredibly difficult to put trust in anyone or oneself.
    People strive for attention, approval and appreciation. There is no one in this world that does not want personal attention, approval and appreciation for the work, sacrifice, care and interest they put in. We want to know what God expects from us so we can meet up to that expectation and we believe there is no way for us to find out what God fully expects from us.
    People don’t know what will happen the very next second or the next day and we don’t want any crises to happen in our lives because it is destruction that goes against life and sustaining. We believe that God is all powerful and all knowing therefore He should have the answer. In this busy, compact and urbanized city life it is difficult to be in silence and find peace. With all the moving, rustling and bustling we feel like something will happen or go wrong which makes it harder for us to find peace. We look to the scripture to find some peace in our lives and hope because we believe the scripture is the word of God.