15 Bible Verses about Motivation

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Motivation is characterized by “a strong reason to act or accomplish something.”

Similar to such ideas as energy or willpower, motivation is a finite resource. This means from time to time we will lose motivation and need to replenish. In order to do that, we have to be able to discern when we need to refill and how. Most importantly, we need to also know why keeping up our motivation is necessary.

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33)

These words were spoken by Jesus to His followers then, and to the people of God today. Motivation is crucial in a world of suffering. As Jesus has ordered us to live as He did, staying motivated makes the difference between virtue or sin.

We need reason to act in accordance with what Scripture tells us. Thus, we receive lessons from the Bible about such rewards including salvation, healing, restoration, all of which result from choosing Jesus.

As Jesus in Himself presents the perfect role-model, staying motivated makes the difference in the effort we put into modeling His behavior in our lives.

With the suffering Jesus forewarns us of, we know that suffering is a result of sin that entered the world because of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3). He admonishes us to overcome the world, knowing that the temptations of the world will entice us, just as the original man and woman were enticed in the garden.

Likewise, the suffering we encounter in the world can tempt us to give into despair, and disconnect from God. When Jesus says to be “courageous” or as some translations say “be of good cheer,” this is in effect Jesus telling us to stay motivated.

If motivation were natural His words would be superfluous, but we as sinful human beings require the reminders and insight. Our sinful and flawed nature may be the reason our motivation is largely inconsistent.

As Jesus gives us a contrast between Him and the world, we know that the difference in the two is the reason we need to stay motivated. By doing so we can choose Jesus more often than not.

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    How Can Christians Stay Motivated?

    Jesus wants us to remain courageous in a world of suffering. How do we remain motivated to follow His teachings, especially during the times of life when our suffering seems louder than our faith?

    These moments of life where we feel ourselves in metaphorical storms are moments we can take as indications to stay motivated. If we spend more time worrying, and not being courageous, then we know our motivation needs a refill. No one is perfect in their ability to follow God (Romans 3:23).

    Therefore, the Bible helps us to understand how we can refill our motivation to follow Christ when needed. And the refill is always needed at some point.

    In the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, He asks her for a drink, but she rebuts with questions. Then Jesus gives a striking response.

    “Jesus said, ‘Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.’” (John 4:13-14)

    As Pastor Steven Furtick mentions in one of his sermons, the key lesson is that we as people do thirst, but we will always have a supply available to us because Jesus is unchanging (Hebrew 13:8). That natural well will run out of supply, but Jesus will not. He is an infinite resource. This is vital for Christians to be aware of as we live our lives facing the various challenges that come our way.

    Through His teachings and the Bible we can isolate three important factors for staying motivated. First is having a relationship with God. The greatest commandment, Jesus says, speaks to having a relationship with God (Matthew 22:37).

    We understand the importance of a relationship with God because secondly, we have the Holy Bible as a resource to keep us motivated in our daily living. There we find the reasons God desires for us to do good, we learn how much He loves us, and we witness the consequences of losing motivation and choosing sin.

    Lastly, as indicated by the second greatest commandment, we are reminded to love other people as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). The Bible speaks to the benefits we receive in our relationships with others, including staying motivated. With community we can be encouraged and help encourage others.

    If you are looking to push a fellow believer to stay motivated, or require a refill for yourself, here are 15 Bible verses about motivation.

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  • <strong>15 Bible Verses about Motivation</strong>

    15 Bible Verses about Motivation

    1. Matthew 10:29-31

    “Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

    This verse from the Book of Matthew speaks to God’s value of humanity. To God, we have inherent “worth.” There are moments when we fall away from Jesus’ request for us to be courageous. The reason may be circumstances or self-doubt. Whatever the case, nothing happens outside of God’s control as this verse reminds us.

    2. Isaiah 40:31

    “But those who trust in the Lord

    will renew their strength;

    they will soar on wings like eagles;

    they will run and not become weary,

    they will walk and not faint.”

    Waiting on God can prove to be a difficult task. Sometimes waiting tempts us to give up motivation to try or hope a situation will turn around. This verse from Scripture is encouraging because we see a promise that if we do not give up, there will be a reward.

    3. Jeremiah 29:13

    “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.”

    This verse too makes a promise to believers. We can remain motivated to seek God because if we don’t give up we will find Him in all circumstances.

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    4. Romans 8:28

    “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”

    Part of the struggle with being a believer is accepting that some undesirable situations happen in life. Sometimes there are things that occur that leave us with unspeakable trauma. God’s word indicates that there is purpose in the suffering, and there is purpose in our blessings. Not one thing, or some things, but all things work together for our good.

    This does not mean all things have to occur, but God can make all things work to our benefit.

    5. Proverbs 27:17

    Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another.”

    Part of the Bible’s reassurance plan for motivation is its encouragement of community. We each have an ability to build up one another in unique ways: whether you have proficiency with words or actions. We can all play our part in supporting one another.

    6. Psalm 23:1-4

    “The Lord is my shepherd;

    I have what I need.

    He lets me lie down in green pastures;

    he leads me beside quiet waters.

    He renews my life;

    he leads me along the right paths

    for his name’s sake.

    Even when I go through the darkest valley,

    I fear no danger,

    for you are with me;

    your rod and your staff—they comfort me.”

    These words from Scripture offer a great reminder that God is ever-present throughout our lives. He is present when we are happy and when we are sad. No matter our status, we can rest confidently knowing God is guiding us.

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    7. Matthew 6:33

    “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.”

    God rewards those who follow Him. When we put God before our own priorities we are able to reap the benefits of living for a greater purpose beyond ourselves. To seek God first is to view Jesus in the way He spoke to the Samaritan Woman. He is the well that never runs dry. We should run to Him first before anywhere else. Once we do we will realize we do not need to go anywhere else.

    8.  Psalm 126:5

    “Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy.”

    No matter our degree of suffering, we will always emerge victorious, that is if we stay motivated. Seeking God’s kingdom first will require us to suffer sometimes, but that suffering doesn’t last forever. Therefore, we can remain encouraged that the bad times, like the good times, come in seasons.

    9. Galatians 6:9

    “Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.”

    Staying motivated to do the right things always pays off. The catch is that we cannot give up.

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    10. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

    “Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

    What helps us to stay motivated is realizing that we metaphorically and literally see with a limited perspective. None of us has the understanding of God. Therefore, we have to ensure that we put more trust in the unseen (our faith) than what is seen.

    11. Deuteronomy 31:6

    Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For the Lord your God is the one who will go with you; he will not leave you or abandon you.”

    One way to lose motivation is to give into fear, fear of what could happen, fear of what won’t happen. Jesus’ admonition for us to remain courageous reminds us that we have a choice. Fear does not have to dictate our lives, nor does it have to rob us of motivation to follow Him.

    12. Philippians 4:13

    “I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.”

    One of the main reasons we can stay motivated is that we know life is not won by our own might. Instead we have an opportunity to rely on an omnipotent and omnipresent God. That’s encouraging to know especially when we simply cannot see a way to independently solve life’s challenges.

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    13. Psalm 27:14

    “Wait for the Lord;

    be strong, and let your heart be courageous.

    Wait for the Lord.”

    Our faulty motivation will at times require us to wait on God. Sometimes we need to step back and refrain from trying to work on our own behalf, but rather waiting on God to act.

    14. 1 John 4:18

    “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears is not complete in love.”

    If we are to love as ideally as Jesus commands us to with God and other people, we cannot allow fear to live within us. Following the example of Jesus means saying no to fear, while saying yes to Him.

    Fear takes away motivation to do the right thing, and disconnects us from God.

    15. Jeremiah 29:11

    “‘For I know the plans I have for you’—this is the Lord’s declaration—’plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”

    God’s plan for our lives is a positive one. We can feel encouraged knowing that if we seek Him, goodness is bound to follow us.

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    How to Stay Motivated

    Now that we understand motivation to be a finite resource that needs to be refilled, we can be more mindful of the moments where our willpower is too feeble to help us make the right decision.

    God’s word provides wisdom we can use throughout our lives. He reminds us that we can see Him as Father, as Son, or as Holy Spirit. God can and will grant us more motivation.

    Not only that, but Scripture reminds us that we can rely on one another to stay encouraged. When we do better at keeping ourselves encouraged, we can motivate others. And the more we motivate others, the more we ourselves will remain encouraged.

    Whether we need to pray, soak up God’s words, coach ourselves in the mirror, talk to someone, or simply set goals. Staying motivated is always an option.

    We may face trials and tribulations in life, but we can face them head-on, and apparently with good cheer.

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    headshot of author Aaron BrownAaron Brown is a freelance writer, dance teacher, and visual artist. He currently contributes articles to GodUpdates, GodTube, iBelieve, and Crosswalk. Aaron also supports clients through the freelance platform Upwork.