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Your favourite Bible verse in 2018 is...

Isaiah 41:10 is the world’s No. 1 verse for 2018, according to YouVersion, the most used Bible App across the globe.

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“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” This was the most shared, bookmarked, and highlighted verse by YouVersion community members around the world

“It still hits the nail on the head for a lot of society today.” – Mitch Hammond

“If you just look at the climate of the world today, there is a lot of fear and uncertainty. A lot of people are asking questions because of that, so I think Isaiah 41:10 is a very clear declaration from God to people of his fairness and closeness,” explains Mitch Hammond, YouVersion’s recently appointed Australian representative.

“I think people are looking for that certainty in a world where there is lots of uncertainty.”

Hammond alludes to how loneliness, fear, and other anxieties are well documented around the world. In light of such issues being faced, he’s not surprised that Isaiah 41:10 is continually returned to.

“It still hits the nail on the head for a lot of society today. It’s a very clear passage that really highlights how much God is on our side.”

As many of you will remember, last year’s No. 1 verse around the world was Joshua 1:9 – “This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Keen observers will note similarities of themes and assurances between that verse and Isaiah 41:10. “What it tells me is there’s a need [in people] that isn’t going away,” reflects Hammond about the past two years’ most popular verses on YouVersion.

“They’re the same topics in Scripture, but coming from two different parts of the Bible, which is cool. Isaiah was a prophet and Joshua was earlier in the piece, and it shows Joshua, Isaiah and the Israelites were all facing the same thing.

“It shows that what we feel today is what humanity has felt at many different points in history. It’s not a new problem but it also means it’s not a new solution.”

“That verse is really giving us a sense of encouragement.” – Mitch Hammond

Checking out YouVersion’s 2018 report reveals many statistics about use of the Bible during the past 12 months. Hammond picks out how the No. 1 verse for Australian users of YouVersion is different to the global winner. Australians went with Jeremiah 29:11 – “‘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.'”

Hammonds notes: “It’s interesting that that verse kind of goes off the back of that Isaiah verse. The Isaiah verse is really talking about the present – not to be afraid or discouraged now; God is going to strengthen you now – but the Jeremiah Scripture is talking about future and the plans for it.”

“Often, many parts of the world are worried about the present moment – and that’s important. But for many Australians, there is a great sense of uncertainty about their future.

“There is a lot of fear around decision-making but that verse is really giving us a sense of encouragement, not just for the present, but what’s ahead as well.”

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