Sin entered the world, and with it came some things that the Lord did not intend for His children. Death, sickness, pain, and heartache are among some of these things.
He knew that we will need to endure these things with confidence so He provided many promises, prophecies and comforting words in the Holy Bible.
What does the Bible say about comforting the sick?
In the word of God, it takes a communal effort to comfort the sick. This communal effort is not only made possible through human actions but is dependent on the Lord who is the divine healer and restorer.
As the Lord spoke to the children of Israel, He warned them and reminded them that He is the Lord who heals.
This is what the Lord said to the children of Israel in Exodus 15:26.
“…If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”
In James 5:14 we see the power of prayer, the help of the church, and faith in the Lord as three components that combine to encourage and support an individual with any illness.
“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.”
Bible verses to encourage and comfort the sick
Both the Old and New testaments of the Bible are full of scriptures that will provide encouragement and bring comfort to the sick.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, ³⁹ neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 NIV
This text is great for sharing with a friend who is ill or a sick family member. It is also a great motivational text to use if you are enduring your own health battles.
The Lord is always with you and His love for you is unwavering. This is why even amid illness you can be encouraged that He is there and nothing can separate you from His love.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 NIV
David understood the relationship a shepherd had with his sheep and when he wrote the twenty third Psalm, he wrote his personal experiences as a sheep being led by the Shepherd.
The Shepherd will have to lead us sometimes through the valley of the shadow of death. The great thing is that He is our guide and we need not fear any evil. The rod and the staff of our heavenly father will comfort us as we follow His direction to ‘green pastures’.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. ² Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, ³ though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3 NIV
Times of sickness have a way of striking fear into us. The uncertainties, not knowing, what the outcome will be, and thinking about the worst-case scenario may leave us perplexed and doubtful.
This text is a comforting reminder of the great power of God. He will be our safe haven and give us strength when we face uncertainties. He will help us to face our greatest fears.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. ¹⁷ For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. ¹⁸ So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV
A powerful word of encouragement is found in this text. It says you are not to get disheartened; you are not to lose hope, you are not supposed to give up on yourself or give up on God.
The apostle Paul shared his own experience in this text and he said that even when his physical body was wasting away his faith and mental fortitude was getting stronger each day.
The apostle drew his strength from the Lord and you too can do the same. If illness has claimed your body, fix your eyes on Jesus of Nazareth and think about the new body He will give you when He returns.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26 NIV
This text shares the same sentiment as the one mentioned above. The bodies we have now are temporary vessels. At the time of Christ’s second return the righteous will change in the twinkling of an eye from mortal to immortal.
Allow the Lord to be your strength and your portion and keep your faith rooted and grounded in Him. Be hopeful knowing that He will be with you forever-even unto the end of the world.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? ² My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2 NIV
Sometimes medications seem like they are taking too long to work or they are not working at all. Sometimes the doctors don’t seem to have all the answers. Sometimes health just seems to slip away from us.
In times like these don’t give up hope. When medications and modern science are not helping there is still Someone who can help.
Lift up your eyes to the hills from whence cometh your help because all the help you need for your illness will come from the Lord. He made heaven and earth and He can give the healing you are seeking.
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” ⁵ He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:4-5 NIV
This text is one of Jesus’ prophecies that provides hope for us as we endure difficulties here on earth. Jesus wants us to be patient and faithful as we endure our trials while being hopeful that one day pain, illness, and death will be a thing of the past.
If you are sick and in pain right now just comfort yourself with the thought that Jesus himself has gone to prepare a place for you where there will be no more sickness or pain.
Bible verses for someone in the hospital
There are many comforting Bible verses that may be used to share the peace of God with a sick person who is in the hospital. These texts help to deal with fear, give hope, and assure God’s deliverance.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NIV
If you are going to the hospital to visit a loved one it is great to use this text as a passage of meditation. As you pray together, recite or read this text and meditate on it.
Being ill, waiting to do a surgery, or starting treatment may cause feelings of fear and anxiety but this text promises God’s strength and assistance.
Reassure your loved one that he/she is not alone in this illness. The God of hope has promised that He will uphold him/her with His righteous right hand.
Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. Jeremiah 33:6 NIV
This is another promise that the Lord makes for His people. In times of illness, He will provide healing, good health, and offer peace.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promises. All you need to do is trust in Him and pray unwaveringly that He will bless you with the healing you need and give the abundant peace He has promised.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 NIV
Jesus knew the importance of peace to the believer. He knew the absence of peace will lead you to fear, anxiety, doubt, hopelessness, and a host of other sad feelings.
When He was leaving earth, He comforted His disciples and told them that He will leave His peace. The peace that Christ offers you today is filling, comforting, and will bring you hope.
As you claim this peace, do not let your heart be troubled about anything in this world.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. ²⁹ Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ³⁰ For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
If you are in the hospital there is a great chance that you are weary from the ache and pain you are feeling. Jesus wants you to take your weariness and burdens to Him. He wants you to exchange such anguish for His yoke.
He has promised that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Exchange your weariness for His yoke today. Learn from Him, embrace His gentleness, and find rest for your soul.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. ⁵ Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. ⁸ Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:4–5, 8 NIV
The prayer of a righteous person availeth much. The psalmist said that he sought the Lord, received an answer, and was delivered. If you believe in the prayer of faith, you can experience the same deliverance from God too.
Look to the Lord in your time of sickness and you will be able to prove Him for yourself. You will not only taste and see His goodness but you will be blessed when you take refuge in Him.
Bible verses to comfort the dying
God’s word has very potent scripture quotations to provide comfort to the sick and dying in their time of need. As followers of Christ, we believe that death is just a rest or sleep and that all who die in Christ will inherit eternal life when He returns.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 3 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
If you have a friend or family member on hospice or on life support it may seem like death is the ultimate outcome. However even in such hard times the word of God can be a source of hope and comfort for you and your unwell loved one.
In all your troubles you can be comforted that death is not the end. In fact, one day death will be no more. The Son of God died so that we might have life and have it more abundantly.
Be hopeful knowing that even if death should claim your loved one Jesus is the resurrection and the life.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 NIV
This is a go to scripture in the book of Psalms that provides hope and confidence to those who have a broken heart or a crushed spirit. It serves as a reminder that the Lord is always near.
In fact, while you are experiencing difficult times or feeling alone, that is when the Lord is with you to ensure that you not only go through your crucibles but you experience transformation and receive strength from them.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. ²³ They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ²⁴ I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” ²⁵ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; ²⁶ it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:22-26 NIV
In God’s word we are reminded that it is the mercies of God why we are not consumed. Once there is still life then there is still hope. Just keep hoping in the Lord and wait patiently and quietly for His salvation.
For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. ³² Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. ³³ For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone. Lamentations 3:31-33 NIV
This verse is a wonderful source of hope. Trials and tribulations will not last forever. Grief will be replaced by the Lord’s compassion. Weeping may endure for a night but joy will come in the morning.
If it is that death should take your loved one away just be hopeful until that morning when the trumpet of God shall sound and the dead in Christ shall rise to meet Him in the air.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. ² My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? ³ And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:1-3 NIV
Even while lying on your bed of illness, you can have a joyful heart because Jesus has promised you eternal life in the kingdom of God.
This world is not your home. Jesus himself has gone to prepare a beautiful home for you and He has promised to return. This new home will be free from sickness, pain, sorrow, and death and the Lord himself will be the light there.
In the King James Version of 3 John 1:2 the apostle wished health and prosperity for his brethren. The text states, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth”.
The Bible is full of passages that echo the same sentiment while providing hope, comfort, and encouragement for all those who are sick.