Motivation is something we all need in life. We need drive, purpose, and passion to accomplish our goals and live a meaningful life. The Bible has a lot to say about motivation and provides wisdom and guidance for finding motivation in a godly way.
First, the Bible teaches that our motivation should ultimately be to glorify God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” As Christians, bringing glory to God should be the overarching motivation in everything we do. When we live to honor Him, it provides purpose and drive to our lives.
The Bible also talks about doing everything with excellence and working hard as if working for the Lord. Colossians 3:23 says “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” When we remember that God sees our efforts, it motivates us to work with passion and diligence.
Additionally, we are instructed to not grow weary in doing good. Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Having an eternal perspective and hope in God’s promises gives endurance to keep doing good works with joyful motivation.
The Bible gives the example of Jesus as the ultimate model of motivation. Hebrews 12:2-3 says, “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” Jesus was motivated by the joy set before Him to endure the cross. As we fix our eyes on Christ, it motivates us to passionately pursue God’s will.
The Bible also talks about being motivated by testimonies of what God has done in the lives of others. In Hebrews 11, there is a hall of faith describing the accomplishments of biblical heroes who were motivated by their faith in God. Reading about what God did through their obedience can motivate us to have bold faith.
God’s Word gives many exhortations about setting our minds on things above rather than earthly things. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Focusing our thoughts on God and eternal rewards motivates us towards righteous living more than anything this world has to offer.
Overall, the Bible makes it clear that following God’s principles and pursuing His purposes is the secret to lasting motivation. As Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” When we find joy in the Lord, He plants motivating desires in our hearts to serve Him.
While worldly motivations like money, fame, and comfort eventually fade, God promises lasting spiritual motivations. As Christians, our ultimate motivation is living for the glory of God and storing up eternal treasures rather than temporary earthly rewards.
The Bible warns about motivations such as pride, greed and self-promotion. James 3:14 says, “But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.” Instead we are instructed to be humble, serve others, and give generously out of love.
God cares deeply about our motivations. Proverbs 16:2 says, “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.” Thankfully, when our motives are misplaced, we can pray for God to align our hearts with His perfect will.
The Bible shows how God uses both blessings and discipline to motivate us. Hebrews 12:11 says, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Through life’s trials and triumphs, God forms motivating desires in us to passionately pursue holiness.
As the ultimate Shepherd, God knows how to gently guide and prompt us towards righteous motivations. Psalm 23:2-3 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” When we listen for His voice, God will lead us to motivations that align with His heart.
The Bible encourages us to thoughtfully consider our motivations rather than mindlessly drifting through life. Lamentations 3:40 says, “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!” Taking time for self-reflection helps reveal the real motives of our heart.
Scripture repeatedly emphasizes meditating on God’s Word as a key to motivation. Joshua 1:8 says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Immersing our minds in the truth of Scripture renews our motivation.
The Bible describes how serving others with pure motives has a motivating influence. 2 Corinthians 9:12-13 says, “For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ.” Seeing others touched by our Christ-centered service fuels motivation.
One key to continual motivation mentioned in the Bible is nurturing a thankful heart. Colossians 2:6-7 says, “as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Expressing gratitude to God renews our energy and passion to live wholeheartedly for Him.
The Bible gives many examples of people who were motivated by their zeal for God’s house and God’s glory. John 2:17 says, “His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’” When we are consumed with zeal for God’s Kingdom, it becomes a wellspring of motivation.
Scripture encourages us to inspire and motivate one another to godly living through fellowship and reminding each other of spiritual truths. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Christian community plays a pivotal role in fanning the flames of motivation.
One key to motivation emphasized in the Bible is setting our hope fully on the grace to be given to us at Jesus’ return. 1 Peter 1:13 says, “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Anticipating Christ’s return gives us strength to persevere with kingdom purposes here and now.
Ultimately, the Bible makes clear that godly motivation comes from the Spirit working in our hearts. Philippians 2:12-13 says, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” As we yield to the Spirit and obey God’s Word, He ignites motivation within us to fuel our calling.
In summary, the Bible provides profound and practical keys for finding true, lasting motivation. As we meditate on Scripture, delight in the Lord, set our minds on things above, remember Christ’s example, and stir one another to love, the Holy Spirit ignites motivations within us to glorify God and serve His purposes with passion and excellence.