2021 Encouraging Words
By: Dale Walker

1) People all arou nd you are hurting, discouraged and lonely. You don’t need money or talent to speak kindly and show compassion. Some of the people you admire on TV and movie screens are just as sad as people who are never recognized or applauded. Show God’s love to everyone, you don’t have to know Bible verses or have extra money to be effective!

2) Anxiety is annoying and can be deadly, the Bible gives exact instructions about fighting it; “pray about the things you can’t control or understand, give them to your Heavenly Father all through the day; before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Phil. 4:6-7

3) Flee temptation, don’t play with it, excuse or ignore it. As soon as you realize it’s near the Bible says God gives you a way of escape but you have to choose it. The sooner you resist and flee, the easier it is to defeat but the longer you entertain it, the more likely you are to fall. Everyone faces some kind of temptation even Jesus did, but God’s Word promises there is always a way out!

4) Stop fretting because you don’t have details about tomorrow, faith requires us to trust the Lord today, knowing He will guide us and do the same every day. Your fear will decrease if you will obey His Word and stop looking for signs and guidance for the future. God does give plans for your future at times but much of your Christian walk is one day at a time!

1) Enjoy today, don’t wait until you get all you are hoping for, look the way you want too or accomplish every goal, celebrate every victory, savor every hug and friendship. If you aren’t careful you will miss 1,000 blessings waiting for one “miracle”. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never end, they are new every morning, great is His faithfulness.” Lam.3;22-23!

2) What are your best traits? God gave you the exact talent you need to accomplish His purpose for you life. You can spend time getting better at what you are gifted at or waste time wishing you had someone’s else’s talents. They may have what you want but remember they are wishing they had some of what you take for granted. Rejoice in the Lord and again Paul says rejoice!

3) “Love is patient, kind, gentle, does not envy or boast, not arrogant or rude and never quits”. Even if you understand all mysteries and knowledge, have prophetic powers and have faith enough to move mountains; if you don’t have love you gain nothing. (I Cor. 13:1-7). You can’t love someone while screaming or criticizing them, choose God’s way, it never fails!

4) Work daily at renewing your mind, conform you thoughts to the Word of God and prepare to constantly war with your flesh and logic. The spiritual Kingdom we belong to gives no place for flesh to be satisfied; if you aren’t constantly denying your flesh you are likely allowing it to rule areas of your life. Spirit and flesh cannot dwell together and both be happy!

1) “Ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking, knock and keep knocking and your prayers will be answered” (Luke 11:9). Ask God for wisdom, seek His will and keep knocking until you have His direction, His will brings joy, ours brings frustration and emptiness. Timing belongs to the Lord, do your part, don’t give up!

2) Seasons change whether we want them to or not, wishing for a different season keeps you from growing, pruning and preparing for the next season. Make sure you are open to all the Lord is doing in you now, so you don’t miss what He has planned in the seasons ahead!

3) Galatians 2:20 says “Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Receive His amazing forgiveness and pass it along to those who deserve it as little as you do!

4) Complacency is not an asset to your walk with the Lord. He does not constantly drive us but He doesn’t tell us to coast as long as we want to either. Unless you have been through a recent trauma (death of a loved one, job loss, illness etc.) its time to get back to serving the Lord with all your heart!

1) “Give thanks in all things for this is God’s will” (I Thess. 5:18). God has promised to walk with you through valleys, even death. God provides wisdom and strength during hard times and will never leave you alone. Keep your mind on Him, not feelings, circumstances or what others say!

2) Paul said “when I am weak, God gives me strength to go on so I will focus on His grace more than my weakness” (II Cor.12:8-9). Don’t think if I could do better I wouldn’t have so much trouble, some trouble can be avoided but some can’t. Even if you brought the trouble on yourself, the Lord will deliver you through it if you stay close to Him!

3) Stop comparing your life to others, God has given you unique gifts where you are needed. God provides all our needs, sometimes we think we should have more but His promises are never broken. Trust His Word especially when you do not see His hand!

4) God has people hidden to accomplish His will, remember He had Obadiah in the house of Jezebel to protect His prophets (I Kings 18:4). You see through a dark glass, you don’t know how He is working behind the scenes; believe Him. Stop criticizing and complaining, thank Him for being faithful even when you are faithless!

1) “If anyone wants to follow Jesus, they must deny themself and take up their cross daily” (Matt. 16:24-26). Your cross may be strong opinions that need to stay silent, a spouse who needs patience, rebellious children, etc. A cross means dying to your desires. The Lord gives us strength but it never feels good crucifying our flesh!

2) The weeks leading to Easter are a great time to ask the Holy Spirit to show areas He wants to change in you. He saves instantly but He grows us until we see Him face to face. Our love for our Heavenly Father inspires us to deny our flesh, like Jesus denied His and treat others with respect especially when they don’t reciprocate. You will never be happier than when you are obeying His word!

3) Gratitude and joy should not be missing in life, they are a lifestyle. Don’t allow circumstances to steal or cause you to be unhappy and don’t strive for happiness above obedience and discipline. This world is a temporary home, make sure you store treasures when they will never be lost or stolen!

4) Jesus gives grace to forgive as many times as necessary. Trust God for grace as often as you need to. He has never reminded you how many times you have been forgiven from the same thing, do for others what He has done for you!

1) Much frustration occurs because we try to live life on our terms. Being a disciple of Christ requires dying to our ways and walking by faith instead of feelings. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the desire to follow Him with all your heart and prepare to be challenged!

2) Nothing is too difficult for the Lord. Magnify Him instead of your problem. Scripture teaches no giant, disease or army can defeat Him, trust Him with all your tomorrows, His plans are good!

3) God is working on the person you are praying for, He is being patient, kind and gentle; don’t interrupt His work with your harshness, anger and judgement. You can’t see a seed changing under ground but it is morphing into the plant it will become. Pray for them, encourage them and watch as God’s plans come to fruition at exactly the right time!

4) “The Word of God is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path.” (Ps. 119:105) Walking by faith works best when you feed on scripture regularly. You feed your physical body daily, make sure you give your spirit enough nourishment to keep standing when things get tough!

1) Stay focused on your future and less concerned about your past. Almost every person in the Bible used by the Lord had their flaws exposed. Some were murderers, adulterers thieves, addicts and liars but God chose them to be His representatives. You have not gone too far away from the Lord, like the prodigal son, it’s time to go home!

2) Don’t underestimate your part in the Body of Christ. God designed you specifically for this time and place and gave you the gifts necessary to succeed. Don’t let failures, delays and redirection cause you to give up or doubt your worth. What seems like a disaster or disqualifier will become a stepping stone to God’s plan for you!

3) “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28) is not a suggestion or a good idea: it’s the Word of God, it cannot be ignored because the other person is bad, wrong or foolish. Don’t excuse what is hard or seems unfair, if God said it, He means it even now!

4) More believers are choosing to live the way they want instead of searching scripture to see what the Lord has instructed. Some choose this, others that, everybody do your own thing, your own way, no big deal. Proverbs 21:2 says “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes but the Lord examines the heart.” Life is more complicated with others but another proverb says “iron sharpens iron just like one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17)!

1) Our world is so fragile 4 inches of snow and a 40 degree below “normal temperature” and everything comes to a stop. Covid, hurricanes, floods, lack of electricity, water shortages show how much we need God’s grace and protection. Thank Him often for His mercy!

2) Your gratitude instead of complaining shines your light to a hopeless world, stay aware people are watching and listening to you, give them hope and encouragement!

3) You seem stuck without direction or motivation, take the first step of obedience and then another, we still see through a dark glass but the Lord draws near to those who draw near to Him. It’s time to proceed, one step at a time!

4) You are not being punished for a bad decision but bad decisions do have consequences. Make right what you can and ask God for grace to endure this season. You will learn much and even be grateful for the lessons you learn!

1) The Lord says, “I will keep you in perfect peace IF you keep your mind on Me.” If frustration is your state of mind, it’s because you are focusing on this world more than the Kingdom of God. Nothing has taken Him by surprise, He will hide you under the shadow of His wings but you must choose to stay there!

2) Listening for the still small voice of the Holy Spirit means blocking out the noise of criticism and complaining. Heaven may have many residents that allowed the “world” to be their focus but your witness is best when in spite of what happens around you, you meditate on God’s promises. Renewing your mind is not optional if you want to point people to Jesus!

3) Every one needs encouragement! Make a habit of saying positive things to people especially when they may be expecting to be criticized. Make sure they feel better when they leave than when they arrived. God will give you positive things to say that don’t have anything to do with their talent or beauty, focus on building them up every time you see them!

4) Life is just for a moment, we don’t know how long we are here, so live like this is your last day on earth. Forgive even when you don’t think you should, reach out again to family and trust God to guide you to the right people at the right time. Living without regret isn’t easy but when life is over, its too late to do anything about it!

1) Isaiah 54:2 says “enlarge your tent, make sure it’s tied down good because you are going to grow.” What if that means you are going to grow because you reach out to those you don’t have anything in common or agree with. Maybe that means you put other’s feelings first, allow them to disagree with you without being judgmental or critical!

2) Most people have someone in their life who is a complete opposite but they are married, best friends or family. God has special friendships waiting on those who are wiling to look beyond what is obvious to how the person can expand your thinking and living. Trust God enough to see beyond what bothers you to how they can bless you!

3) Apostle Paul was willing to teach for years giving time for his audience to come to the conclusions he had reached. Too many initial conversations end with strong opinions that are hard to change unless you are willing to let God change hearts on His time table. He is able to bring change to you and them, don’t hinder His work by being stubborn or harsh!

4) Proverbs 15:1 says “harsh words provoke anger but gentle words bring calm to conversations.” Almost never do our strong opinions convince others we are right but being patient and kind keeps the door open for further discussion. Avoid expressing strong opinions until your trust is established and your words can be heard!

1) Never give up on someone! They may seem further from God, you, victory or living BUT GOD! He can turn them around at the last second and use them for His glory. Remember the thief on the cross, seconds before his death He trusted Jesus, the one you are praying for can too!

2) Jesus reached people we would never think deserving of His love. Matthew the tax collector was worse than any one you can imagine but Jesus saved him and his life was dramatically different. Ask God to show you people to pray and believe for after you put your judgment aside. He will!

3) You may think things are worse than they have ever been, they’re not. America had survived a civil war with more lives lost and wounded than all of her other wars combined. World wars, depressions, plagues and rebellious people but God brought repentance and revival, ask Him to bring it again!

4) Ask a few close friends to join you in praying for grace to love those you disagree with, especially the ones you don’t even like to look at. God sent His Son to save them, they are no worse than you were. All have sinned and fallen short of His glory but His grace is rich enough to love them into His Kingdom and He may use you to help bring them!

1) “Are you striving to promote your perspective, demand your way be accepted, or your voice be heard above others? Are you in the middle of a conflict with someone you love that, unless one of you stands down and defers to the other, is only going to intensify and cause lasting damage? Listen to Jesus. It's time to turn from selfishness and strife as you embrace the way of the Cross. Lay down your rights. And leave the striving to Him.” (C. Swindoll)

2) John the Baptist said “Jesus must increase and I must decrease”. The world does not need to “see you or hear your opinions” they need Jesus. They may see you reflect Him but much of what Christians demonstrate doesn’t accurately show Him. “The Lord is more patient, forgiving and loving than we show Him to be. Remember Jesus has not returned hoping for more to repent and come to Him”. (II Peter 3:9)

3) James 3:10 says “it is not right that blessings and cursing comes out of the same mouth, with our mouth we bless our Father and curse out brother”. People need to see Jesus especially when they are behaving poorly. Remember how patient God was with you, your family and friends were too. Ask God for grace to pour on those you don’t understand!

4) Judgmental Christians aren’t easy to follow or trust. Strive to be one who gives grace when others are not expecting it, forgiving again when the offender doesn’t deserve it and encouraging to those who should be further along than they are. What the world needs now is the love of Jesus!

1) What’s important now? You are where you are, you may not want to be there but what do you need to do to go forward? You can stay angry over unfair treatment, illness you have or watched someone endure but what is important now? Ask God for wisdom about how to proceed, God supplies to everyone who seeks!

2) As you begin this new year determine to make progress in areas you know the Lord is nudging you. Don’t make resolutions unless you are sure He has stirred you to and then follow His directions. Remember His ways are higher than our ways so He may choose to lead you to work on something different than you believe should be first, He knows best what needs work first!

3) Don’t talk about how bad 2020 was, you made it through it and you are stronger, wiser and hopefully thankful God gave you grace to endure. No one on earth saw this coming but the Lord has known since before time began, there will be more shocking news in the days ahead but the Lord will guide you step by step.

4) The world seems to be rejecting Jesus more and more but every time a computer prints a document or your phone opens the first thing you see is a date. That date represents the day the world changed forever, time is marked by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!