Encouragement for Life: Words of Hope and Inspiration Book Review

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When Do We Need Encouragement?

"What's the point?  Why do I even bother? It's not like anyone will notice or if what I do matters."

Have you ever felt like that? Wouldn't it have been nice if someone, just once, gave a word of encouragement and said that what you do matters and that they value you? When do we need encouragement?
Practically every day we need to be validated in some way or another. Not because we are always looking for praise, but because we have been designed to be loved.

In Dr. Swindoll's book Encouragement for Life he points us to 7 main areas in which each of us need to be uplifted.

Self-doubt and Insecurity

Despair and Doubt

Indecision and Uncertainty

Anxiety and Worry

Injustice and Disappointment

Mistakes and Failures

Suffering and Sorrow

For this book review I'll spend more time on the first two, and briefly on the other points.

I don't know if you'll read this book or not, but I do know that there will come a time when you will need to be encouraged. When that day comes, please know that there is someone on your side who wants to encourage you. No matter what you think, God really does love you.

Encouragement for dealing with Self-Doubt & Insecurity

How often do you fall into the trap of the devil when he tries to tell you:

"You're not going to make it." We listen to the whisper of doubt, "You aren't good enough. Who do you think you're kidding? Things will never work out for you. You're not important and no one cares about you."

Don't believe these lies. God has a different message for us - we are worth something and valuable to Him.

Heaven on eBay … Going, going - gone - sold!

Have you ever thought about the worth of property? Sure you have. We get amazed when a possession of a famous person is sold. Just today a leather bomber jacket of President Kennedy's sold for over $500,000. His golf clubs brought in a whopping $770,000. They were sold to the highest bidder at Sotheby's. Even Jackie O's fake pearls went for $211,000.

When I first read this book I jotted down some notes on a page. My mind began exploring the possibilities of Heaven. How valuable is God's property, you know His "stuff"? How much would a couch from Heaven go for on eBay or at an auction house? Then in deeper thought I wondered, "Who would bid?" Believe it or not, there would be plenty who wouldn't see the value in something of God's.

If we were to have the correct mindset, we would realize that the value of something owned by God would be greater than anything we could ever afford. It has the highest worth and value. Anything owned by God cannot be measured in terms of money, because it is far too valuable, priceless and can't be bought or sold.

Swindoll explains that we are "a people for God's personal possession" (1 Peter 2:9) and His love for us is what makes us valuable. God's love for us (you) is so great that He was willing to sacrifice Jesus, His Son so that we could be with Him one day. Now that puts a value on your head and mine.

What is the value of a child? Would you be willing to give up one of your kids for someone else? I can't imagine ever doing that, and that's why God's value on something is much greater than we can possibly comprehend. Self-doubt and insecurity never need enter our mind knowing we are precious, valued and matter to God.


"My grace is sufficient for you. For (My) power is perfected in weakness." (2 Corinthians 2:4)

Strength Knowing You Are Valued. Putting to rest insecure thinking.

Designer Humans You were made in secret to the world by God Himself.  Specially crafted, hand designed a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Are you getting a picture of what you are worth yet?

We know that designer; one-of-a-kind pieces of work bring in a high price and are extremely valuable. That's you!  Be encouraged, you are a masterpiece that is approved by God Himself.  In God's eyes you are worth more than gold!

Proverbs 10:28 says this, "The hope of the righteous is gladness." Hope should make you glad.

Doubt & Despair

Feelings of Doubt and Despair: Changing the Way We Think

In the second section of the book, Charles Swindoll discusses feelings of doubt and despair.  No matter who it is, there will come a time when we all need to be encouraged, affirmed and appreciated.  We need for someone to believe in us don't we? 

It doesn't take our talents, wealth or position for God to be interested in who we are.  He already knows all about you, and created you to be successful and He likes who you are.

"Be encouraged, you are not in the hands of blind fate, but in the hands of God, "Don't fear for I am with you." (Isaiah 41:10)

Trust God to do what is best and right for you. Rejoice even in difficult times, knowing God is on the scene.  Joy is a gift from the Lord, and it is a tool we can use to defeat doubt and despair.  God hasn't forgotten you. (Isaiah 49:16 NKJV).

See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. (Isaiah 49:16 NKJV)

It all boils down to this - sometimes it isn't that we don't have faith, but rather we don't have trust. 


Worth & Anxiety

Upon coming to the fourth section of the book Encouragement for Life, Mr. Swindoll discusses how we handle problems and succumb to worry or anxiety.  Worry causes us to be very aware of our earthly surroundings. It makes us earth minded, leaving God out of the equation as my husband puts it.

What is a cure for worry and anxiety?

Dr. Swindoll directs us to a passage in the book of Matthew, chapter 6 verse 34 in the Message Bible.  I love this passage and have had it taped to the top of the screen of my computer for years.  It keeps me focused and guards against worry.

"Give your attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." (Matthew 6:34 The Message Bible)

He continues on giving us four simple ways to deal with worry (p.92).  Yes, I could list them, but then you wouldn't need the book.  It all boils down to this - sometimes it isn't that we don't have faith, but rather we don't have trust.

God is trustworthy to handle whatever worries you.  God ahead and cast all your cares, because He really does care for you and everything that concerns you (see 1 Peter 5:7).  Part of our problem is that we never look at a situation through God's eyes.

Here Pastor Chuck points out a specific verse we need to keep in mind.  If we did, we wouldn't worry, fret or be anxious, because we would believe God is watching out for us.

"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars." (2 Corinthians 16:9 NKJV)

Cast all your cares on Him, for God cares for you. 

Mistakes & Failures - He Never Fails Even When We Do

You'll find that "full forgiveness from God" is the encouraging word in this section of the book.  We are to be encouraged that He wants to forgive us and it is God's desire that all repent of sin so He can forgive.

 “Every journey is accomplished one step at a time.” Charles Swindoll

Nobody Escapes Suffering or Sorrow

And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV)

The last part of Encouragement for Life talks about how all mankind experiences suffering and sorrow at some point in life.  Suffering is a universal language.  Tears are the same for Jews, Muslims, Christians, young or old, no matter the color.

Life sometimes hurts and suffering is a common thread we all share.  Sorrow and pain come in many forms. There is another thing that is universal, God's grace.  His grace is sufficient for anyone and works through suffering. (p.165)

A Reason to Hope

In Conclusion, there really is a reason to hope, and keep on hoping.  This book came at the right time for me, as I suppose it has for so many others.  Bestselling books become best sellers for a reason; they touch the heart of the reader.  Encouragement for Life, Words of Hope and Inspiration did just that.

Throughout the entire book the writer seemed to have sympathy with the reader, having gone through some of the same valleys in life that I have.  Now on the other side of some of these experiences, Charles Swindoll shares how these passages of encouragement gave him hope when there seemed to be no hope.

The author wants to leave us with this word of encouragement and conveys my own sentiments: God is on our side.  He is our champion of hope. He is faithful.  Be encouraged, you are His priority.  His mercy and love endures forever. 

My Book Review Rating:★★★★

Get the Book

Are you in need of encouragement? Is there something you have been struggling with that doesn't make sense?  Do not be dismayed, help is on the way.  Dr. Charles Swindoll shares his own experiences of feeling disappointed, bouts with doubt, failure, anxiety, suffering, injustice and uncertainty. Through it all he found hope from God's word in learning how to conquer each situation.


You'll be courage by this beautiful, full color book of uplifting accounts, scriptures, illustrations and photography.

Give one to a friend who needs a word of affirmation, and become the encourager to someone else today.

Encouragement for Life: Words of Hope and Inspiration - eBook

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Scripture reference if used taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible
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