A new year is finally upon us! As 2021 comes to a close, some may think it went by in the blink of an eye, while others may have felt that turning the page to a new year would never come. No matter what this past year looked like for you, we can look forward to 2022 and the many blessings God has in store for this next chapter. With every new year comes the hope we have in Christ that He is making all things new (Revelation 21:5)!

The following list includes the most viewed articles that were newly published in 2021. We hope that Crosswalk brought you encouragement and reminders of the hope we have in God! 

Here are our top 15 list of Crosswalk’s most popular articles in 2021:

“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. At its best, depression is often disguised by anxiety, a busy lifestyle, or hundreds of other coping mechanisms that avoid its presence altogether. At its worst, this troubling feeling of despair can lead to self-harm, intrusive thoughts, and suicide.

In those times of hurt and confusion, the Lord often led me to Scripture and worship that elevated His Word above the noise of everything else. It’s my prayer that these ten powerful songs will challenge your depression today, pulling you from the brink of darkness and setting you free in the beauty of His glorious light.”

As hard as 2020 was with the start of the COVID-19 crisis, 2021 brought forth its own challenges. As many continue to quarantine or adapt to working from home, it’s become all too easy to feel isolated or alone. Ginter walks us through 10 worship songs that can help bring us up out of depression and anxiety, and into God’s freedom and light. Consider listening to some of these uplifting songs as you enter into this new year!

Clarence L. Haynes Jr. breaks down this intriguing question for us by explaining what Satan is and is not capable of. He explains that “…here is what Satan knows about us. He knows our tendencies, our weaknesses, and our areas of temptation that we may be prone to. This type of information that he knows about us is not because Satan can read our minds, but because he is a master at studying our behavior. Satan can’t read what is in your mind, but he can see what you do and the choices and decisions you make. If he should attack you, he creates his plan of attack based on the areas of your life he has seen, by your behavior and choices, where you are most vulnerable.”

Thankfully, Satan cannot read our minds, as Haynes reassures us in his introduction. However, Satan will try to influence our thoughts. He does this by tempting us in three vital areas of our lives: our flesh, our fears, and our faith. By being aware of these attacks, we can better equip ourselves with God’s Word to protect our thoughts.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Sittithat Tangwitthayaphum 

“With the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic and the journey to find a cure, the question of vaccines has again risen to the forefront. In regards to the pandemic many people see the vaccine as a viable solution to help move forward towards ending the pandemic and bringing things back to ‘normal.’

However, everyone does not have the same viewpoint or opinion about vaccines. Some even wonder should Christians get vaccines? You might be wondering the same thing.”

Yet again, Haynes breaks down a tough question that each and every one of us has probably wrestled with at some point in the past year. In this article, he emphasizes the fact that whether or not you get the vaccine, it is ultimately your personal choice. We cannot make this issue a question of sin, but rather, we need to err on the side of grace. As Haynes puts it, “Whether you agree with their decision or not God will accept them regardless of how they choose. You should do the same.”

“We’re all familiar with the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. But did you know an evil trinity of Satan’s own design shows up in the end times? It should come as no surprise to us that Satan steals from God’s original work. Satan never creates anything. He only twists what already exists.”

Are you familiar with the unholy trinity? Bolinger explains how Satan, the antichrist, and the false prophets show up in Revelation: Satan’s own mirroring of God’s holy trinity. She then goes on to provide a list of what this unholy trinity will do in the end times, and what faithful Christians can do to recognize them. 

Alternative views on marriage, relationships, and love have taken our society by storm. One of these views is polyamory, and it is on the rise in our world today. “Some estimates have 4-5% of people living in the US being in a polyamorous relationship or at least participating in some form of an open relationship. Perhaps even more eye-opening is that according to one study ‘only half of millennials (defined as under 30-years-old) want a “completely monogamous” relationship.’ Though these statistics are more reflective of the culture at large, certainly these conversations are beginning to happen within the church. One study even showed 24% of churchgoers believing that polyamory was morally permissible.”

Leake defines what polyamory is, as well as how Christians should respond to it. What’s important is that we learn how to minister compassionately to those who embrace a fallen worldview.

While in-depth Bible studies are important for our spiritual health and knowledge of the Word, sometimes we just need a quick brush-up on the Bible as a whole. Maybe you completed the task of reading the Bible in a year, but now as a new year is about to begin, you may need a review of what went down in those first few books.

Every single story works together to bring life to our faith, and Walker efficiently sums up each of the Old Testament books to provide a cohesive summary for us. As she states, “The Old and New Testaments of the Bible, comprised of 66 books, tell one cohesive story of redemption, climaxing in the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Savior!”

This is one article you will want to keep bookmarked for the future!

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“The emotional devastation caused by isolation during the COVID-19 virus shut-downs is only now fully coming to light. Even Christians are susceptible to depression and feelings of hopelessness.

However, a review of the facts about Jesus can give us renewed hope and help grow our faith.”

Unfortunately, the mental and emotional effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will not go away when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. So many people still struggle with the isolation that began nearly two years ago. Yes, the new year rings in reminders of renewal and hope, but dark moments will still arise. When those dark times come, we can lean on the indisputable facts that define who Christ is. Through these five facts that we can rest, knowing our faith is built on a Savior who is everything He says He is.

“It’s tempting to point fingers at a sinful world, but Christians can’t expect those who don’t know God to live by His ways, especially if we aren’t following them ourselves.

Sadly more and more pastors are reluctant to bring up the topic of sin in their sermons. Whereas making “mistakes” is more palatable to churchgoers, the topic of sinfulness is becoming an offensive topic — even more so, to suggest believers might have ongoing sin issues in their own lives.”

Keeping sins hidden in the dark is all too easy. This can be especially true for followers of Christ, who may feel immense shame and guilt at the very idea of bringing their own secret sins into the light. But only when these sins are brought to the light and confessed before God, are we truly living in freedom! Kittle walks us through 10 sins in particular that are easy for Christians to keep in the dark. Maybe you don’t see your own struggles listed here, but allow this to become an accountability checklist, to be sure you aren’t keeping any of these sins hidden in the dark.

If you have adult children, the most powerful thing you can do is intercede for them in prayer. As Turbeville tells us, “Intercessory prayer is not just for ‘special’ followers of Christ. Intercessory prayer is within every Christian’s ability. As mothers and fathers, standing in the gap between the world and God’s promises is the utmost we can do for our adult children.”

This could include prayers for protection, provision, that they would be surrounded by the right people, and even that they would be good godly parents to their own children. If you have adult children, take a moment to go through this article and lift a prayer of intercession for your kids.

The idea of Satan wanting bad things to happen to us can be a scary thought. At the same time, we can be reminded that no matter how big his desire is to steal, kill, and destroy, our God is so much more powerful than the enemy. It’s imperative that we know God’s truth, and that we are aware of the enemy’s tactics against us. As Riollano states, “there is no truth, no good, no love, and no hope that can come from the devil. When we allow the words of the enemy to have power in our lives, we come into agreement with things that directly oppose God’s Word.”

Make yourself aware of these 6 things that Satan wants, so you can prepare your heart and mind accordingly!

Dr. Roger Barrier takes us on a detailed journey through Jesus’ last week before the ultimate miracle and key to our salvation took place. Beginning with Palm Sunday, we are given in-depth summaries of where Jesus was and what occurred each day of that week, all the way through his crucifixion. As Barrier puts it, “Palm Sunday also began the most premeditated, calculated week in the life of Christ.” God’s plan for this last week then concludes with the following Sunday, on which he resurrected from the grave. 

Each Holy Week, take a moment to dive into what Christ’s life must have been like each of those days leading up to his sacrifice for us. 

break free living free from sin freedom in christ break chains forgiven

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“The battle is real. The Enemy is constantly on the prowl looking for ways to fill your mind with subtle lies in order to gain access at the table of fellowship God has prepared for you. It’s a table described famously in Psalm 23 intended only for the Lord and you to dine. But this table isn’t set in a beautiful, peaceful meadow. No, as verse five states, it’s a table placed in the presence of your enemies. They see you seated there with the King of the Universe, and they want a piece of the action. The Enemy will do anything to slide into a seat and begin to tell you lies that will make you doubt your rightful place at the table, or try to convince you that there are better options elsewhere.”

A big theme from this past year is recognizing the enemy’s tactics, in order to fight them off with the truth from God’s Word. Pastor Louie Giglio not only tells of 5 lies that Satan wants us to believe, but also details how we can recognize and defeat those lies. 

In the last decade, this has become a debate within Christian circles when discussing modesty and what women should or shouldn’t wear. This has never been more relevant than it is today, in the post-pandemic rise of comfy loungewear. As Graves points out, this causes other questions to surface: “Can an item of clothing be considered sinful? Is it legalistic to tell a woman what she can or cannot wear?”

She goes on to say, “We can make false assumptions about the motives or spirituality of others based on a first glance. Without even holding a conversation, we believe we know what they’re thinking. This is particularly true with hot-button issues like clothing choices.” Ultimately, we cannot truly judge a person’s intentions simply off of what they’re wearing. When we are connected with the Lord, we are less likely to allow the choices of others to trip us up or cause dissension. At the same time, when choosing how you present yourself to a watching world, it’s important that we do so with a biblical perspective, knowing that each choice we make reflects what it means to be a follower of Christ.

“Although most apocalyptic type films show characters living fearful, distressed, and with no place to hide, God’s Word directs us in how to live in His care beyond our situations and circumstances.”

With each passing year, we become more and more wary of the end times. You may even be fearful of what it could be like to live as a Christian through the end times. Thankfully, as Kettle reassures us, we do not need to be afraid. We are given a guidebook – the Bible – to help us through every difficult circumstance we may face. This not only applies to the end times – but the times we are living in now. Amid rising COVID cases and a continuously uneasy political climate, use these scriptures to guide your life and help you live as a light in this increasingly dark world.

At number one, we have an extremely important question that is often not talked about enough in church and Christian circles. Sadly, it can be easy to let racism flourish within the church, even if unintentionally. Knowing what the Bible says about interracial marriage is crucial in order to support and defend, rather than judge.

Emma Danzey explains that, “Some believers feel strongly that this is not God’s best. They may look at Scriptures about God telling Israel not to marry Gentiles. For example, Deuteronomy 7:1-3 tells Israel not to intermarry with other nations. However, as you keep reading verse 4 explains that the greater issue was not that of color or culture, but of faith.

He uses these families as a representation of what Heaven looks like in Revelation. Every nation and every tribe will be there, and we will be one people, one family.”

Rather than looking at interracial marriage with an err of judgment, we need to instead see this union as a glimpse of what Heaven will be like!

Lastly… Top Crosswalk Video of 2021

‘Back To God’ Reba McEntire And Lauren Daigle Official Lyric Video

Watch and be encouraged as these two powerhouses team up on an amazing worship song that is sure to uplift you as you listen!

We hope this review of Crosswalk’s top articles of 2021 brought you reminders of God’s hope and provision over the past year. We are thankful for a community of readers that desire to know God more and more each day. We look forward to all the new ways we can provide encouragement and discover who God is in 2022!

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Chainarong Prasertthai 

Tiffany Curtis is the Faith Editor of Crosswalk.com. She has a B.A. in English with a minor in Business from Liberty University. She has served as an editor and social media manager for a published Christian author. Her goal is to share Christ’s love and help others grow in their faith through her writing.