10 Concerns in the Christians Walk with God – Part 4
4. Encourage Someone Who is Discouraged.
The person who sets out to be an encourager will never find a shortage of people to help. The word encourage means to put courage into another. Now more than ever, people are more discouraged due to the pressures in life. One of the overlooked needs that people have is to be encouraged. Often it is easier for us to read the physical needs of people rather than their emotional needs. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11). The right word spoken at the right time can make all the difference to someone whose world is crashing. William Arthur Ward said, “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.”
You Can Encourage Others by Extending Friendship-
In Acts 9, we read of Saul who had been an enemy of the early Church—even having some Christians killed. He became a believer, but the Church was still hesitant to receive him into fellowship. Acts 9:26-27 says, “And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.” Barnabas encouraged Saul by extending love and friendship to him. He befriended this new believer.
You Can Encourage Others by Re-Building Relationships-
In Acts 15:36-41, we see that earlier in their ministry Paul and Barnabas had taken a young John Mark with them on their first missionary journey. Somewhere along the way, Mark left the team and went home. Later, when they wanted to retrace their steps, Barnabas wanted to take Mark with them but Paul refused. Barnabas took Mark one way and Paul took Silas another. Barnabas sought to mend the broken relationship.
II Timothy 4:11, “Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” Later Paul asks for Mark to come to him. Paul’s relationship with Mark was restored and their ministries continued in part because Barnabas refused to let go of a good man just because he failed.
Barnabas was an encourager and we too are called to be encouragers. In II Corinthians 1:3, the Bible calls God “the God of all comfort”. The principle to this lesson is that we should be an encouragement to others. So for us to encourage others is to manifest this attribute of God. We need some “Barnabases”. For the glory of God, will you say, “God, make me an encourager?”
· Today, who can I come alongside and serve or encourage? What is stopping me?
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your Spirit inside me that urges me to “supply what is lacking” in others. How gracious that You choose to use me to help someone You love. Help me to always see that encouraging others as the privilege it is rather than a burden. In Jesus’ name, Amen.