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In Praise of Those Who Encourage

Acts 11:24 For Barnabas was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith:

“You ought to think about setting up a website” she encouraged me. Inwardly I groaned. Writing is my passion, not creating a website. My friend, the eternal optimist, continued, “It’s not hard and you have so much to offer through writing.” I promised I’d think and pray about it. So with her encouragement and the support of my computer-software engineer son and his graphic designer wife, (how much support does one need?!), that is what I set out to do. I strongly disliked most moments of designing a website and successfully nearly sent my husband crazy in the process, especially when I inadvertently deleted the comments section, watched it disappear into cyberspace, and every effort on our part, could not bring it back. That’s a little challenge for my tech savvy son.

Encouragers are the movers and shakers of this world. They are the ones who stand right beside us, spurring us on, dispelling our doubts and fears. Without the constant encouragement of my girlfriend and support of my family, the website would have fallen into a heap called ‘failure’ and I would have fallen into a pit entitled ‘discouragement and despair.’

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

Barnabas was the constant encouragement for a period in Paul’s life. He had a quiet focus on supporting Paul in their ministry together, giving evidence of his selfless, humble servant hood. In Acts 14, in Lystra, Paul and Barnabas strengthened the souls of the believers there. But Barnabas, true to his name, ‘son of encouragement,’ rallied around Paul after he had been stoned and dragged out of the city by the Jews. It was supposed that Paul was dead, but the words and encouragement of his friend would have been instrumental in assisting Paul to rally in his spirit and gain strength in his body so that they could continue in their ministry. Countless times in Acts we read that these men strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith saying, “that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)

When we think of those in our life who have impacted us most deeply, isn’t it often a person like Barnabas who has believed in us and supported us when we sorely needed it? Can you recall those in your life who have, like Barnabas, have strengthened your soul and encouraged you to continue in the faith? God speaks through encouragers, as He did with my friend, challenging us to step into new territory and places that we would usually avoid. Yet these are the very places we need to venture to see our faith and confidence in God and His Word flourish. What helps you to focus on giving to the needs of others and encouraging them in their life with Christ, rather than focusing excessively on your own concerns?

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.

We too can follow the example of Barnabas, encouraging others as a way of life, becoming a servant to all people and an advocate for God’s redemptive love. Encouragers bring hope where there is none, inspire us to have a full unwavering confidence in God and offer us a vision for a future that rests firmly upon the promises and provision of our Heavenly Father. Whom can you come alongside of and bring the encouragement of Barnabas to?

Father God, thank You for giving us the fine example of Barnabas the Encourager. Give me a growing desire to put aside my own concerns and show deep, genuine concern and love for another. Lead me to who needs encouragement at this time. Amen.’

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

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3 comments

  1. Jennifer
    Thank you for sharing such an endearing post stressing the importance of “encouragement” and providing inspiration for others. Your article was refreshing and informative. And with you as a friend, not only are others happy to encourage you, but your ways and insight provide encouragement to them as well!
    Have a blessed day my friend~

  2. Yes indeed, you do have great insight which has been a blessing to me and I believe to many.
    God continue to use you for His purposes and glory. I can see your passion as well as others putting out articles through this site. Keep on keeping on.
    I would like to know how to connect with your site when it is available.

  3. Hi dear friends thank you for your encouragement! Cora my website is inhisname6.com or you can press the house icon under my profile. Thank you.

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