There is something special that happens when we are encouraged by something or someone. You may have heard a statement similar to “my faith in mankind was restored” or “that shows there is hope for that person” after some special or unusual act of kindness or love is shown.
One may consider encouragement to be good only when they are the recipient. But, a careful study of the scriptures will tell us that we are to be the encouragers. The great and wonderful thing about encouraging is that the “encourager” is also the “encouraged”.
Bible students may often think of the “son of encouragement” or Barnabas when considering this particular topic. And rightly so, when we consider how he welcomed the man once known as Saul of Tarsus. We find this account in Acts 9:26-28 When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.27 But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 And he was with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord.
There is little doubt that Barnabas knew of the past of this man, but he also knew that he now was forgiven and a disciple of Christ. What a strong encouragement he must have been to the man now known as Paul This friendship is a great example to us as Christians today. How to uplift one another, how to deal with conflict when it arises, as in Acts 15. Where the most important work of the Lord was not abandoned, even though there was a personal disagreement.
Might I suggest to you how encouraged Barnabas must have been to see the power of the gospel work in the life of Saul. This is an example for us.
Some benefits of encouragement from scripture that can be cited.
With encouragement we can:
1. Be converted: Matthew 18:3; Galatians 2:20
2. Overcome timidity: John 15:4; 2 Timothy 1:7
3. Conquer worry; John 14:1; Philippians 4:7,8
4. Abide in Love of God in Christ; John 14:11-14: 1 John 3:2
5. Finish the fight: Rev. 14:13; 2 Timothy 4:7-8
May we all be encouraged by the Word of God and be willing to share it with others to encourage them to become a child of His and live faithfully for Him. Study the account of Barnabas and develop the same type of attitude that he displayed.