Can you remember a time when a person came up to you and said just the right thing at just the right moment? In a matter of a few seconds you went from feeling discouraged to feeling encouraged. And it felt so good, right? You even stood a little straighter after your friend left, felt a little more confident. We need those moments, those few seconds of reassurance, don’t we? We need to be encouraged.
I can get discouraged so easily and it can quickly lead to loneliness. I feel as if nobody cares about me, nobody understands me, nobody supports me, and nobody takes time for me. See a theme here? Me, me, me, me, me, me!
So, let me stop and regroup. How can I help keep the people around me from feeling that kind of loneliness? If I am feeling this way, I know there are plenty of people around me who are feeling the same way.
One of my favorite men in the New Testament is Barnabas. You don’t hear much about Barnabas, because he was a more behind-the-scenes kind of guy. He was in the background encouraging the new believers. He was helping them grow in their faith during the challenging days of the new and growing church. Barnabas’s encouragement was vital for the young believers in the new church. His role in Scripture often goes unnoticed, because his work was private and not public, but it was just as important.
When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord” (Acts 11:23-24).
Encourage your pastors on Monday mornings, encourage your spouse, encourage other believers, encourage the teenage boy that lives next door, encourage your friend who struggles with his or her self-image, encourage the new believer, encourage the widow, encourage the lonely, encourage your wife who is trying something new in the kitchen, encourage your friend who is chasing his dream, encourage your small group, encourage the nonbeliever… encourage…
Who needs to be encouraged around you?
Everyday you will pass people who need encouragement. So I encourage you—take the opportunity in that moment to be a Barnabas.