In our fast paced, performance driven, results proven society words of encouragement are expensive. I’m not intending that they are a commodity that you can purchase (although you probably could download an app for that). Encouragement simply doesn’t come very often anymore. And when you find a true source of encouragement, do whatever you can to hang on to it.
Our workplaces have demanded results and you’re obligated to give best performance in order to keep your job. Our friendships too often become one-sided thinking “what’s in it for me”. Real and sincere encouragement is hard to find. Probably because based upon my experience, encouragement is not easy to give. But when you receive encouragement, it can surely be the fuel to keep you going strong with your head held high.
Just this week I spent some time with a fellow from my Church and he spoke so much encouragement into my life. He was not flattering me with kind words. He reaffirmed with reasons from his own life how my personal ministry was impacting him. This was not just fluff. These were sincere words spoken from his heart to mine. These were more than simple words. These were words that he was willing to stake his life on…words that God had revealed to his heart in prayer…words that he needed to share because God had spoken them to him in order to share with me.
Words of encouragement must be shared in order for God to accomplish His mission with each of us!
I was reading Acts 9 last week concerning Paul’s converting to Christianity. After becoming a Christian, Paul had an enormous task to convincing Christians that he was not the same man he used to be. Even the Apostles of Jesus were skeptical of this man’s testimony. But thanks to one man’s encouragement, Paul was able to accomplish his God-given mission:
When he (Paul) came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas (whose name means ‘Son of Encouragement’ Acts 4:36) took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.
Paul was able to freely and more boldly preach Jesus all because one man believed in him enough to go to bat for him. Barnabas built up Paul. Barnabas confirmed God’s calling in Paul. Barnabas renewed this new-found, life-giving faith in Paul. You can do the same, because:
1. Encouragement can Build Up
Encouraging words have the power to pull a person out of the storms of life. Encouraging words have the power to life the spirit of someone whose recently been defeated by circumstances. Encouraging words have the power to prepare a person for the next step that God has in store for them.
2. Encouragement can Confirm God’s Calling
Encouraging words have the power to remind a person of their purpose. Encouraging words have the power push someone toward achieving their God-given potential. Encouraging words have the power to bring clarity to the call that a brother or sister thought was not very clear.
3. Encouragement can Renew Life
Encouraging words have the power to keep a Christian from making a negative life-altering, ministry impacting decision. Encouraging words have the power breathe life into someone’s soul. Encouraging words have the power move a believer forward in their faith.
We all need someone in our life who will regularly speak powerful words of encouragement into our life. I would challenge you to identify who in your life is your personal “Barnabas” and spend time with them regularly. Let them know how much the encourage you.
Knowing how powerful words of encouragement are in your life, strive to become a “Barnabas” for someone else. The Bible says in Hebrews 3:13, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
What impact have you experienced either by words of encouragement you’ve spoken or that has been spoken to you? Keep the conversation going by leaving a comment!
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