To Be an Encourager…

What a wonderful thing it is when God brings an encourager into your life.  A person who sees beyond what others see and is able to encourage you to continue on when your heart wants to walk away.  

At the end of chapter 14 in the book of Acts, Paul and Barnabas return to Antioch.  On their way back, they stopped by some of the places they were preaching the Gospel.

“They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith.  ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,’ they said.”

Acts 14:21–22 NIV

They went back to strengthen and encourage the believers at Antioch.  

Why?  Because they knew that there would be challenges, and that they needed support.  Paul  went back to many of the places he preached the Gospel, and wrote many letters to teach, strengthen, and encourage the believers. 

Sometimes he heard about challenges they were facing, other times he just stopped by to be with them and encourage them.  I wonder how many times he reached out to those who were discouraged and at the point of walking away, only to have God use him to give them what they needed.

So many people today need encouragement.  

We have more material things than ever, yet depression and suicide levels are higher than ever.  The question shouldn’t be, “Who can I find to encourage me today?” but “Who can I encourage today?” 

Can you think of someone who might need a word of encouragement?  And do you have people in your life whom you both encourage and who are an encouragement to you in the faith?  If not, you want to find these people and look to walk through life with them.  

I have heard it said that you should try to have a Paul (mentor), Barnabas (partner), and Timothy (mentee) in your life.  If you do, praise God!  If not, what can you do tomake this a reality?

Lord, thank you for the encouragement You provide in Your word, but You also created us to be in community.  Help us be surrounded by brothers and sisters in the faith who we can encourage, and who can be an encouragement to us.  And may we work together for Your glory until that day when we see You face to face!  In Jesus’ mighty name…   

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