We are living in a world that can be very discouraging and depressing, and a word of encouragement can be very uplifting. One lady sends in her tithes every week together with a note of encouragement, often along the lines of, “You are always in my prayers for the great work you are doing. God bless each and every one of you as you go about His great work. May God bless you all greatly and guide and inspire you. You are all doing a fantastic job.” Encouraging words indeed!
In Acts 4:36 we read that “Joses who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement)…” This is the first time in the Bible that he is mentioned. It shows his outstanding example of generosity when he sold a field that he owned and then took the money to the apostles to distribute to those in need (verse 37).
In Acts 9:26-27, Barnabas is seen encouraging the apostle Paul. He even took him to the apostles in Jerusalem for an introduction. Two chapters later he encouraged new believers in Antioch (compare Acts 11:22-24).
It has been said that encouragement is the greatest tool available to adults to boost children’s self-esteem. The psychologist Rudolph Dreikers once said, “Like a plant needs water children need encouragement.” It is through encouragement that we lead others to achieve greater things than they thought possible.
Do we encourage others? Is this part of our Christian way of life? It certainly should be! Hebrews 10:24 states, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.” In a world of doom and gloom, a word of encouragement can work wonders. As the saying goes: “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.”
We kept the autumnal Feast days not too long ago. This should have been a time of great encouragement for all of God’s people and a time when, hopefully, we encouraged each other. These autumnal Holy Days picture Christ’s return, Satan being banished for a 1,000 years and the institution of God’s Kingdom on earth. What a future God’s people have to look forward to and a time when encouragement, not doom and gloom, will be the order of the day!