“If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.”  G.K. Chesterton –

We see Jesus as the perfect encourager throughout His earthly ministry. He radiates compassion. People are drawn to His warmth, His love, His caring nature. He knows just the right words to say that speak to the hearts of those in need. He refreshes and uplifts their spirits.

Encouraging words are so lacking in our world today. So few take the time to speak words that bring joy to the souls of others. Perhaps people become so wrapped up in their own lives that they fail to see the needs of those around them. A cheerful word can work wonders for anyone weighed down by life.

“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.”Proverbs 12:25

We see in Scripture a man named Barnabas, a follower of Jesus and one of His 70 chosen disciples. While traveling with Jesus in Galilee, Barnabas learns to model His Master’s gift of encouragement. Acts 11 describes this disciple as “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith”. Barnabas, a nickname given him by the apostles, means “Son of Encouragement”. Imagine the impact his life had on others to have created such a legacy!

When the apostle Paul experiences his miraculous conversion, the disciples in Jerusalem cannot believe that this former persecutor of Christians could now be on their side. Yet Barnabas believes in Paul, comes alongside him and encourages him to present his case before the unconvinced apostles. He vouches for Paul’s newfound faith and commitment to The Way.

In Antioch, Barnabas encourages and exhorts the new believing Jews and Gentiles to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. Barnabas and Paul then heed the Lord’s call and set out on their first missionary journey together. The gospel reaches new lands and people. Along the way, churches are established, and recent converts are heartened and emboldened by both Barnabas and Paul’s encouragement.

“Let us consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds… let us encourage one another.” – Hebrews 10:24-25

The word “encourage” means to fill with courage. Barnabas seemed to come by this gift naturally. Yet we can all be encouragers if we open our eyes and our hearts to those in need around us. We can be messengers of joy and hope.

Could you be a “Barnabas”… an encourager to someone in your life? People thrive on encouragement. You may even encounter a reaction of surprise since it is so unexpected in this world. Yet it touches lives and is received with grateful hearts. Your encouragement may just change the course of someone’s day… or even their life.