The Weekly PowerBreak – “Encouragement for The Encourager”

Do you consider yourself to be an encourager? There are many promises in the Word of God for those who take the time to encourage others.

Proverbs 11:25 (ESV) — 25 Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

Notice God says the principle is simple: you seek to encourage someone and what you are doing for another seems to come back to fill your need of encouragement. You’ve probably experienced this when you make the effort to visit someone in the hospital. It takes effort because we tend to procrastinate and wonder what we’ll say or if we’ll make the other person feel worse. Unless you went with the attitude expressed by Job’s friends who condemned Job, there’s really no way to blow it if you go to encourage the person. If you are like most people when you do make the effort, you leave the hospital feeling greatly encouraged yourself and wonder, “Why don’t I do this more often?”

Be like Barnabas.

There was a man in the New Testament whose nickname was “Encourager.” Wouldn’t that be a great compliment?  If we want to be an encourager we would do well to take note of some things about this man, Barnabas.

He was a giver not a taker. Encouragers love to give.

Acts 4:34–37 (ESV) — 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

He stood up for Paul. Encouragers are ready to defend those in need.

Acts 9:26–27 (ESV) — 26 And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.

He was chosen to check out something new and different and rather than criticiz; he cheered them on. Encouragers are “good finders” and “fire-lighters.”

(Good finders are those who find the good in others. Fire-lighters are those who fan the flame of enthusiasm rather than fight the fire, “fire-fighter” through criticism.)

Acts 11:19–24 (ESV) — 19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.

He was a faithful friend of Paul. Encouragers are people that can be counted upon.

Acts 13:6–7 (ESV) — 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7 He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.

Acts 13:42–43 (ESV) — 42 As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. 43 And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.

He was willing to disagree with his friend, Paul, even though it meant separating. Encouragers are faithful friends even when it means bringing a wound.

Acts 15:36–41 (ESV) — 36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

Proverbs 27:6 (ESV) — 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Paul later realized that Mark was valuable.

2 Timothy 4:11 (ESV) — 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry.

Is it worth all the trouble to be a giver rather than a taker, to stand up for others, to be a good-finder, to be faithful at all cost, and to even be willing to deliver the truth when it may hurt?

Proverbs 11:25 (ESV) — 25 Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

Such encouragement refreshes and blesses others so God says when you seek to encourage another you will find encouragement coming your way. Your giving becomes an attraction.

Ecclesiastes 11:1 (ESV) — 1 Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.

Find someone to encourage today.

Godspeed,

Bob Brubaker