Five To Focus 03- Encourage By Supporting
Have you ever gotten through a tough time because someone was encouraging you and you knew they had your back? Athletes do much better with coaches who support them; someone trying to lose weight will have better success with people supporting them, cheering them on.
The same is true with out faith.
We’re spending some time looking at the life of Barnabas, the encourager. One of the ways he was an encourager was by supporting people; believing in them; vouching for them; and developing them. This is what he did with the apostle Paul.
I want to talk about their relationship while encouraging you to either support someone who is struggling, or seek out support to help you stay the course.
Most people will have heard of the apostle Paul more than Barnabas. After Paul came to faith in Christ, tells us that Paul tried to hang out with the disciples in Jerusalem but they were afraid of him! This is understandable— before his conversion, Paul was named Saul and was known for killing followers of Jesus. His was a radical conversion!
This would be like Captain Hook trying to show up to Peter Pan’s lost boys wanting to join with them. The guy who’s been against them wants to join them? What’s the trick here? What’s the underlying motive?
Back to Paul: V.27 starts this way: But Barnabas… Barnabas viewed Paul differently. Barnabas took Paul before the apostles and told them about his conversion and his reputation now of preaching in the name of Jesus. In other words, he stood in his corner and encouraged him by supporting him.
I’ll never forget how I how I felt supporting when I started following my calling to ministry, initially in youth ministry. I remember sitting in a diner in Frostburg, MD, with Tim, my youth minister at the time. He told me he was leaving the area and had a meeting that night at the church to tell them he would be resigning. I’ve never forgotten what he said next: “I am going to recommend to them that you take over for me.”
Talk about support! I was potentially going to be in a situation where people might not believe that I could do it. I’m not even sure I believed I could do it at the time! But having someone standing in my corner gave me the push I need to do what I felt God was calling me to do.
Maybe there is someone you can encourage by supporting them. Get in their corner. Cheer them on. Help them learn and discover as they move ahead.
Maybe you need encouragement. Seek it out. Find others who do or know about what you’re striving for and go learn from them. One of the first things I did when I moved to my town was look for a gathering of pastors in the community. After 8 years, I still meet monthly with that group to pray with one another.
Encourage someone today by supporting them.