The Gift of Encouragement

And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts 4:36-37)

An old Merle Haggard song, “If We Make It Through December,” tells the story of a man laid off from his factory job with no money to buy Christmas gifts for his little girl. Although December is supposed to be a happy time of year, his life seems dark and cold.

Discouragement is not unique to December, but it can be amplified then. Our expectations may be higher, our sadness deeper. A little encouragement can go a long way.

Joseph, a man from Cyprus, was among the early followers of Jesus. The apostles called him Barnabas, which means “son of encouragement.” We meet him in Acts 4:36–37 when he sold a piece of property and donated the money to help other believers in need. 

Later, we read that the disciples were afraid of Saul (Acts 9:26). “But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles” (v. 27). Saul, later called Paul, had formerly been trying to kill the believers, but Barnabas defended him as a man transformed by Christ.

All around us are people longing to be encouraged. A timely word, a phone call, or a prayer can bolster their faith in Jesus.

The generosity and support of Barnabas demonstrate what it means to be a son or daughter of encouragement. That may be the greatest gift we can give to others this Christmas.     

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of encouragement. May we encourage others as they have encouraged us. Amen.

When I recently read this and I was reminded that discouragement is amplified during this time of year it makes me want to find all those who are discouraged and make it all better but obviously I can’t so I will do what I can, even if it means starting with those in my own life and those I come in contact with. It starts with one, it starts today. Encourage someone today.

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Acts 4:32-37, 9:26-27

Hope and Encouragement

The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary . . . (Isaiah 50:4)

When we struggle in the circumstances of life, an encouraging word from others can lift our spirits and our eyes to the Lord. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah wrote, “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary” (50:4). And when we look to the Lord, He offers words of hope and light in the darkness.

Heavenly Father, help me to hear Your word of hope today. And help me to speak words of hope and encouragement to others, pointing them to You. Amen

When I read this devotion I immediately thought it wasn’t super lengthy but it was direct and to the point. Some days that’s just what we need. It’s so elementary but it’s important to be reminded of the simple things. It’s so easy to get so caught up with life that we fail to stop and offer hope and encouragement to someone in our path. What a difference we can make just by being an encouragement to someone today. Let’s take time today to find someone in need and encourage them with words of hope and encouragement, someone needs you today. Will you be the vessel God uses? Are you willing to say, Here am I Lord, use me.

Have a wonderful day in The Lord!

Today’s Reading is Isaiah 50:4-10