In Romans15:4 Paul says that the OT scriptures (and for us the NT scriptures) were written not only to teach us to endure, but also to encourage us. Encouragement gives a message of hope. Have you been encouraged by someone lately? How did it feel when someone told you that you’re doing a great job at work… or told you you’re an awesome husband or wife, or an awesome father or mother? How does it feel if you’ve been told you’re such a blessing as you serve in the church… or you were told that the love you’ve shown, or the kindness you’ve shown has touched someone’s heart? I hope you’ve heard those words, because Words of encouragement spur you on.
In the NT book of Acts we find a man named Joseph who was given a nickname: Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts 4:36-37) Barnabas was the one disciple who accepted Paul after his conversion and spoke up for him to convince the Apostles that Paul was truly a changed man (Acts 9:27). Barnabas was a man who spoke words of encouragement. Have you encouraged someone lately? Have you spoken words of encouragement? Husbands, have you encouraged your wife recently? Have I encouraged my wife?
Words of encouragement are expressions of thanks and love. I want you to know that God sees you! He notices you and your work for the Lord! And he has given you words of encouragement in the scriptures to spur you on and give you hope that there is something in store for you that will blow you away in the future! “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) Pastor Randy