Word of Encouragement from Pastor Eugene Thursday, November 5, 2020

As I write today, I am thinking about encouragement and just how important that is.  We all have our moments when we need encouraged and lifted up.  Those of us who are living now, whether we are younger or older, “now” is our time.  We might read or hear about how it was in other days and times, but now is the time that matters to us.  There may be physical or health conditions within our bodies that we are battling with.  Or we may be dealing with a relationship with a friend (or someone you thought was a friend), challenges in a marriage, behavior of a wayward child, problems in the workplace, or just the general direction that society and the world seem to be going.  And we could go on but pile enough of that on and we have a problem!
Barnabas, nicknamed the ‘son of encouragement’, did much for Paul early in his Christian walk—such as representing him before the disciples in Jerusalem after his conversion.  They were also partners for Paul’s first missionary journey.  I can only imagine how Barnabas was the encourager to Paul during those earlier days of his ministry.  Then later during his ministry as described in 2 Corinthians 4, the apostle Paul shared what he was going through in his life at that time.  Specifically, in verses 8 and 9 (NKJ) he says: (1) we are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; (2) we are perplexed, but not in despair; (3) persecuted, but not forsaken; (4) struck down, but not destroyed.  Note that for each of these four declarations, Paul expresses the down side and then the up side.  We know in whom Paul believed and trusted—but I just wonder if he learned some things from Barnabas that helped him deal with it.
Just this week I myself was encouraged by a fellow believer.  I had just gone through a bit of a challenging situation—that coupled with other “stuff” was on my mind and it showed.  He recognized the need and begin to encourage me in a very gentle way.  We chatted for a while and I felt so much better—I also thanked him for the encouragement.  Perhaps you likewise have had that someone at just the right time encourage you when you needed it.  Even the Holy Spirit himself is referred to as the ‘encourager’.  Be an encourager when you have that opportunity—because someday you will need it yourself!
Be encouraged and lifted up!
Pastor Eugene
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