May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:5-6 (NIV)
If I had the chance to have chosen my given name, I probably would have chosen Barnabas. Why? Because the Bible tells us that it means ‘son of encouragement’. I love encouragement. It feels so good when I receive it, and also when I can encourage someone else, especially if they are going through tough times.
Discouragement is epidemic in this pandemic age. Depression, disillusionment, and daily downers are all symptoms. Failure and fear are common causes. Thomas Edison was told by his teachers he was ‘too stupid to learn anything’; Albert Einstein didn’t start speaking until he was four, reading until he was seven, and was thought to be mentally handicapped; and King David turned failure and discouragement into Psalms of success and hopefulness for him and us.
We could add Abraham Lincoln, Bill Gates, Stephen King, Walt Disney and many others. Barnabas accepted God’s gift of endurance and encouragement. An amazing result is that he was also given the same attitude that Jesus had. What a gift! Will you be a Barnabas-encourager?
Lord, let this reader and I be “All for One”, and of those unity seeds we need to plant to answer your prayer, may we remember to embrace the encouragement which You so graciously grant to us.
This is the third in the “Follow Jesus” series of blog posts and is written by a special guest and friend of PEER Servants, David Cohen, of Moringa Associates in Australia.