Day 53: Encouragement

Acts 9:26-30 :

When Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join himself to the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared to them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. He was with them entering into Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus. He spoke and disputed against the Hellenists, but they were seeking to kill him. When the brothers knew it, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him off to Tarsus.

Saul has hardly been a Christian for long and he has had more trouble than some Christians have in their lifetime. First he had to run from Damascus because of a plot to kill him and when he gets back to Jerusalem, the disciples run away.

Thank God for people like Barnabas. God gave him the ability to encourage others to see things as they really were. I guess that this is what encouragement is really like isn’t it? It is easy to think of encouragement as “looking on the bright side,” but for a Christian, encouragement is simply when we are reminded of the truth. All Barnabas had to do was carefully explain the truth to the Christians in Jerusalem. It was a very bad time in Jerusalem in that being a Christian was an act of disobedience so they needed encouragement to see things as they really were.

Mere trouble didn’t stop Saul. He started “preaching boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus” and once again, his life was being threatened, this time by the “Hellenists.” Once again, Saul was forced to move on to save his life. We can learn a lot from Saul’s example. Trouble clearly wasn’t a sign that he was doing the wrong thing and it shouldn’t stop us from doing what is right either.