Part 2 in the series on encouragement
Called to Encourage
Barnabas seems to have had the spiritual gift of encouragement. Yet, though there are those with that particular gift, all Christians are called to encourage others.
Can you think of anything quite as meaningful and as powerful as a well-timed word of encouragement from a family member or close friend? Encouraging and comforting words are like balm to the soul. They’re healing. Observe how the book of Proverbs describes encouraging words.
Proverbs 15:23 – A man finds joy in giving an apt reply– and how good is a timely word!
Proverbs 25:11 – A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is that your experience?
Who Encourages You?
Who is the person in your life you want to hear from more than anyone else when you’re scared or discouraged or depressed or hurting? When your world is crumbling all around you, who is the one person you know will have a word of encouragement for you? What is it they do or say that makes them such an encouragement in your life?
Who Do You Encourage?
Who in your life would say that you are that person for them? Are you an encourager? Do you seek to build people up with your words and presence, or tear them down? James puts it this way in James 3:9-10,
James 3:9-10 – With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be
Indeed, it shouldn’t be. Sadly, however, it often is.
Encouraged and Encouraging
The testimony of the Book of Hebrews is that we need to be both encouraged and encouragers.
We don’t know who wrote the Book of Hebrews, but we do know it was written primarily to a group of Jewish followers of Christ who needed to be encouraged. They were being persecuted and were losing hope. Many were being tempted to fall away from their faith and go back to previous ways of life.
Jesus is Supreme
Therefore, in order to encourage those believers not to lose hope, but to persevere to the end, the writer exalted the supremacy of Jesus Christ over all things. Jesus, the author made clear, had no equals. He was superior to Moses and the angels. His covenant was superior to the old covenant. His priesthood was superior to the old priesthood.
Through most of Hebrews, the writer showed how and why Jesus was supreme. And then, toward the end of the letter, the author revealed why the supremacy of Jesus matters.
Stay tuned for Part 3