When [Barnabas] arrived [in Antioch] and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.
Encouragement from the Lord
Everybody likes to be encouraged. Encouragements can refresh us, cheer us up, and make us feel better. An encouragement from God’s Word can do even more than that.
In the early days of the Christian church there was an encourager known as Barnabas. The church was being persecuted. Anti-Christian forces were at work trying to stop the message of the Savior and to destroy all who believed it. Believers were tempted to turn away from their faith in Jesus and to give in to doubt and despair. Barnabas did more than cheer them up. He gave his fellow believers a place to hide. He pointed them to the Lord, their Savior.
We need that same kind of encouragement. We do not expect life to be easy, but sometimes problems pile up to the point where we may begin to wonder if we’re being punished. Even on a good day, it can feel at times as though the Lord is far away.
Listen, my fellow sinner. The Lord knows every sin we have committed, but he has already paid for them all in full. Our Savior Jesus died for the sins of all. This means that whatever it is that we deserve for our sins, we will never be punished, not even a little bit.
The Lord is your hiding place, friend. Take shelter in his saving promises, because the Lord is on your side.
Dear Lord, no encouragement can compare to the good news that Jesus is my Savior. Encourage me with this good news and help me to use that same good news to encourage others. Amen.
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