As a group of frogs traveling through the woods, two of them fell into a deep pit. The other frogs peeked in and told these two that they were as good as dead as it was impossible to come out. Ignoring the discouragement, these two frogs tried to jump out anyway. A while later, one of the frogs, lost its spirit in the constant discouragement and gave up…and died. The second frog kept on jumping. The more the others commented, the harder he tried. Finally, he jumped out!“ Didn’t you hear us?” asked the frogs. “I am a little deaf. I thought you were cheering me on.” answered the frog.
Encouraging words can make a huge difference in someone’s day or life. Sometimes the smallest gesture, a smile, compliment, or a hug at the right moment can be life-changing. And then what happens? The one giving the encouragement feels good and usually, the one who has been encouraged feels uplifted and goes on to encourage someone else. It really is like dropping a pebble in a pond—the ripple effect is endless. And it doesn’t cost a thing, not even a lot of time. Sometimes just listening to someone who is discouraged can encourage them and the greatest encouragement I have been privileged to give and receive is praying with someone. Just try offering to pray with someone who has shared their struggle. It might feel awkward at first, don’t worry, the Holy Spirit will give you the words. The blessing will be immense and the more you do it, the easier it will be. In fact, you will look forward to the next opportunity to ask, “can I pray with you?”
Barnabas encouraged the church at Antioch “to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” What a great encouragement. As a result of him and Saul teaching great numbers of people of the church, the disciples were called “Christians” first at Antioch. (Acts 11:26) But the ripple effect continued, it was the first but not the last time. Ever notice how the ripple gets larger and larger in the pond? (and the church kept growing)
Scripture is full of encouragement to share with other people. A quick text message to someone and a verse of encouragement can brighten someone’s day. A handwritten note to someone can mean the world to someone sick. Tomorrow Pastor Josh is going to share some other ways we can encourage each other. You might never know if or how your encouragement makes a huge difference in someone’s life, but if it is authentic and comes from the heart it will be the gift that doesn’t stop giving. Let’s be interested in others, be good listeners, and take every opportunity to be a Barnabas in someone’s life today.
Exec. Admin. Assistant