If I think back over my 26 years of life – there are not many things that have made a bigger impact in my life
than the voice of encouragement; be it my parents next to the sport’s field or text books, leaders and friends that
encourage during difficult times or hearing the Holy Spirit speak into my heart to not give up. We all need
encouragement, but more than that we are also called to be a voice of encouragement to those around us. We
are called to speak God’s thoughts over those we come into contact with on a daily basis.
This Voice of Encouragement jumped out in a fresh way when I recently read through the books of Acts. Some background before we get to the text: The early Church has been birthed at Pentecost and many signs and wonders were already done by the apostles. The church experienced growth as the Lord added to their number. The believers were in unity within community. Severe persecution was also present and many believers were scattered abroad due to the persecution. What a climate for encouragement! Barnabas was sent from Jerusalem to Antioch to be a voice of encouragement to them. Just as they needed it, so we need it today.
Acts 11:23-24, “ When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.” The encouragement was to continue with the LORD with a purpose of heart. A purpose of heart means to be unwavering, steadfast and unfluctuating. To be a people that are steadfast in our hearts unto the LORD is part ofthe life that we are called to live now which flows over into the legacy that we leave for the next generation.
“To continue with the LORD” speaks of a journey ahead. What keeps us going on a journey? We keep our eyes are on the
prize, we are fueled up and we receive encouragement. You might not be persecuted as in the book of Acts, but facing verbal persecution moments from fellow colleagues or family members. Your thought life might be out of line and despair is on your doorstep. Hear His Voice today in keeping a steadfast heart to Him. Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and the finisher of your faith. Stay rooted in the Word and in tune with the Holy Spirit and stay connected to spiritual family who speak life over you and keep your arms high.
The voice of encouragement – hear it and be it to those around you.
Written By: Raymond Hill