The strong disagreement between Paul and Barnabas caused them to split and take their own separate ways. Paul took Silas and went throughout Syria and Cilicia, while Barnabas and John Mark went to Cyprus to minister to the believers there. The reason for Paul and Barnabas' strong disagreement was that Barnabas wanted to take John Mark with them on their second missionary journey, but Paul did not want to take him because he deserted them from their first missionary journey. Perhaps Barnabas wanted to take John Mark with them to give him another chance or to encourage him. Barnabas might have seen changes in John Mark after he deserted them from their first missionary journey, and Barnabas wanted to give him a chance to prove himself. However, Paul did not want to take a chance of being deserted again, especially on a very tough journey. (Acts 15:36-41).
Barnabas was always willing to take a chance to encourage others. He was the one who took Paul in when the believers were in doubt about his conversion. He was the one who encouraged Paul in the beginning and went with him on his first missionary journey. We all need an encourager like Barnabas. All of us get discouraged, especially when we fail or make mistakes. Sometimes we get fearful and doubtful, but it is always a blessing to have someone alongside us to encourage us. When we come to the end of our rope, we need someone to pull us up and help us to stand up on our feet again. John Mark needed that, and Barnabas showed up, and John Mark has never been the same since. John Mark eventually reconciled with Paul and wrote the gospel of Mark.
We need to be Barnabas to others. As the Lord encourages us, we need to encourage others. God can use us to change people's lives through encouragement. Let us encourage others with our kind words or actions today.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through carefully and meditate on the questions while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speak to you) Am I willing to encourage others? How do I feel when someone encourages me? Is there anyone I can encourage today?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for encouraging me through others when I am discouraged and doubtful. Would you teach and guide me on how to encourage others? In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.