Encouraging Acts – Acts 20:1-2

When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia. He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, where he stayed three months“. (Acts 20:1-2).

Fernando (2011) states “Paul was the encourager par excellence”. Through all the trials, sufferings and persecutions he faced, he continued to encourage and comfort all around him. In this passage a riot has occurred in Ephesus. A lynch mob wants blood, hell has broke loose.   Paul had been urged by friends to stay away (Acts 19:30) for the situation was so volatile. Paul’s colleagues are seized as the entire town submerges into chaos. However just at the last moment, an unseen hand redirects the script and the town’s governors quell the crowd. The wrongly accused believers are freed. A few moments ago death had seemed a real possibility. You are now shaken, fearful and in a state of shock.

Enter Paul.

Paul, a man of no fear, he responds with immediate  encouragement. We don’t know his exact words but knowing of Paul’s zeal, fearlessness and tender heart, he would have been consoling the young Christians to praise God for His deliverance.  Amazingly Paul sets off not long after and encourages every believer he meets! He is literally an encouragement machine. Whether shipwrecked at sea, facing imprisonment, beatings or even stoning…nothing seems to waver Paul’s foundation in Christ.  His will to encourage all around him never ceases.

Encourage

Encouragement is a key ingredient to building a healthy body of believers. One  that endures and preservers, especially in times of duress. Romans 15:5 states – May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.

Do you encourage people?  Do you seek to build others up or find yourself secretly tearing them down? Amongst Christians, especially in ministry, encouragement is an imperative. Jesus died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:10-12).