Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, was a great man of encouragement.
He can be found in the book of Acts, selling his land and giving the funds to support the newly established Church of Christ. And his acts of encouragement didn’t end there.
The most significant deed, which greatly altered Christianity, was when he vouched for Saul, the murderous Christian persecutor who was miraculously converted by Christ Himself. Yes, Joseph’s support opened the door for Saul (also known as the Apostle Paul) to later write 13 books of the New Testament!
So profoundly encouraging was Joseph, that he was eventually given the name Barnabas, which means ‘son of encouragement’. But, I wondered… if Barnabas was the son of encouragement, then who is the father of encouragement?
The answer is Christ. He is the Father of encouragement, the awesome Jehovah Nissi – The Lord My Banner!
And I’ve experienced Jehovah Nissi every time I’ve asked for His encouragement. Because just recently, I needed help with juggling potty-training my oldest son, while taking care of my youngest.
Admittedly, I was overwhelmed even before it all started. Especially upon the news that my husband was going out of town that same week.
So I prayed for God’s encouragement, help, and strength to get through the next five days. I didn’t know how I was going to do it all without my potty-training son regressing.
He was making so much headway while my husband was home to help, so I didn’t want to be the cause of his delayed progress. But my youngest demanded so much of my attention that accidents were bound to happen left and right.
So I prayed intently about it. And God answered me by saying, “Jessie, he’s not going.”
My husband’s trip was going to be cancelled? At first I was relieved, but then I quickly became skeptical.
Because I’ve had deceptive responses in the past, and I didn’t want to mistake God’s voice again. But as the work week began, my husband informed me that his trip had actually cancelled.
I was overwhelmed with joy (sorry, hubby)! And it didn’t end there; I had another problem rise up during the week with my home, and so I prayed for more help and encouragement.
God responded with a feeling that someone was going to call me soon to give me helpful counsel. And within 10 minutes, the right person called for just that!
All week long I was given one encouragement after another. My spirits were lifted, reassuring me that God was taking care of every little thing thrown my way.
He would encourage me through people, events, and with His own peace-giving voice over and over again. Just as in Proverbs 15:4, His Words were a tree of life to me!
Proverbs 15:4 Printable
So have you prayed for encouragement lately? Because Jehovah Nissi is waiting to be your banner!
He is waiting to give you words of life, which will produce fruit for others to enjoy as well. For we are all daughters of the Father of encouragement, and we have so much of His encouragement to experience and to give away!
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