Barnabus - The Son of Comfort - is a tremendous role model of a Comforter/Encourager. Study the key qualities in his life that gave him this ministry.
All of us can be encourager's and builders of people. See what comfort looks like in the life of this great Apostle.
We're on a theme of scripture: Comfort in Times of Trouble. One of the things I have learned in ministry - I love the times of great blessing, times when you're on the mountain tops, times when things are well. There's also other times, times of distress, times of difficulty, times of pressure. Everyone faces those, and in those times, what you do, qualifies you to be enlarged in your next season. I firmly believe in that. I believe, as I walk through difficult times, that God is watching my response, and watching your response. At a time of pressure and difficulty and distress, we can make decisions that shift us in our capacity to the Lord.
2 Corinthians 1:3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation”. And here's the redeeming factor: “comforts us” - God helps us.
When we're in pressure, when we're in time of difficulty, there are some things happen.
1) We tend to lose God's perspective. When you get your eyes focussed on difficulties and problems, you often lose the sight of what God is doing. I believe firmly, in the midst of every difficulty, when you face your difficulty, lift up and say: God, what are You doing, and how should I respond?
2) We tend to get disconnected, isolated; and 3) we usually try and find destructive ways of resolving pain that we feel.
The Bible tells us: God is tender and compassionate, and He extends in a very real way, comfort to us. He has a purpose - that you will be qualified to comfort others in all of their trouble. So whatever your situation - some are in a place that's great and positive, and they're seeing blessing and great things; others are at the extreme other end of the scale - in turmoil and emotional stress. It doesn't matter where we are, what God wants to do is put something into us, that we can then transmit, and pass on to someone else.
We looked at what comfort is. We realised it's not just putting an arm around someone, and making them feel better; or helping heal the emotions.
God is a God of comfort, and ‘comfort’ means literally this: He calls us near to Him. He comes near to us.
Our perspective can be shifted in the midst of the difficulty. That's why David said, in Psalm 23: “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I refuse to be afraid, because God is with me”. Main Message
Every believer is called to comfort, or to exhort, or stir others. Hebrews 3:13 - “Let us exhort one another.”
Acts 4:34 - It's about a person in the Bible; and sometimes when you think of people in the Bible who are important, you come up with names like David, Moses, Paul, and some of the apostles. But this man is mentioned more than 10 times in the New Testament - more than every other apostle except Paul and Peter - mentioned in a whole number of ways. I want you to see why the Holy Ghost takes time to actually draw attention to this man, because there's something God wants us to learn from this.
Acts 4:34 – “There was no one among them who lacked; for all who possessed land and houses sold them; and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostle's feet - and they distributed to each, as everyone had need”.
Acts 4:36 – “Joses or Joseph, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated: Son of Encouragement, or: Son of Comfort, Son of Exhortation) having land, sold it and brought the money, and laid it at the apostle's feet. But a certain man named Ananias and Sapphira, his wife sold and kept back part of the money.”