Called Out: Being a Barnabas

Being a Barnabas

By Jen Bauer

While reading through To Live is Christ by Beth Moore, I not only became more familiar with Paul, but also with his friend Barnabas. Barnabas’ name means “son of encouragement or consolation.”  Paul comes across as a rough and tumble kind of man, so it’s almost odd to see him become good friends with someone like Barnabas. Paul doesn’t seem to be the type of person who needs encouragement, but he did, so God sent Barnabas into his life. 

How often do we need a good friend and God gives us a Barnabas? Awhile back I needed some encouragment and God sent a Barnabas to me. I have several friends who I am able to depend on in the good times, as well as the bad times. Friends who let me know they’re praying for me, who share Scripture with me, who just lend a listening ear (which is no small feat because I like to talk…a lot). 

Sometimes it’s so easy to tell someone “I’ll be praying for you.”  But do we follow through with that promise? Samuel said, “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you…” (I Samuel 12:23) 

I have a friend who is going through a difficult time.  Here are a few ways I’ve thought of to be an encouragement.  Maybe you can add more in the comments.
  • Promise to pray for them, and then be sure to take the time to pray for them.
  • Share scripture with them.
  • Listen…I always tell my children, God gave us two ears so we can listen twice as much as we talk.
  • Send them a card reminding them that you are praying for you them (Then be sure to really pray for them!)
  • If you can afford it, send them some flowers, or go pick some wildflowers. What a nice reminder that they are special to you.
  • Lastly, don’t share their burdens as “prayer requests” to others, unless the individual has specifically asked you to. Sometimes “sharing prayer requests” is just another method of gossiping. 

Here are some verses you can share with others in their time of need. 

  • Psalm 9:10 “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.”
  • Psalm 18:6 “In my distress I called upon the LORD and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.”
  • Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
  • Psalm 30:5b “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
  • Psalm 34:18 “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”
  • Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
  • Psalm 61:2 “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
  • Psalm 62:8 “Trust in him at all times; ye people pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
  • Psalm 86:5 “For thou, LORD, art good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.”
  • Psalm 119:71 “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn they statutes.”
  • Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have they which love thy law; and nothing shall offend them.”
  • Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.”

Most of these psalms were written by David, a man of God. I love how God showed the weakness of His people. David was a man after God’s own heart, but there were times when he was discouraged. Paul says in I Corinthians 1:4 ” [God] comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” Sometimes God will put us through trials, so we may be able to comfort (and encourage!) others down the road who will go through the same thing. God is good!

There is good news for those discouraged! I Corinthians 10:13 says “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it.”

I once saw this quote on a friend’s facebook status: “Be kinder than necessary, everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” It’s now one of my favorite quotes. I pray that each of us will be a Barnabas to someone today.

Jen writes at Be Thou Exalted (  She and her husband are missionaries waiting patiently (or at least trying to) for their visas.  They’ve been married for 12 years and have 2 children: Autumn (8) and Cody (3).

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