Acts 14:23-28, When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed. They passed through Pisidia and came into Pamphylia. When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. From there they sailed to Antioch, from which they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had accomplished. When they had arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. And they spent a long time with the disciples.
The Book of Acts Strengthens and encourages us, as the events of the book, did so for the believers Paul and Barnabas shared the Gospel with. Those original converts saw the living examples of faith through suffering as they observed their loving teachers. The Apostles went out of their way, literally, to calm the new converts as stories of their struggles in various cities would get back to those faithful “newborns.” If Paul and Barnabas could survive the trials of their ministry, then so could those who they converted through the Word.
The time would come, as it does for all of us, that Paul and Barnabas would leave. But be sure, they left with a reassurance for their new brethren. Acts 14:23 tells us that they appointed elders in every Church. They were more than a governing council; they were Spiritual leaders and ministers. Because the apostles wanted to sow success in the congregational future of these people, they were both older chronologically and wiser than average spiritually.
Knowing that the churches would need leadership in a variety of levels, they also directed older women, younger women, and younger men to accept faithful responsibilities. This would bring not only strength and encouragement to the Church, but also growth and development for the future. God uses holy people at all ages to build up His church and turn the world to Him.
Life is difficult and we sometimes need Godly people, people being used by God, to help us see how to endure life’s many hardships and difficulties. Paul and Barnabas were living victorious lives in spite of the great trials they faced.
Hearing of faithful durability is something that gives power and substance to God’s message. It often inspires those who are following through with the invitation to walk by faith and not by sight. For older members who may think that they are passed their own usefulness, please recognize the power that emanates from a life of spiritual survival and Biblical application. Youth needs to have the example of successful seniors whether they recognize it or not. It is a testimony and example in itself. To those who seek inspiration in your faith, please look around you to those who might seem physically slower or maybe just older and know that some of the greatest resources for understanding spiritual survival might be sitting right beside you.
Wherever you are in your spiritual walk, Godspeed on your journey.