A Life Lesson From Onesiphorus

You may not know him, but just might need someone just like him!


You may not know who Onesiphorus was, but you’re about to find out.

Let’s agree on this – life is not always easy. Into each life some rain must fall, but sometimes like the guy in the water-filled rowboat said, “But this is ridiculous!”

My primary Spiritual gift from Romans 12:6-8 NLT says this: In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you… the ability to encourage others, be encouraging.”

 This gift is one of seven in this passage. At least one of them has your name on it along with the accompanying mission for your life. We all seem to specialize in at least one of these God-given gifts. I love to encourage others, always have… always will.

The Apostle Paul would have shrugged at our lists of ‘difficulties.’ His list included such things as ‘hunted and hounded for most of his ministry.’ You would have also noticed ‘shipwrecks, floggings, hunger, disappearing friends, hundreds of miles of walking and eventually, imprisonment.

I don’t know if you have ever visited someone in jail, but it would most likely fall into the category of “Top five things I hope Jesus never asks me to do.” Yet listen to what this weary, almost worn out senior Apostle had to say about his close friend Onesiphorus: May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorus and all his family because he often visited and encouraged me. He was never ashamed of me because I was in chains.” II Timothy 1:16 NLT

Let’s learn these things from this close and encouraging friend of Paul:

First, he refreshed other regularly. It was his life style. He didn’t need to be reminded or prodded to lift up the downhearted and beaten down.

Second, his desire to minister encouragement wasn’t affected by circumstances. Others may have been embarrassed by Paul’s imprisonment, but Onesiphorus kept seeking him out and pouring the refreshing waters of friendship and care upon Paul.

You are literally surrounded by people around you who urgently need a kind word, a plate of cookies or even a hug. Don’t make them ask for it… read it in their slumped shoulders and the look of loneliness on their faces.

Onesiphorus never made a name for himself in life, but Paul would have said he was just what he needed in the lonely, dark times of his life.

Remember, when God comes alongside us in times of trouble, He’s usually there in the form of a friend like Onesiphorus.

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