Saul needed someone to stand with him and be an encourager. God had the right man for this assignment in Barnabas (“son of encouragement or conciliation”). He was familiar with what took place in Saul, stood with him when others doubted and vouched for the reality of God’s work.
Later when Saul became Paul, the Holy Spirit sent out these two for another special assignment; to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles, plant churches and strengthen them, and appoint elders for faithful leadership. The mentoring process is most effective when it includes encouragement.
You and I need a Barnabas! I am so thankful for the persons God has put in my life who strengthen and encourage me. Who is your Barnabas? If you do not have one, ask God to prepare and send one your way. It does not matter how long we have been on the Christian road, we need those who will stand by us in time of discouragement and testing.