Encouragement

You may have the spiritual gift of exhortation that will help you be an encouragement to others

The Greek word “parakaleo” means to admonish, to encourage, to beseech. You are a “how to” person. You have the Spirit-given capacity and desire to serve God by motivating others to action by urging them to pursue a course of conduct. In a teaching position, you are able to explain how to apply God’s Word. Your goal is to present material that enables the Holy Spirit to promote change in the student’s life. You reach out and help Christians become more mature.

As an exhorter you are a very practical person, a good counselor, tolerant of others, serious-minded, orderly, and usually impulsive. You are expressive in a group setting; the group listens when you speak. You are comfortable working one-on-one or in groups. You are enthusiastic and talkative and enjoy encouraging others.

You are burdened to show how Scripture relates to conduct and have a desire to unify people by using practical rather than doctrinal issues. You likely place great importance on God’s will and believe that His Word has the answer for every problem. You tend to make decisions logically rather than on feelings and are very orderly.

Be careful not to interrupt other people; your enthusiasm sometimes makes you guilty of this. Others may think you don’t use enough Scripture in teaching because you tend to use Scripture to support what you are teaching rather than starting with Scripture.

Unlike teachers, you have the willingness to teach the same material again and again, updating and perfecting it as you do. As a counselor you usually have the ability to leave other people\’s problems “in the office” rather than letting them drag you down.

Beware of Satan’s attack on your gift. He may cause pride in your motivational abilities. He may influence you to lose sight of people because of program emphasis. Don’t become discouraged when results are not evident. Be careful not to encourage others to do the wrong things through your persuasive abilities.

Cast Your Cares on the One Who Cares for You

First Peter 5:6-7 says, Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. If Jesus invites us to cast all of our care and worry on Him, why do so many of us refuse to let go? Apparently, we’re not yet fed up with being miserable.

The only way to have victory in our lives is to play by God’s rules, and He says we must quit worrying if we want to have peace. So, when things come our way that cause us to be concerned, we need God’s help. But how do we get it? First Peter 5:6-7 lists two important steps: 1) humble yourselves, and 2) cast your anxieties—or cares—on Him.

All of us would be better off if we’d learn to lean on God and ask for His help. But as long as we try to do everything ourselves, God will let us. He won’t take care of our problems and worries—our anxieties—until we turn loose of them and give them to Him. Either we’re going to do it or God’s going to do it, but both of us aren’t going to.

Now, casting your care doesn’t mean you can be irresponsible. God won’t do for you what you can do yourself. You must do what you can do, and then trust God to do what you can’t. When we humble ourselves and ask for His help, then He will release His power in our situations. It’s only then that we can really enjoy life.

So the cure for worry is humbling ourselves before God, casting our cares on Him, and trusting Him. When we are able to believe and say, “God, I trust You,” it will literally change our lives.

Develop an Attitude of Faith and Prayer

I’ve learned that my attitude has a lot to do with living a worry-free life. There will always be situations that cause us concern, but with God’s help, we can live above all of it and enjoy life. However, when you give your problems to God, you must also decide to be satisfied with His answers.

See, trusting God to do what’s best for us also involves dying to self. Paul said, …It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20). You can trust God to do what’s best for you, so you don’t have to worry about it. When you have a positive attitude and keep your faith in God, you can’t be defeated.

Together, faith and the Word of God will help you overcome worry. Worrying involves negative thoughts, but speaking positive things out of your mouth will interrupt those negative thought patterns. When we are full of the Word of God, we can speak it out of our mouths in faith. Faith is stronger than doubt, negativism and unbelief. It has a positive attitude that can overcome our past and lead us into a great future.

Faith is a powerful force that cannot be conquered.

Another powerful force is prayer. When you’re under pressure, it’s always best to pray about it instead of talk about it. Prayer is the blueprint for a successful life. During His time on earth, Jesus prayed. He entrusted everything to God—even His reputation and life. And we can do the same. We don’t have to explain all the problems to Him; we can just give them to Him and ask Him to take care of everything. Don’t complicate prayer. Just have confidence in simple, believing prayer.

Look at Paul’s instructions in Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

If you’re a Christian who goes around burdened or weighed down all the time, something is wrong. You may have had faith in Christ for salvation, but you haven’t moved into walking in faith daily for the life that God has given you. The Bible tells us that God is faithful—that’s one of His major characteristics. He can be counted on to come through for us, so we should trust Him totally and completely. When we do, we’ll be ready for anything that may come our way.

Allow God to Give You Peace and Rest

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Jesus wants to ease our burdens and give us rest.

That sounds good, doesn’t it? I’ve had enough heavy stuff in my life, and I want to be free.

When we’re overloaded with the cares of this life—struggling, laboring and worrying—we need some help. Our minds need to rest from worrying about how to take care of problems; our emotions need to rest from being upset all the time; and our wills need a rest from stubbornness and rebellion. So we need to be humble enough to call out to God and say, “I need help!”

Your beginning doesn’t have to dictate your ending. Get God involved in every area of your life and allow Him to lead you into rest.

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