Today Suzanne Holland. brings a special message to you regarding an exciting new opportunity for learning! Suzanne is a
grateful follower of Jesus Christ, wife to John, and mom to two grown up boys.
She is a Certified Biblical Counselor with the IABC, offering the hope of the
Scriptures to those who are hurting. Suzanne writes on her blog, 
Near to the Healer, and has a special emphasis on ministering to those who suffer with
ongoing physical pain. Her blog is reposted with permission. 
Compassionate, sympathetic, dependent, broken. These are
words that describe most of the believers I know who suffer with chronic pain
or disability. Because they suffer, they are able to relate to others who are
suffering, and encourage them with the comfort they have received from God in
their suffering. Interestingly, those first four words above also describe
disciplers, or what some would call counselors. Broken people who know that
they are dependent on God for everything are usually compassionate and
sympathetic. Does this describe you? Have you ever thought of becoming a
discipler or counselor in your own community?
Even if you do not want to do “formal” counseling, but would
like to learn more about how to disciple others who come to you with their trials,
some training can greatly improve you effectiveness with those you are
mentoring. Romans 14:15 says,  “But I
myself am fully convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, that you
yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to
instruct one another.” So the Lord has told us that we are able to instruct, or
counsel one another. Training in biblical counseling will help you to express
the truths you have learned in a way that will get to the heart of the person
you’re trying to help, and make your encouragement more effective.
Learning specific methods for comforting others with the
comfort you have received can even help you to comfort and encourage yourself
on difficult days. I can attest to this! I finished my certification last year,
and I can honestly tell you that I am a different Christian than I was before
my training. I have known and understood the Scriptures for most of my adult
life, but what I learned in my counseling training helped me to apply those
truths in ways I would never have come up with on my own. I especially learned
how to ask good questions that get to the heart of the problem. Now, I ask
myself these same questions whenever I begin to feel my own attitude going
downhill. Much of what I’ve written on this blog is the result of asking myself
good questions to redirect my thoughts whenever they are circling the drain.
So, have I convinced you yet to explore the possibility of
getting some training? Good! Now, I want to tell you about an exciting
opportunity for you to receive excellent training in biblical counseling. I
believe this will appeal to you especially, as one who suffers from health
problems or disability. Even if you have thought about getting training in
biblical counseling, it can be difficult to sit through classes when every
joint aches, and it is very frustrating to have to miss classes because of pain
or exhaustion. Reigning Grace Counseling Center, where I was trained, now
offers that same training online! The program is done 100% through the
internet. There is no traveling or sitting for long hours in a classroom, and
you can do the training at your own pace. If you’d like to learn more about it,
visit their website at www.rgcconline.org,
or if you’d like a small sample of the program, go to www.tracks.rgcconline.org.
Nothing will get your mind off yourself like preparing to
minister to someone else! Won’t you prayerfully consider this opportunity? I
honestly do not know how I would be handling my condition now if it hadn’t been
for the Reigning Grace Counseling Center training program. I learned so much
about my own heart, and why I respond to trials the way I do. I gained an
understanding of how my thoughts fuel my feelings and actions, and how to take
those thoughts captive to Christ. I have learned to use my physical condition
as a springboard for many discipling opportunities, both in and out of the
counseling room. Since I started counseling, I have not become stuck in
self-pity or depression, because I am constantly studying the Scriptures so
that I can encourage that next counselee. Daily, I am amazed by the universal
application of Scripture. No matter what someone is dealing with, there is a passage
or principle of Scripture that applies to that situation.

Friend, there are so many believers who are suffering right
now. They need the hand of someone a little further down the road of suffering
to reach back and help them along. Could that be you? I hope you will
prayerfully consider this opportunity to learn and grow. You will never regret
learning how to come alongside a suffering sister and show her how to reach a
place of peace and contentment in her heart, regardless of her circumstances. Our
Lord is a mighty Redeemer. Perhaps He wants to redeem your pain and suffering
by using it to encourage the sons and daughters of His kingdom!

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