The Ministry Of Encouragement
This will not be a teaching on spiritual gifts. I do need, however, in order to get my point across about the ministry of encouragement, to present to you my understanding of spiritual gifts. I will warn you ahead of time that it is different than the way most people teach it. The general idea is that God in His Sovereignty has distributed particular spiritual gifts to particular people and they can only be the ones used in those gifts. If another person has not been gifted by God in a particular gift, then they cannot function in that area because God has not seen fit to equip them in that spiritual way. The scriptures used to teach this are 1 Corinthians 12:11, “But all these worketh the one and selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” The other is Romans 12:6, “Having gifts differing according to the grace that is given us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith.” The standard teaching in most Pentecostal, Charismatic, Word of Faith churches is that no one can have all the gifts and certainly we cannot exercise the gifts that God has graced us with until He wills it.
I will say this to you friends, Jesus never taught that and Paul, though accused of teaching that did not teach that either. As a matter of fact, Jesus told us we would do the same works that He did and greater and He never mentioned gifting. John 14:12. Paul said that “ye can all prophesy” (1Corinthians 14:31), just let it be done at a time that all may learn and be comforted. In Romans 12:6 he said “Having gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the measure of faith; (not as the Spirit wills). The teaching of spiritual gifts is a whole different matter for another time. My point is we have all been graced to do the works of Christ and the Word of God says “God gives more grace.” ( James 4:6) So whatever you think you don’t have you can get and whatever you do have you can function in it more.
If you look at the list of spiritual gifts in Romans 12:6-8, prophecy, ministry, teaching,
exhortation, giving, ruling and mercy, they are gifts that we can all function in. My position is that even though there are gifts of the Holy Spirit that will seem to operate more prevalent through our life and ministry, because we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are candidates to be used in any of the gifts and it’s not up to God but up to us to stir up those gifts when needed. If you can stay with me for another minute or so I’ll get to the point of importance.
There are many in the body of Christ that do not see immediate results to their needs. Though God has met and provided for all of them, many are discouraged and never receive the fulfillment of God’s promises because of a lack of endurance. A lack of endurance, which I believe can be alleviated if other Christians would operate in the gift of encouragement or exhortation. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:36, that through faith and patience or endurance we inherit the promises. I have found that with the spiritual endowment of the gift of exhortation many will endure until they experience the fruition of the promises. My friends, you don’t have to have all the answers to everyone’s problems. I don’t know anyone that does. But we can all, by the person and power of the Holy Spirit, pray with, prophesy to, minister life to, and encourage or exhort to see people through so that they will not give up until they inherit the promises that God said belong to them.