those who are in any affliction
ourselves are COMFORTED by God.
Personally, I don't even like the word "counsel" - I'd rather call it "disciple" but no matter what you call it, if you know Jesus, you are qualified to comfort those in affliction.
You are qualified because you have experienced the mercy and comfort of God.
The great commission is to go and make disciples. This is the call of every believer. Counseling is simply disciple-making. Is life hard? What does God say about it? Are you depressed? What does God say about it? Are you suffering? What does God say about it? Are you angry? Are you lonely? Are you frustrated? Are you sorrowful? Are you lost? Tired? Hopeless? Addicted? You name it, what does God say about it?
This is basic discipleship: taking the troubles of today and bringing them to a loving God, who has given His Son so that we can know Him and have life. It doesn't matter where you have come from - if you have come to Jesus, you can bring others.
You know the way.
You are qualified.
So who are you discipling? Who are you walking through the valley with? To do this, you must know God's Word, so keep studying and ask the Father to bring someone who needs help into your life. Then watch what He does next!
(((By the way, I haven't poked the bear in a couple of weeks and life is so much better!!!)))