Monday, August 3rd, 2020
Do you feel as though you need some good counseling? Have you been looking for someone to talk to who can really understand your problems and give you very helpful advice? I’m going to tell you about a Wonderful Counselor who is available to you.
Who of us doesn’t need a good shoulder to cry on sometimes, a good counselor to help us from time to time. But I’ve observed that many of us are addicted to counselors and counseling, whether it is a casual discussion with a good friend or a session with a professional. Too often our first knee-jerk reaction to any situation is to find someone who can help us. To get on the phone and talk to someone or make an appointment with a professional counselor. We’ve been led to believe that we can’t solve anything without counsel.
I remember once when I was facing a personal problem and my first move was to call my best friend. Her counsel was good and she helped me gain perspective, which I badly needed. But as the days wore on, I found that I was calling her quite frequently, using her counsel like a painkiller or a quick fix to get me through the problem. Once when I dialed her number, there was no answer, and I felt panicky—almost irritated with her for not being there when I needed her.
And in the midst of this miniature panic scene, the Holy Spirit so faithfully spoke to me in words that could have been audible, they were so clear. He said to me: “You know, Mary, if you would spend as much time talking to the Lord about this problem as you do to your friend, you’d be a whole lot closer to finding the solution.”
My heart was stricken, as I had to confess that I had talked with my friend longer about my problem than I had talked with God about it. A passage came to mind from Isaiah 9 which speaks of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. Verse six says that one of his names will be Wonderful Counselor.
As I remembered that verse that day, I made a promise to God that never again would I seek earthly counsel before I sought his counsel, and never would I spend more time with earthly counselors than I did with him. And once I went to my heavenly Counselor, the peace of God began to enter into my soul.
I want to encourage you to look to Jesus as your Wonderful Counselor. You’ll discover that he truly is the most qualified and the most understanding Counselor you’ll ever find. Before you pick up the phone and start calling or texting, before you spill your hurt to someone else, talk to Jesus. He is there for you, and he has solutions that work!
Tuesday, August 4th, 2020
As often as I’ve gone to my Wonderful Counselor, he’s never been unavailable. It just doesn’t matter when or where, he’s always there for me. Many earthly counselors can have difficulty relating to us, if they haven’t had similar experiences. But not my Wonderful Counselor. I’m told in Scripture that he has suffered everything that I will ever suffer, and he is touched with the feelings of my weaknesses. You can never say to the Wonderful Counselor, “You don’t understand.” Jesus always understands.
This is one Counselor – and the only one – who can guarantee the results. If we come to him, he has promised to give us rest. He says we can learn from him; he will teach us what we need to know about ourselves, about our relationships, about our feelings and emotions.
When I can’t understand myself, my own reactions, or even verbalize my feelings, I ask him to unravel those jumbled feelings for me. And of course he does, because not only is he my Wonderful Counselor, he is also my Creator. Obviously, if he created me, he certainly understands what makes me tick! And so many times, as I’ve gotten quiet with him, he has shown me things about my own personality puzzle that I never saw before.
I guess the world counselors would call it “getting in touch with your feelings,” but I call it “getting in touch with your Creator.” For sure I can trust the Creator of the Universe, especially since he loves me and wants only the best for me.
So often when we feel the need for some help we call an earthly friend or a professional counselor. And we expect them to give us sympathy or advice or help us heal from our hurts. Sometimes they may be helpful, but often they fail us. That’s because they may be well meaning, but they are not our Wonderful Counselor, like Jesus is.
Honestly, do you seek earthly counsel more than you seek the counsel of Jesus? Do you turn to Jesus first, or only after you’ve tried everything and everyone else?
I commend to you this most Wonderful Counselor, Jesus Christ, and I urge you to seek his counsel first and foremost. He’s the Counselor with perfect wisdom as well as the power to make things different in your life
Wednesday, August 5th, 2020
We have a Wonderful Counselor, Jesus Christ, who has invited us to come to him and find rest for our souls.
While earthly counsel and advice can be helpful at times, I believe most of us run to an earthly counselor before we really seek the help of the Wonderful Counselor. Many people spend hours each week seeking earthly counsel. But how much time are we willing to devote to seeking God’s guidance, asking our Wonderful Counselor to speak to us, through quietly sitting before him, meditating on his Word, praying, and being in an attitude that gives him an opportunity to give us inner guidance?
From time to time people will call or come to me for counsel. I’ve finally concluded that’s not my gift, but whenever I can help someone, I’m glad to do so. However, one thing I often ask before offering any counsel is “Have you sought the counsel of Jesus and the Word of God before coming to me? Have you prayed about this?”
When the response is a shocked look or a stammering excuse, I know that they’ve made the mistake I have also made, and that is seeking answers from someone else before and instead of seeking answers from the Lord. And I know that it’s not likely God’s going to give them any good counsel through me until they’ve sought him first.
Why are we so prone to seek earthly counsel instead of heavenly counsel? Well, because we can see and touch and hear an earthly person, and that feels good. And then, many times we don’t want to hear what we know we’ll hear when we go to the Lord. We look for some earthly counselor to validate our action or inactivity and make us feel better about what we know is wrong.
I remember counseling a woman once concerning a relationship with a man who was not a believer. She had come to me expecting sympathy and confirmation that this relationship was an exception to the rules, but I gave her strong biblical counsel to break the relationship before it went any further. She knew the Lord would give her that instruction; she was hoping I could interpret it otherwise and make her feel good about the wrong decision she had already made.
If you’ve been seeking earthly counsel, examine your heart and see if you’ve been doing it for the wrong reasons.
Thursday, August 6th, 2020
What’s wrong with earthly counseling? There’s nothing inherently wrong. In fact we are urged to seek advice and counsel when making decisions, and all of us need trusted people in our lives to give us godly counsel. That’s part of how the Body of Christ should work together. However, earthly counsel is subject to problems.
For example, earthly counselors can be wrong—dead wrong. They may be sincere and they may be truly trying to help you, but there is nothing to guarantee that they are right. Only your Wonderful Counselor, Jesus Christ, is one hundred percent right all the time.
The wrong earthly counselors often lead people to be self-focused, and that is a sure road to depression! Counsel based on God’s Word will lead you to acceptance, and away from self-centeredness and anger. The Wonderful Counselor will heal you of bitterness, instead of creating it. He’ll teach you forgiveness, and this brings release and freedom from depression. He’ll show you how your past, or your present circumstances, as bad as they seem, can be used as an instrument of good in your life if you will allow it.
Keep in mind I’m not talking about denial. Certain situations from our past need to be confronted, recognized, brought out into the open and dealt with. And when that is done biblically, the result is that the person is freed up to go forward and be used of God in his kingdom.
I think of a woman who had one of the most horrible childhood experiences anyone could endure. She talks about it and has written about it, but her whole message is that Jesus has healed her and has enabled her to live with the past. And in her lifetime God has used her mightily in the lives of others, because she has put behind her the pains of the past. And who has been her counselor? Who brought her to this stage? Jesus, the Word of God, prayer, family and friends – in that order.
We have a Wonderful Counselor, ready at all times. Go to Him when you need help.
Friday, August 7th, 2020
Am I saying that we should never seek earthly counsel or help, professional or otherwise? No, there are times we need others’ help and advice. And there are times when people have particularly difficult problems that a biblically sound counselor can be of great help.
But I do believe that most of us run to an earthly counselor before we really seek the help of the Wonderful Counselor. If a professional counselor advised us to see them three times a week for an hour each time, we’d do everything possible to keep the appointments. But how many of us would be willing to spend three hours a week seeking God’s guidance, asking our Wonderful Counselor to speak to us, quietly sitting before him, meditating on his Word and being in an attitude that gives him an opportunity to give us inner guidance?
Earthly counselors may be helpful—again, if they are biblically sound—to help you see some things about yourself that you need to see. But they can never heal you. Only the Wonderful Counselor has medicine that can heal the wounds and stop the bleeding. It’s called the Balm of Gilead, and he can apply it to our hurts and give us peace. No one else is qualified for that kind of treatment.
I challenge you, as I continually challenge myself, to determine that by God’s grace, you’ll learn to go to your Wonderful Counselor. You’ll make a commitment that before you ever run to someone else, you’ll run to Jesus. And whatever time you spend with earthly counselors, you’ll spend more time with Jesus, talking about the problem, giving him a chance to talk to you.
Turn off the screens, tune out the noise, get up early enough that you miss the household hustle-bustle, if necessary. But spend quiet time with your Wonderful Counselor. Make appointments with him, just as you would an earthly counselor and keep those appointments. I promise you, you will find rest for your soul, answers to your questions, and guidance for your future. Jesus promised it, and he cannot lie.