(1 of 4 devotionals leading up to Christmas)
Over 700 years before Jesus was born, the Old Testament Prophet Isaiah gave us these words of hope about the long-awaited Savior, “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” What a great list of names!!! And oh how Jesus lives up to and goes way beyond or limited perception of each one of them! Over the next four devotionals in these four days leading to Christmas, let’s take a look at each one of these four meaningful names of Jesus.
First Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor. That name literally means “the Counselor Who is too wonderful for words”. The “Counselor of all Counselors”! Our words fail to describe the One who advises us the words we should say. What a Wonderful Counselor He is! If you’ve ever been to a counselor, you went in search of truth for help and healing. Listen to this good news: Jesus is the truth (John 1:14, 17; 14:6). He’s not some “know-it-all” who wants to blast you with his vast knowledge. Jesus gives the best advice because He truly understands what you are going through. Hebrews 4:14-16 says, “Since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Jesus gets it and He gets you because He’s been through it too. Everyone wants to hear advice from someone who has been there before. Jesus is that person!
You don’t need the lies the devil wants to tell you. Lies like, “God doesn’t really love you. He’s hiding something from you. God’s mad at you and punishing you. You’re all alone. He doesn’t do miracles anymore,” and so on. You need absolute truth from the Wonderful Counselor! If you’ve been to a counselor before, not only must you admit what they say is truth, you must admit you are in need of it. What good is it to go to the doctor but not do what he says? Why let him write a prescription if you aren’t going to take it? Luke 5:31-32 says Jesus came for those who were sick in need of a doctor and to call sinners to repentance. The first step to any kind of healing is admitting you have a problem. Applying the Wonderful Counselor’s truths to your wounds (self-inflicted and all others) brings the healing for which you’ve been longing.
Now that the Wonderful Counselor has told you life-giving truth and you have humbled yourself to a place of not justifying, arguing, or making excuses – get honest with Him. This is true worship. True worshipers, Jesus said, worship in Spirit and truth (John 4). If you don’t get honest with the Wonderful Counselor, how can He truly help you? Here’s a glorious yet terrifying truth – He already knows everything about you. Want to know something better? There’s nothing you can do to make Him love you more and there’s nothing you can do to make Him love you less. Want to know the best truth of all? While He knows everything about you, He loves you anyway! You can tell the Wonderful Counselor anything because underneath all you’ve been through, done, or are possibly ashamed of is His unconditional fullness of love. Read Psalm 139 tonight. He knows all your weaknesses, strongholds, vulnerabilities, past and still loves you. He knows about the depression, financial burdens, anxieties, and sins and still wants a relationship with you. He wants to heal, forgive and restore. What a Wonderful Counselor!
OK, now that you’ve let the Wonderful Counselor tell you truth, admit you needed it, and poured out your heart and past, it’s time to follow His advice. I mean, who goes through the entire process of counseling only to not do what the counselor said? That makes perfect sense, right? Wrong! I know, you probably knew what He was going to say and knew it was right on the money, but weirdly you didn’t want to hear it even though you know it would bring you the most satisfaction and joy. Listen to the Wonderful Counselor. Because He loves you, He tells you things you need to hear but don’t want to hear. What do you do with that kind of real, in-your-face truth and love? You confess, obey, be transparent, be vulnerable, and watch where the Wonderful Counselor leads you – into genuine, long-awaited victory, fulfillment, and blessing.
Are you listening to the voice of the Wonderful Counselor? One of my favorite verses is for you in this moment. Isaiah 30:21 says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” That’s the voice of the Wonderful Counselor. What is Jesus saying to you right now? Maybe it is one of these things: “Isn’t it time to forgive? Isn’t it time to come home. Drop your pride. Leave it all behind. They can’t hurt you anymore unless you let them. Stop that already. You are loved. You are valuable. You belong to Me. I’ll never leave you.” You’ve heard from Jesus, the Wonderful Counselor. Now walk in it.