12 Christmas Gifts from Heaven #4 – Wonderful Counsel:
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6).
“Most of the troubled people I meet in the course of life and ministry aren’t looking for a tension-free life, but rather for somewhere to turn for help and advice. Everyone knows that life is filled with challenges and even problems that seem to have no solution. People are crying out for someone to go to, someone to turn to.” (Ron Mehl, Love Found a Way).
I remember watching a TV show called Judging Amy with my wife Liza one day several years ago. In this particular episode, the character Amy’s mother, Maxine, has her hours cut at work so she could take it easy but instead she decides to be a counselor in her spare time. During her time there, she manages to drive away patient after patient with her rather blunt approach. In one scene, a mother brings in her son who is troubled because her son has witnessed his best friend getting shot. The son is afraid that something bad is going to happen to his friend again once he recovers from his physiotherapy, but the boy’s mother tells him that his fears are irrational. However, the character Maxine in her role as counselor says, “No, his fears are rational. We are living in a dark world, there are a lot of sick people out there, and yes indeed he could very well get hurt again.” The mother is incredulous that Maxine has taken this approach and says, “I thought you were supposed to comfort my son.” Her response is something to the effect of, “Real comfort isn’t denying that there are problems in the world, but teaching people how to deal with them.” I thought that was a good illustration for today’s lesson on the Wonderful Counselor.
Where do we go to when life doesn’t make sense? When we have problems, troubles, and storms? Because the reality is, we are living in a dark world, and we do face difficult challenges every day, but it’s nice to know there is Somewhere we can go, Someone we can go to when those hard times come—to the Wonderful Counselor! The prophet Isaiah, who told us that the coming Christ-child Jesus would be a wonderful counselor, in another place tells us that, “This also comes from the Lord of hosts, Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance.” (Isaiah 28:29). It’s nice to know that, when we need wisdom and guidance in life, there is someone who is wonderful and excellent in both of those things.
Psalm 103:13-14 tells us, “The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he understands how weak we are; he knows we are only dust.” (NLT). “Although this is gloriously true, I’ve come to realize that we may never come to understand what a truly Wonderful Counselor He is until we’re in a difficult, painful, confusing circumstance and seek His counsel with all of our hearts.” (Ron Mehl). We are living in a world where we are expected to have all the answers, to have it all together, and to be on top and rising all the time. However, that isn’t the case. We have kids who get sick, bills that need to be paid, vehicles that need repairs, relationships that need work, and difficult tasks to accomplish every day. In the midst of this reality, thank God for sending us the Wonderful Counselor. “The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” (Psalm 32:8, NLT). The fourth Christmas gift from Heaven that God has given to us is wonderful counsel. This Christmas Season, and indeed every day of your life, when you need answers, wisdom or guidance, go to the Wonderful Counselor, and find hope and comfort.
Pastor Chris Jordan