Isa 9:6 (NKJV) – “Unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Jesus indeed is a wonderful counsellor. He goes past surface issues and exposes the heart; bringing healing that is only possible through skilled surgery. John 4 gives us an excellent example of this skill as Jesus confronts the painful past of the woman at the well. This woman found it hard to trust anyone; no matter believe that they would see any value within her. Jesus saw past her sceptical guarded exterior and zeroed in on the heart issues.
Note: many sermons on this passage assume this woman was a particularly sinful one. While Jesus was not afraid to confront sin, he did not rebuke this woman or charge her to sin no more. He did not ask her why she was at the well by herself. We so easily read into a biblical situation to try to find a narrative that makes sense to us. In Jesus’ time, women had very few rights. It was effortless for a man to divorce a woman and very difficult for a woman to leave an abusive marriage. We don’t know if she was widowed, if she was divorced, or if she was living in a common-law relationship. The man she lived with could have been her son or brother. The text gives us no clue.
No, Jesus zeroed in on her emotional and spiritual thirst, inviting her to drink, He knew the only thing that could heal that gaping wounded heart was his living water. Why point out to the woman what she already knew? She knew she was in desperate need of the living God in her life. No, a rebuke would have only closed her heart. Instead, Jesus invited her to drink. Once she realised he had more to offer than a presumptuous rebuke, the woman opened her heart and mind to receive His truth.
Are there areas in your heart that need our Wonderful Counsellor’s advice? Do you struggle with family members? Are there financial decisions that are keeping you awake at night? Seek the Lord’s counsel now, before you make those final decisions. Have you made wrong choices that have brought painful consequences? Invite Jesus to be your Wonderful Counsellor.
Give the Wonderful Counsellor permission to speak into those situations and to bring order to what seems hopelessly tangled. He’ll probably start with your heart and false beliefs that have become mental strongholds. From his eternal perspective, he can give our immediate situations a timely diagnosis and an infinitely suitable prognosis. But Jesus can only do so as we allow him to speak to us.
The Christmas season is laden with emotional minefields for so many. Past hurts and past pains are brought out on an annual basis in the same way we unbox Christmas babbles and lights. Squabbles from long ago are remembered, wounds from the past are dug up. We secretly wish that the holidays were over so we can pack it all away and place it back into the attics of our spirits. This year, allow the Lord to give you the grace to finally deal with hurting areas of your heart to him. Make an appointment with the Wonderful Counsellor today. I promise you, he’s available 24/7.
I have mentioned this book several times over the years, but I must say that “Bait of Satan – Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense” is the best book I have read on dealing with an offence. It will also give you keys to help those who live with chronic offence toward others find freedom.
Refuse to pack away unresolved rubbish from your past. If you don’t deal with those issues, you’ll keep reopening them at every family gathering. Open those boxes with Jesus, our Wonderful Counsellor. Only by working through those hurts with the Lord will you be able to experience the healing you long for. And only through waiting on Christ for his counsel can we live in freedom from our past.
Resolve to listen to and to obey the Wonderful Counsellor’s advice. You can find solid advice in the Bible, of course. However, sometimes, his counsel comes through trusted mature friends who will hold us accountable.
Forgive those you need to forgive.
Reach out to those you have hurt by your hateful words or the constant rehashing of events from long ago. You will find the joy of forgiveness and the relief of letting go of the burden of resentment a much sweeter pill to swallow than bitterness.
Find the peace that comes in releasing those around you from emotional expectations, spoken or unspoken. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Your loved ones probably carry wounds from your shared past. Give them the patience and understanding you wish they would give you.
Determine to lean heavily on Christ’s strength and grace and ask him to keep a short leash on your speech. Repent quickly and apologise profusely when your words bring pain, resentment, and bitterness to others.
Seek out pastoral or secular counselling if you struggle to forgive or if you find yourself in a toxic cycle of blame and resentment every holiday season. You can experience freedom from unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment this side of heaven. Start by helping yourself to a good slice of humble pie this Christmas season as you consult with our Wonderful Counsellor.
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
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Until Next Week,
©2019 Katherine Walden
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