2/18/09

How Would Jesus Counsel?

This past Christmas, as I examined Isaiah 9:6, and especially, one of the descriptives of the Messiah — “Wonderful Counselor” — I tried to imagine Jesus as a modern-day counselor. Would He pull up a chair beside me and ask probing questions? Would He listen with compassion, and then dispense wise advice? Would I go away with answers and transformed thinking? Or would He be more like a “life coach,” walking me through my goals and plans (but making sure they aligned with His own)?

“Wonderful Counselor” does not stand alone in this verse. When I thought about the other descriptive names, I saw clues about the qualities of Jesus that might relate to Him as my Counselor. He is the Mighty God. He has the power and strength to not only share wise words, but effect change in my heart. He is the Everlasting Father. His answers to my questions may not make sense to me sometimes, but then, He sees everything from an eternal perspective. He is the Prince of Peace—and I know I need a counselor who can calm my anxieties and comfort me when trials of life weigh me down.

Jesus, the Counselor, is the living Word, and He urges us to study the written Word to understand Him and the wisdom of His ways (John 5:39; Proverbs 8:17). Author and speaker Nancy Leigh DeMoss encourages women to turn to the Word of God to deal with the stresses and circumstances of life. “Counsel your heart,” she says, “according to the truth and promises of God.” Although I do not discount the need for (and effectiveness of) solid Christian counselors who use the Scriptures effectively (and my preference is Nouthetic counseling), I wonder how many of us would find the answers we seek if we would only become better students of the Word of God.

God’s counsel is authoritative and corrective (2 Timothy 3:16). As He pours out His Spirit (John 16:13a) and makes His words known, God tells us to heed His counsel and “turn” at His reproof (Proverbs 1:23). His sanctifying Word of truth (John 17:17) is also a great source of hope. We can say with the Psalmist: “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth ... my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:4-5). More and more, I choose to sit quietly with my Wonderful Counselor. His trustworthy Word gives clear direction to face the uncertainty of these days.

1 comment:

Lady-in-the-Making said...

This is a beautiful post. It is quite thought-provoking and I'm wondering if the reason I run around like a chicken with my head cut off is because I am not seeking my Counselor and Prince of Peace. Thanks for the reminder!

I loved your links to Scripture references, by the way. Very helpful!