Knowing God as Counselor

There are over 100 names used to describe God throughout the Bible. Each name tells us something about His character and gives a message of encouragement and hope to those who have put their trust in God.

The prophecy in Isaiah 9:6 shares four titles for Jesus, the Messianic King: “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us, and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” These names are familiar to many, especially at Christmas, but are worth considering as a way of life.

I find it interesting that some commentators join together wonderful with counselor giving Him the name Wonderful Counselor, while others teach this to be two separate names. Personally, it works to think of Jesus in both of these ways. Christ stands alone as wonderful. The Messiah causes us to be full of WONDER. This word is so much more than having a wonderful day. Jesus is so magnificent, majestic, and wonderful. He is beyond our ability to comprehend!

Combining wonderful with the other names is correct too. Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor, Wonderful Mighty God, Wonderful Everlasting Father, and Wonderful – beyond our comprehension – Prince of Peace. What a gift we have when we know Christ in these ways.

Especially for the woman left alone, it is good for her to consider herself in the middle of these four attributes of Christ. In fact, she can picture Him as Counselor on one side and Father on the other. And not just a counselor or an earthly dad, but The Perfect Counselor and Eternal Father. Mighty God is the foundation of a life hidden in Christ, and the Prince of Peace is the banner over our lives. WOW – what a blessing to treasure, ponder, and know Christ this way! 

Everyone experiences the need for counsel, direction, wisdom, and guidance at various times in life. It is a natural tendency to run to a friend, mentor, social media, or even a professional therapist or counselor before seeking wisdom from The Wonderful Counselor. 

When we seek professional counsel, we expect them to stop the hurt, give us coping skills, or fix our problems.  We must remember that only God can change a heart. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26). And when looking for a counselor, it is important to seek a biblical one who will open the Bible and speak truth from God’s Word in love. Someone who will help us see the importance of making Christ, our Wonderful Counselor, the first person we go to when we need counsel.

When you or your children need counsel, my suggestion is to seek it in the following order:

1. God as your Wonderful Counselor first 

    • Acknowledge that He is Counselor. Not just a counselor but the counselor. He is wise, omnipotent, and ever-present help in times of trouble and always interceding. 

Our high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15–16).

He is able to advise His people thoroughly because He is unlike any human counselor. He reveals to us the mind of God. He counsels us according to God’s sovereign will. 

    • Know your need for counsel.– Trials, suffering, and seasons of abundance and joy create opportunities for direction. Humbling ourselves and seeking counsel is crucial in navigating these crossroads. 
    • Understand the role of a counselor. They hear our cries, listen, and speak the truth. In this relationship with God as our Counselor, we must cry out to Him in prayer (vent or lament). Show up and tell Him the problem and listen for His response by reading the Word or sitting in silence. And then, we must respond in obedience and do what he tells us to do. For example, He may give you a call to action or prompt you to restrain or stop doing something that is not fruitful or in His perfect timing. 

2. The counsel of the Holy Spirit. Recently, I experienced God as my Wonderful Counselor working through the Holy Spirit in two different ways: During my prayer time, the Holy Spirit brought to mind something from the past that needed my attention and forgiveness. He was gentle and kind in bringing up a memory from long ago, and because of this, I knew it was the Spirit of God at work. Later that morning, a friend shared unsolicited counsel on a matter I had been asking God to give wisdom. As they shared, God, by His Spirit, confirmed that He was using this person as a vessel for His counsel. 

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:26).

3. Mom as counselor. God will give moms wisdom in leading and shepherding her children. He compares His comfort to the comfort of a mom:

“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11 NIV).

“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you” (Isaiah 66:13).

4. The wise counsel of others. 

“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).

“Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established” (Proverbs 15:22, KJV).

9 Helpful Scriptures on the Counsel of God:

  • “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8).
  • The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation” (Psalm 33:11).
  • Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand” (Psalm 19:21).
  • “I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me” (Psalm 16:7).
  • Your testimonies also are my delight; they are my counselors” (Psalm 119:24).
  • For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity” (Proverbs 2:6-7).
  • Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine” (Proverbs 8:14). 
  • The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:6).
  • But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).