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W.I.S.H. – Weekly Insights for Spiritual Health 12-01-2021

Read: Isaiah 9:6

“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

In Advent my WISH posts will look at these remarkable names referring to the Messiah. Today we begin with “Wonderful Counselor”.We can see how “Wonderful Counselor” applies to Jesus during His earthly ministry: His healings and clarifying counsel. I think of Nicodemus who sought Jesus in the middle of the night (John 3); the Samaritan woman at the well to whom He listened and advised; those who came to Jesus seeking help for someone they loved, i.e. the Roman soldier for a servant, Jairus for his daughter, a father for his son. Jesus met both the physical needs, and the emotionally needs as well. Even the “rich young ruler” who didn’t follow Jesus nevertheless received the direction he needed. The gospels show us that Jesus was indeed a “Wonderful Counselor”.

In the Trinity, “the Wonderful Counselor” speaks of the role of the Holy Spirit. The Trinity: Heavenly Father, Son, Holy Spirit, is hard to fully comprehend. God is One and we experience God in three capacities. It is a fine line when making the case for the distinctiveness of “persons” of the Trinity, while maintaining the unity and Oneness of God. In Philippians 1:19 Paul refers to the Holy Spirit as “the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (see also, Romans 8:9, 1 Peter 1:11, Acts 16:17). It’s easy to get bogged down trying to explain the Trinity, but it’s interesting that Isaiah’s prophecy affirms both the Trinity (Wonderful Counselor/Spirit, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace) and the Oneness of God (Mighty God). Remember: we are saved by grace, and not by the perfection of our theology, knowledge, or understanding.

The Holy Spirit fulfills Jesus’ promise to be with us always (Mt. 28:20). Jesus is with us now as a “Wonderful Counselor”; it is not something only true in the past. Limits to the work of the Holy Spirit can have to do with our neglect, unresponsiveness, defiance, or disobedience. The Wonderful Counselor will at times seem distant, but He is only a prayer away. The Wonderful Counselor works within us, AND also works thru others, and thru scripture to help us. Learn to welcome HIm, learn to listen, learn to discern, and learn to receive. It’s one of God’s greatest gifts.

Shalom,

Pastor Rob Nystrom