Isaiah 9:6-7 is part of an Old Testament promise of a Messiah: a Rescuer
and King for the whole world! This passage lists tons of names that are
ultimately fulfilled in Jesus. One of those names is Wonderful Counselor.
We may not always think a lot about this name, but it has special
importance for me because I meet with a counselor for my mental health. My
counselor helps me process my thoughts and emotions and learn how to manage
feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, and whatever challenges I am
Counselors are experts at understanding: they study how the brain works and
are trained to listen and understand and help people move forward through
struggles. Good counselors are compassionate, wise, and full of advice and
Jesus uses my counselor to help me, and He is available too! Jesus is the
perfect counselor. His eternal wisdom is beyond our understanding, and He
invites us to come to Him with all our struggles. He is fully God, so He
knows and understands us better than anyone else because He created us!
Jesus is also fully human, so He knows what it’s like to live in a world
broken by sin. However, although Jesus was tempted and suffered, He was
obedient and faithful to God through it all. Hebrews 4:14-16 says that
Jesus empathizes with our weaknesses, and He invites us to come to Him for
help any time.
Sometimes I feel alone in my struggles, but meeting with a counselor
reminds me that I’m not alone and that people care for me. Most of all,
Jesus reminds me that I am never alone. No matter the challenges we face,
He loves us and will never leave us (Matthew 28:20). He died and rose again
on our behalf, and even when nothing seems to make sense, we can rest in
the truth that He has become wisdom for us (1 Corinthians 1:30), fully
redeeming us and uniting us to Himself.
Mental health is a long journey with ups and downs. But I know that God
uses our struggles to open up unique opportunities to help and encourage
others (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). He can use even the hardest times in our
lives for His good purposes (Romans 8:28). Abby Ciona
How is Jesus like a mental health counselor? How is He different?
We all go through seasons of life when we feel overwhelmed, and it’s okay
to need help. When you are experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, or
other challenges, who is a trusted Christian in your life who you feel
comfortable talking to? If you need someone to talk to, you can set up an
appointment for a one-time complimentary phone consultation with a
Christian counselor through the Focus on the Family Counseling Service. In
the United States, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) weekdays 6:00 a.m. to 8:00
p.m. (Mountain Time) to set up an appointment. In Canada, book your
appointment by calling 1-800-661-9800 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
(Pacific Time) and ask to speak with the care associate.
In addition to getting help from friends and mental health professionals,
God wants us to come to Him for help. When you are feeling stressed or
overwhelmed, do you feel like you can talk to Jesus? Why or why not?
God created the world good, but when humans went their own way against
God, the result was death and decay and sicknessincluding mental illness.
But God has not left us alone in our struggles. He has compassion on us,
and He came to live among us and, ultimately, to heal the world of all
brokenness. Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, we have
the sure hope that Jesus will return to restore His creationand, as His
forgiven followers, we will get to live with Him forever, free from sin,
death, and every kind of illness! As we wait for that glorious day, Jesus
is with us. He identifies with us in our struggles, feels our sorrows as
His own, and weeps alongside us. How might knowing that Jesus is your
companion on the long journey of life, through all the ups and downs, give
you comfort and strength? (Isaiah 41:10)
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be
on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor Isaiah 9:6a