“The Law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul…”
In the Scriptures, God provides us with glimpses of the countless aspects of His character and beauty through the use of His many names, names overflowing with rich meaning such as El Shaddai “God Almighty,” El Elyon “The Most High God,” or Jehovah-jireh “The Lord will provide.” God used each of these names to teach His people something more of Who He is and to reassure them of His ability to meet their souls’ every need. Of all the names of God in the Bible, there is one that has always held special meaning for me. In Isaiah 9:6, the prophet speaks of the coming of the Messiah saying, “For a child will be born unto us, a son will be given unto us…And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor…”
Since I was young, I have been especially fascinated with the thought of Jesus Christ being our Wonderful Counselor. Perhaps this was an early indication of where the Lord would one day lead me in my service of Him. I honestly can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t firmly convinced that the Lord is the Answer for every need of the human soul. Whether the issue is a troubled marriage, a rebellious child, continual feelings of despair, eating disorders, loneliness, the pain of childlessness, or any other symptom caused by this sin-sick world, I know that true hope and healing may be found in the pages of God’s Word. While I was still a child, God motivated me to help hurting people through the encouragement of Scripture. Today, my desire to introduce others to the wisdom of the Wonderful Counselor is stronger than ever.
Psalm 1 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly.” Unfortunately, in the church today, godly counselors seem to be in short supply, and as a result, believers often seek answers to the needs of their souls by listening to the counsel of the ungodly. This is a great tragedy. The Bible teaches that God has “granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). His Word is sufficient, and the church should be filled with people who wholeheartedly believe that truth and are ready to share Biblical solutions with souls desperate and in need of hope.
After many years of desiring to do so, I thank the Lord that He has given me the opportunity to begin formal training which will better prepare me to minister in that way. Last December, I started the master’s degree program in Biblical Counseling through the Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA. As a ministry that strongly upholds the authority and sufficiency of God’s Word, the Master’s College is the school where I have long hoped to study. Today, I began the first of two weeks of classes on campus, and I have already been tremendously blessed. I was told by a second-year student that when I arrived here I would feel like I was part of a family, and my first day experience has proven that to be true. Sweet fellowship, deep sharing, and genuine enjoyment have marked my interaction with those around me since my arrival. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration for me to say that I have never before experienced such a remarkable sense of unity with people I had only just met.
God has been overwhelmingly gracious to take this time of preparation for future ministry to others and use it first to minister to my own soul. As I look forward to the coming days of study in this special place, I am truly grateful to God from Whom all blessings flow!