Revive Our Hearts Podcast

The Wisest Counsel You Can Hear

Leslie Basham: Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss:

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: All the wonders of the universe—combined—whether they’re natural or they’re manmade, they all pale into insignificance when compared with the wonder of Christ, who He is, what He has done. His name is wonderful!

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Monday, December 10.

Life gets busy, especially around the holidays. So it’s rare for a chance to stop and remember how wonderful Jesus really is. Nancy Leigh DeMoss is going to give you that chance as she begins a series called, His Name Is Wonderful.

Nancy: I have some young friends and perhaps you do, too, who have chosen some really unusual names for their kids. Can you think of any like that? I think of one dear friend of mine who has a little girl named Mahleija. Couples like those friends have chosen those kinds of names for their children because they have a significant meaning, and they want their child to have meaning attached to their name. The name Mahleija means, as I recall, "the tenderness of God." So here’s a little girl whose name is going to remind her throughout all her of life of the tenderness of God.

As I was thinking about the text we will be looking at this week, I thought of the fact that God named His Son 700 years before He was born, and the name—and not just one name, but multiple names given to the Lord Jesus—are specially chosen names by God the Father because they represent what He wants us to know about His Son.

Four of those names appear in the book of Isaiah, chapter 9. We’re going to be looking at just one verse this week, leading up to Christmas. Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6—a verse that’s very familiar. This verse is in the context of a prediction in Isaiah 9 of the coming of the Messiah, who we know to be the Lord Jesus.

In that context the Scripture says: “For to us a child is born” (Isa. 9:6). That’s a picture of the humanity of Christ.

“To us a child is born, to us a son is given.” That’s a reminder of the deity of Christ. He became a man, but He is God. A son is given, a child is born—the God-man.

“And the government shall be upon his shoulder.” He’s the King. The Messiah is the King. He wears those kingly robes. He is the King of the whole universe. He’s the King of Israel. The government shall be upon His shoulder.

“And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.”

Today we want to look at that first name: Wonderful Counselor. The phrase when you put it together means "a wonder of a counselor." But His name is Wonderful.

That word as it is in the original language is a noun. It’s not an adjective. It’s a noun. That is His name. It’s not just that He is wonderful. His name is Wonderful. The word means "a miracle," "a wonder," "a wonderful thing or deed."

I just want to remind us that all the wonders of the universe combined, whether they’re natural or they’re manmade, they all pale into insignificance when compared with the wonder of Christ, who He is, what He has done. His name is Wonderful.

Charles Spurgeon preached a series of messages over a period of years in the 1800s on the names of Jesus from this text. He said of this one-word text: Wonderful—he had a whole sermon on this text, just the word wonderful—and he said, “This text is infinite, and one might preach on it forever.”

The Old Testament use of the word wonderful points to God’s miracles, the extraordinary aspects of how He dealt with His people.

So we read in Exodus 15:11:

Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

There’s that word.

Psalm 77:11:

I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.

Psalm 78:12:

In the sight of their father, he performed wonders in the land of Egypt.

Amazing things. His name is Wonderful.

Now in the book of Judges, we have what I believe is a pre-incarnate Old Testament appearance of Wonderful, the Wonderful Counselor, the Messiah, Christ, God Himself in the form of an angel who appeared to a man named Manoah. You may remember that Manoah was the father of Samson. The angel came to Manoah to tell him he was going to have a son, who was Samson, and Manoah said, "What is your name that we may honor you?" And the angel said to him, Judges 13: 17, "Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful?"

There’s that word. Some of your translations will say “beyond understanding” or “secret.” It’s the same root word. It means incomprehensible, wonderful, remarkable. His name is Wonderful.

When we use the word Wonderful as a name of God, we’re saying He is no commonplace God, and He’s not just unusual. He is wonderful. He is awesome.

Charles Spurgeon said in his message on this text,

Those who know Him best will say that the word does not overstrain His merits but rather falls infinitely short of His glorious deserving. The name, as wonderful as it is, doesn’t even begin to describe how wonderful He is.

Now, Charles Spurgeon, who I just referenced, a great preacher in the 19th century in England, at that time was probably the most popular preacher in England. The people kept coming from everywhere, particularly the working class people. They loved to hear Spurgeon preach. At one point his church had outgrown one facility after another, so they rented a kind of theater. It was called the Surrey Music Hall. It seated 12–15,000 people. In October of 1856, Spurgeon preached in this rented facility for the first time.

The music hall was packed to capacity and apparently there were thousands more outside who couldn’t get a seat inside the auditorium. As the service started, someone yelled, “Fire!” and pandemonium broke out. Literally, someone just cried out “Fire!” in this crowded auditorium. Seven people were killed in what resulted. Many people were injured. The whole experience deeply affected Charles Spurgeon, as you might imagine, for all of his life. It really just took the life out of him.

Nearly two years after that event, he preached this sermon on “His name is Wonderful.” He finally spoke about what he’d been through and how God had restored him. Here’s what he said:

I may not have told in your hearing the story of my own woe. Perhaps never a soul went so near the burning furnace of insanity and yet came away unharmed. I have walked by that fire until these locks seemed to be crisp with the heat thereof. My brain was racked. I dared not look up to God, and prayer that was once my solace caused me fear and terror if I attempted it.

He went into a deep depression following this accident. Then he said:

I shall never forget the time when I first became restored to myself. It was in the garden of a friend. I was walking solitary and alone, musing upon my misery, much cheered as that was by the kindness of my loving friend, yet far too heavy for my soul to bear, when suddenly the name of Jesus flashed through my mind.

The Person of Christ seemed visible to me. I stood still. The burning lava of my soul was cooled. My agonies were hushed. I bowed myself there in the garden that had seemed a Gethsemane became to me a paradise. Then it seemed so strange to me that naught should have brought me back but that name of Jesus. I thought indeed at that time that I should love Him better all the days of my life.

But there were two things I wondered at. I wondered that He should be so good to me, and I wondered more that I should have been so ungrateful to Him. But His name has been from that time Wonderful to me, and I must record what He has done for my soul.

He is Wonderful. His name is Wonderful. 

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss will be right back.

Wonderful is one of those superlatives that loses its meaning by overuse. Nancy’s been putting the wonder back in the word wonderful.

That message is part of a series called, His Name Is Wonderful, available at ReviveOurHearts.com. At our website you can order the CD, stream the audio, or read the transcript. Again, hear the entire series at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Well, Nancy’s about to explain not only is Jesus named Wonderful, He is also a wonderful counselor.

Nancy: Meaning He is a wonder of a counselor. He’s an amazing counselor. When we think about the Lord Jesus as a counselor, we realize that we are loving and worshiping and serving a counselor who knows everything, who has all wisdom.

Think of that passage in Romans chapter 11, where the Scripture says,

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? (vv. 33–34)

Did you ever stop to think about the fact that God has never had an unanswered question? There’s never been anything He didn’t know. He never needs to ask anyone to give Him input or to help Him make a wise decision. He never has to say to someone, “So, what do you think I should do?”

Now, we have to ask those kinds of questions. Why? Because we’re not God. God is the Wonderful Counselor.

The only infallible counsel is to be found in the Word of God—the written Word of God and the Living Word of God, Christ Jesus, the Messiah, the Wonderful Counselor.

So when we ask God for counsel, and He speaks to us through His Word, through His Son, we’re going to someone who knows everything, someone who has no limit to His knowledge, no limit to His understanding. His counsel is always right.

Now, in this Old Testament prophecy, in the book of Isaiah chapter 9, this is a prophecy about the coming Messiah, and it said that He will be a king. Kings typically have counselors. When you see the word counselor in the Old Testament, it often refers to somebody who is a counselor in a king’s court, an advisor to kings. But this King doesn’t have counselors. This King is His own counselor. He is the Wonderful Counselor.

Two chapters later in the book of Isaiah, in chapter 11, we read another prophecy about the Messiah. It says,

The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. (v. 2)

One commentator says on this name of Christ, Wonderful Counselor, "His every instruction is wonderful. His opinions are extraordinary. His recommendations are impressive. His advise is phenomenal. He is the only one worth listening to."

Do you remember that story in the Old Testament, 1 Kings chapter 10, about the queen of Sheba who came to visit King Solomon, who was known as the wisest man, the wisest king who lived? Let me read to you just a portion out of that passage and tell us then what it has to do with Christ the Wonderful Counselor.

Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions. . . . And Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon . . . there was no more breath in her. [She was speechless!]

And she said to the king, "The report was true that I heard in my own land of your words and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report that I heard. Happy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!" (vv. 1–8) 

A happy person it is who has a wonderful counselor to be speaking truth into their life.

Now, when we come to the gospel of Matthew chapter 12, Jesus picks up on this story. His listeners would have known the story. His Jewish audience would have been familiar with the story of the queen of Sheba coming to Solomon. They would have known the text I just read, and Jesus said to His listeners,

The queen of the south [the queen of Sheba] . . . came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here. (v. 42)

What’s He talking about? He’s saying, “Solomon was a wonder of a counselor, but one greater than Solomon—Christ the Messiah, the Wonderful Counselor—is now here.”

If it was true in Solomon’s day that people came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and if it’s true today that people go to the ends of the earth in search of knowledge, in search of wisdom . . . It’s true! People go long distances and pay lots of money to get good counsel, to get somebody who can answer their questions. And we hear Jesus say, “One greater than Solomon is here.”

Why would we search everywhere high and low to find wisdom when the Wonderful Counselor has come to live with us—Immanuel, God with us, God in us?

So what’s the “so-what”? What’s the take-away of this name Wonderful Counselor?  Well, several things. It means:

  • We ought to seek His counsel.
  • We ought to ask Him what to do when we have questions.
  • We ought to ask Him when we have uncertainty, when we have dilemmas.
  • We ought to ask Him when we have problems, when we have confusion.

Ask the Wonderful Counselor. Seek His counsel. Go to His Word. That’s where He’s given us His heart, His mind, His thoughts. Pray. Ask the Wonderful Counselor.

Don't just seeking His counsel, trust His counsel. Unlike human earthly counselors, I don’t care how wonderful they are, or how godly they are, sometimes they will be wrong. 

But the Wonderful Counselor is never wrong. You can trust His counsel.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. (Pro. 3:5-6)

So trust His counsel, and then, this maybe doesn’t sound like so different, but I think it’s important, not only to trust His counsel, but trust the Counselor. Trust Him. His counsel is a reflection of His character. He is a wonder.

Cultivate a relationship with Him, and realize that in Christ and through His indwelling Holy Spirit, you always have a Wonderful Counselor with you in residence, twenty-four / seven we have a Wonderful Counselor living in us. Trust Him.

And then, follow His counsel. That means surrender. That means obedience. That means doing what He says, whether we feel like it or not, whether it makes sense or not, whether the people around us agree with it or not. Take His counsel. You’ll never go wrong with it.

So where do you go for counsel? Godly people can be a source of good counsel, very good counsel, and we need to solicit and heed the counsel from godly people. But ultimately, whose counsel are you seeking? He is a wonder of a counselor. So seek His counsel; trust His counsel, and take His counsel.

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been pointing you to the most reliable source of wisdom you could ever find.

That teaching is part of a series called, His Name Is Wonderful. As always, you can hear that program at ReviveOurHearts.com or order the CD.

Revive Our Hearts exists to point you to the Wonderful Counselor for help in every situation you’re facing.  Nancy’s here with a story of a woman who began taking counsel from the Lord and was faced with some big choices as a result. 

Nancy: I think the end of the year is a perfect time to look back and thank God for what He’s been doing through the course of the year. Earlier this year the Revive Our Hearts team talked with a young woman named Betsy. 

Betsy lives in the Dominican Republic. As she grew up, she never considered motherhood as an important, valuable vocation.

Betsy: I didn’t have this caring example of a mom and home.

Nancy: When Betsy’s son was born, she never considered that her most meaningful work might be spending time with him.

Betsy: In my country we have a three-month maternity leave. But my job needed me in two months. So I had to leave my house, and I had to go to my job earlier than I was supposed to. When I did that, I thought it was okay because I needed to maintain my job, and I needed to be responsible with my projects.

I was not realizing my most important project that I just released. It was my baby.

Nancy: Betsy didn’t spend much time on this important project.

Betsy: I had the opportunity to be with him on weekends because I got home very late at night or in the evening, and I was really tired. I was thinking about myself. I wasn’t thinking about my baby, and the worst part is that I wanted everybody to think that I was a perfect mom.

Nancy: The seriousness of the situation became clear one day when she arrived home, saw her son, reached her arms out, and watched him run away toward his dad. Betsy's son treated her like a stranger.

Betsy: When I got home, my son rejected me because we didn’t have the opportunity to spend time together, like to bond. 

Nancy: This all changed when Betsy got on the Internet late one night and listened to a message from Revive Our Hearts.

She immediately realized that her priorities were out of order. She began listening to Revive Our Hearts online each day with her husband. Over time they realized the Lord was calling her them to make some big changes. 

Betsy: It was amazing how this was impacting not just me but also my husband because he stepped up as the full provider of our house, of our home. That released me of any sense of guilt of leaving my job. So I quit my job. 

Nancy: I want to remind you that the main point for Betsy or for anyone listening today isn’t “quit your job.” God calls women to different assignments during different seasons of life. Sometimes that might mean working outside the home. Sometimes it doesn’t. 

But here is the point. Periodically, we all need to ask the same thing Betsy asked—right now, am I doing what God has called me to do in this season of my life ? Am I seeking Him for His priorities? Am I trusting Him to know what’s best for my life? 

I’m so thankful the Lord used Revive Our Hearts to lead Betsy to ask those questions. 

Betsy: It is so great that now I can understand that in this season of my life, God is calling me into a full-time ministry to impact the lives I care for the most, my husband and my children.

It’s about caring, about loving, about nurturing, about teaching my son—impacting my son with the message of Jesus Christ. I know that this ministry is going to impact a lot of lives in better ways than if I go outside my house.

Nancy: There are countless women just like Betsy. They have never been challenged to surrender their entire lives to the Lord. Did you know that you could be part of their story?

Betsy was able to go online and listen to messages from Revive Our Hearts because of listeners who gave to make this ministry possible. 

In the year ahead, there will be plenty of Betsys looking for life-giving truth. You can help us be there for them?

Betsy was able to listen to Revive Our Hearts in English, but we are asking the Lord to spread this message even further. We’re getting ready to expand Revive Our Hearts in Spanish from two days a week to five days a week early next year. This includes increasing our radio outlets across Latin America, unveiling a new Spanish website, and developing more Internet and printed resources in Spanish.

As you might imagine, this is a huge undertaking. The team in the Dominican Republic preparing for this launch is working hard—but as I know from experience—launching a radio program five days a week is a huge challenge.

Revive Our Hearts is currently helping the team in Santo Domingo with equipment and ongoing training and assistance. But in order for us to continue to be involved and see this program develop, we need the Lord to provide here at the end of the year.

As we've been sharing, some friends of this ministry have set up a matching challenge amount of $450,000. When you donate to Revive Our Hearts by December 31, your gift will be doubled, as will all gifts up to that matching challenge amount. 

In order to continue speaking to women like Betsy, we are asking the Lord that our listeners will help us meet and then far exceed that matching challenge.

To be part of the story for women like Betsy, give us a call us at 1-800-569-5959, or visit us online ReviveOurHearts.com.

While you’re at our website, I hope you’ll watch the video of Betsy’s story. You can see her with her son and husband, and I think you’ll agree that the joy of the Lord is shining through this young woman.  Again, watch the video of Betsy's at ReviveOurHearts.com

Leslie: We talk about world super powers, but no person, nation, or weapon can compare to the mighty God. Nancy will help you get to know Him tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version.


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