Wonderful Counselor

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6, esv).

Names are illuminating—especially when God Himself does the naming. So when Scripture says “his name shall be called,” Almighty God Himself is declaring: These are things I want you to know about the Savior, Jesus Christ. And in prophesying about the Messiah, the first name Isaiah assigned was “Wonderful Counselor.”

The wisdom of Jesus Christ applied to your life is like nothing else. It’s miraculous, supernaturally insightful, and can’t be obtained from any other source. His understanding is universally higher than all else. You cannot afford to make decisions without a clear word from your Wonderful Counselor.

But you can’t call Jesus Wonderful Counselor if you don’t embrace His wisdom. The Lord will counsel you on your salvation, life, family, finances, and future. He gives wisdom to all who ask Him for it (James 1:5), but His insight can’t be something you only know about. It is not just a principle you assent to mentally. To embrace Jesus Christ as the Wonderful Counselor is to make His counsel your way of life.

The majority of Jesus’ counsel does not simply come to us through a direct feed. And He generally will not just show up in your apartment and tell you what to do. But there are four ways of life God will primarily use to grant specific wisdom to His children.

First, you must yield to God’s will. You have to decide that you want what God wants for your life more than you want your own way. Ask yourself, What does God want to have happen here? What would be His highest and best in this situation? If you want to benefit from receiving counsel, you have to yield to God’s will and authority.

Second, you need to really believe others are in a better position to advise you than you are. Most people think they have the best perspective on their own lives, but this is not true.  Trusted advisors are more objective and factual about you than you are. They have more experience and understanding, and they will tell you what’s best for you—not what’s easiest. When you’re thinking in isolation about your own life, you’re likely to ask, What’s best for me now? What will relieve my suffering? But these questions invariably lead to wrong decisions.

Third, you have to resign from being chairman of the board of your own heart! You are not in charge of yourself; Jesus is, and your brothers and sisters in Christ are often His representatives. Maybe it’s time to write an actual letter of resignation surrendering the control of your life to the Lord.

Fourth, embrace the reality that godly counsel comes through the followers of Jesus Christ. You know you’re being given wonderful counsel when the Scriptures are opened up and the Word of God is spoken. Guard against those who counsel to your flesh and just tell you what you want to hear. Good counsel will go against the grain of what you naturally want and speak truth into your life. Seek it out.

Almighty God named His Son Wonderful Counselor. Make it your way of life to heed His wisdom.


  • Where do you most need to grow: yielding to God’s will, believing others can advise you well, surrendering control of your heart, or seeking out wisdom from strong followers of Christ?
  • If the Lord stirred your conscience to “resign as chairman of the board of your heart,” write the letter. Offer it up to God in prayer, and consider sharing it with a few godly friends for accountability.

Lord, everything You say about Yourself is true. You are so gracious to have sent Your Son to save us. Thank You for the beautiful names you’ve given Him and what they reveal about the character of God. Thank You for caring to be my Wonderful Counselor! Thank you that You are so much better at being in charge of me than I am. Please give me wisdom, help me to be a humble listener, and empower me to choose the wisest path. I long to honor you with my life and I trust You to continue this work in my heart. I pray this in the name of Jesus, my Wonderful Counselor, amen.