It’s December 1, the beginning of a month that can bring about mixed emotions. For some, it’s the start of the Christmas season and nothing but joy fills your heart and home. But for others, it’s the start of a holiday that brings sadness because of lost loved ones, tense family dynamics, financial strain, or other burdens that can feel suffocating. Loneliness can be the silent reminder of the holiday season that you aren’t where you want to be relationally. Busyness can become a distraction that prevents us from coming to the Lord with an open heart and really opening our hands to accept His provision this Christmas season.
Have you ever felt that type of suffocating loneliness? How did that effect you? How did it cause you to treat others who may be lonely also?
Loneliness deceives us into thinking that no one understands the circumstances of our lives, the struggles of our hearts, or the desires of our souls. It is a lie that the enemy uses to trick us into believing that we are alone. If left unnoticed and watered by isolation, it hedges us in with the thorns of solitude and clouds our vision from feeling God’s nearness and the joy of fellowship with other believers. However, as real and heavy as loneliness can feel, God’s promises tear down the thorns of solitude and wrap us up in truth, bandaging our wounds with the hope of Christ and mending our brokenness with the gospel.
Read Psalm 34:18, Psalm 73:23-28 and 1 Peter 5:7. Rejoice in the Lord who is always near you. Look to Jesus, your Comforter, your Peace, and your Friend, and hide in the shelter of His presence, even when your feelings try to convince us that you are alone. You are not alone. He is with you, and He is near, always.
Wonderful Counselor | December 2:
Vulnerability can be scary. It requires opening your heart to another person, all the while trusting them to carry your story with tenderness. In what ways has a fear of being vulnerable held you back from fellowship with other believers? Healthy, Christ-centered vulnerability is experienced when we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and embrace our need for Jesus. Vulnerability is a brave act of worship.
In the same way Christ made Himself vulnerable by dying on the cross for us, we, too, can be vulnerable by laying down our pride to invite others into our story and journey. How can you open your heart and home to another believer this Christmas season? Make a plan today to share your story for God’s glory with another person.
Meditate on Hebrews 10:23-25.
Wonderful Counselor | December 3:
Many of us might imagine a modern-day professional counselor when we hear the name Wonderful Counselor. However, the use of “counselor” in Isaiah 9:6 actually paints a richer picture than our English word conveys. In fact, another word that could be used in translating the original Hebrew is “strategist,” referring to an advisor to the king. As King, Christ needs no advisor, for He advises Himself. Read Romans 11:33-36. What do these verses reveal about Christ being our Wonderful Counselor?
Read the following verses and write down what you learn about the Lord being “Wonderful Counselor.”
- Isaiah 28:29
- Colossians 2:1-3
How has the Lord been your “advisor” and Wonderful Counselor? James 1:5-8 tells us that that when we are lacking in wisdom, all we need to do is ask in faith and the Lord will give us what we need, for He is wisdom itself. When you ask for wisdom, you are asking for more of Christ who is your Wonderful Counselor. Seek counsel from the One who knows all things and is ready to supply you with the wisdom that you need for this life.
Wonderful Counselor | December 4:
The uniqueness of Christ’s counsel is made known by the word that describes it: wonderful. The Hebrew word for “wonderful” identifies that something is miraculous or marvelous, resulting in “a feeling or attitude of intense amazement.” In other words, no wisdom or counsel of this world will ever come close to comparing with the counsel of Christ. As Creator, His wisdom touches every aspect of the universe He formed. As King, there is no greater wisdom by which He could rule. And as Savior, He has formed and worked a redemption plan for humanity that makes the wisdom of this world look foolish.
Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-31. These verses are clear about the fact that believing in the death and resurrection of Christ is where true wisdom lies. As a child of God, all that you need is found in Him. Read verse 30 again, and write down what Jesus has become for you. Thank Him for His wisdom and counsel in your life.
Wonderful Counselor | December 5:
Though we know we have access to the miraculous wisdom of Christ, “real life” can often feel like we are running in the dark with our shoes tied together. This is because knowing Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor and experiencing Him as such are two different things. Though we sometimes forget it, Christ’s redemptive work in our lives was not so that we can have all the answers without any effort or investment. On the contrary, the Lord has made it plain throughout scripture that He wants our hearts’ affections — He wants relationship.
Read John 14:15-27 and 1 Corinthians 2:7-16. The Holy Spirit reveals to us the unfathomable wisdom of God as we come to Him daily in prayer and in the Word. In order to live a Spirit-led life, these spiritual disciplines must be a part of our regular rhythms in life. In what ways can you incorporate prayer and Scripture into your daily routine?
Wonderful Counselor | December 6:
Read Psalm 16. What a privilege you have to receive counsel from the Wonderful Counselor who is King of kings and Lord of lords! List the blessings found in this Psalm that come from seeking the wisdom of God. Spend time in prayer, meditating on Psalm 16 and writing out your own version of this Psalm using your own heart-felt words.
Wonderful Counselor | December 7:
Ask the Lord to reveal someone in your life that you can begin to pray for faithfully, even if you do not know their name or their circumstances. This could even be a neighbor you have yet to meet or someone you come across as you go throughout your day. Your faithfulness in praying for someone can be used by God to change their life, and it will certainly change yours. If, during this Advent Experience, the Lord leads you to pray for someone specifically and reach out to them, write their name below and how you are specifically praying for them.
Is there someone you can love more intentionally, by inviting them over or taking them to coffee this week? Invite your Wonderful Counselor to use you to show love and truth to a family member, friend, co-worker or acquaintance this Christmas. Read Romans 12:13 and 1 Peter 4:9.