December 8, 2023

Wonderful Counselor for our Hearts

Written by Pat Elsberry

If your heart is hurting run to the Everlasting Father, the most attentive listener and counselor we will have.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 8, 2023

by Guest Writer Pat Elsberry

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

The holidays are a time for celebrating, yet many dread this season and cannot wait for the calendar page to turn to January 1. Some imagine the holidays as a scene from It’s a Wonderful Life, and there are others whose reality is more like Scrooged. Maybe you feel burdened by loss as you begin reminiscing and thinking back to younger days when life may have been simpler. Or perhaps you are a parent whose children are married with their own families, and this isn’t your year to celebrate together. The impact of loss appears in various ways. No matter your circumstances, a heart seems more sensitive at Christmas.

A wounded heart comes in many shapes and sizes. We may learn someone is grieving due to the estrangement of a family member. Perhaps you’ve never thought of this as grief, but some have not spoken with family members in years. It’s more common than one imagines. As other families gather, Christmas is often when these losses are more magnified. 

When a heart is hurting, even the twinkling lights, pretty colors, and beautiful songs aren’t enough to ease a deep ache within. For many who have experienced loss, they freely admit that many of these things exacerbate the hurt. Yet, even as we acknowledge that holidays can be challenging, there is also a reason to lift our heads and let our light shine. Focusing on the reason for this season – Jesus’ birth – helps to reduce some of the stressors we encounter. The words from Isaiah 9:6 are a magnificent reminder: 

For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. These will be his royal titles: “Wonderful,” “Counselor,” “The Mighty God,” “The Everlasting Father,” “The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6, TLB).

If you’re feeling alone, this is the best time to remember we have a Wonderful Counselor in Jesus. If your heart is hurting, run to the Everlasting Father, the most attentive listener and counselor we will have. If you’re feeling unrest in your spirit, reach out to the Prince of Peace, who gives us a peace that surpasses all understanding. And, no matter where you are, you have a Mighty God who is with you always and will never leave you. 

When the world portrays “all is merry and bright,” we should consider that may not be true for all. We never know what is happening in someone’s life and should try to be more sensitive to those surrounding us. It’s the perfect time of year to apply the golden rule and treat others the way you want to be treated. Let’s be the hands, hearts, and feet of Jesus to those around us and be mindful of those we encounter. Extend love, kindness, and care, knowing they may be traveling this road with a wounded heart. 

“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high” (Psalm 3:3).


Father, as the world celebrates with the exchanging of gifts, I can never thank you enough for the gift of your son, Jesus. You are indeed a Mighty God and I will honor and celebrate your son today and every day.


Is there a friend or family member who may be struggling this Christmas season? Reach out and invite them to lunch or send a card with words of hope and inspiration, that show them they are not alone.

Related Reading

Psalm 107:1; 2 Corinthians 9:15; John 14:6; Isaiah 7:14

Worship Resource

Sandi Patty, Larnelle Harris: More Than Wonderful


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