Redemption is God’s act. At its core, He chooses us, predestines us, covers our sins, credits Jesus’s righteousness to us, kills our captor, disarms sin’s power, lives with us, opens our eyes, grows our desires for Him, prepares good works for us to walk in, gives us power to endure difficulty, and secures an inheritance where we will be with Him forever. These are things that God alone has done, is doing, and will do. They are all parts of a single act of redemption accomplished by Jesus’s cross. Everything depends on God acting. Everything.
This is our only sure footing as biblical counselors. Without this, we have no foundation and no reason to expect real change. We’d otherwise be left to confounding, humanistic theories on change that shift with each generation. God’s redemption allows us to rest as we work hard. It also means divine power is at work in the otherwise menial things we do as counselors.
Redemption being God’s act is a refuge that protects us from the storm of seizing control by anger and manipulation when people are stagnant. It secures us from losing hope when we feel like we’re at our wit’s end. It covers us during fears of not knowing what to do, giving us at the very least a clear direction to steer. It shields us from pride when people experience dramatic change. It causes us to endure during challenging times and to lay aside our fixation on our reputation. It keeps us dependent, praying, and sober.
What I want this to change is how you approach counsel. If you approach things as if it all stands or falls on your performance, you’re going to burn out quickly. Even worse, you’ll be self-focused, godless, and ever revolving around your performance. When things go well, you will puff up. When they go poorly, you will hang your head in shame. If everything depends on God, however, in times of clear progress, you gaze with joy on a God who gives good things. And in times of stagnation, you gaze with joy on a God who is wise and knows things you don’t.
In all of this, we’re doing precisely what we are counseling others to do. We’re securing our eyes and hopes to God Himself. Gazing on His provision, we perpetually experience the very change we’re leading others toward.