I returned last month from an outstanding ACBC annual conference. One of the things that was mentioned, and I don’t even remember the context, was that we used to give “simple” cases to candidates going through supervision, yet these days there seem to be no simple or easy cases. That comment reminded me of 2 Timothy 3,
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. 10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (Emphasis added)
Our counseling ministry is living in the middle of that right now. We have a gentleman who has just begun with his first counselee under the supervision of his ACBC fellow. The case is very difficult, involving a psychologized, struggling young adult who brings a parent to counseling with him. I felt bad assigning this case to a new counselor, but there were no others waiting for help. Imagine my joy when, checking in with this new counselor, he explained that the parent had committed his life to Christ as a result of the first two weeks of counseling the son.
So, while we certainly see the negative verses of 2 Timothy 3 in our ministry, God is also faithful in that as our counselors (even brand-new ones) continue in teaching the sacred writings, and remaining faithful to the Scripture, that the Holy Spirit continues to transform lives. The Lord continues to be near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.