“For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulders: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 KJV)
As 2022 draws to a close, regardless of what kind of year you’re having, let it be an encouragement to you that the above words were written more than 700 years before the birth of Jesus. It boggles my mind that God spoke with such precision to the Prophet of old yet is willing to speak with us today with just as much clarity and certainty.
Can you imagine being a Jew living when Jesus was born? Few, if any of even the most devout Jews expected the Messiah to come as an infant. They were looking for a great warrior or statesman who would lead a revolution that would free them from their enemies. Most Jewish people are still looking for their Messiah to come. What a shame.
Aren’t you glad you’ve been given insight into God’s Word that has led you to an understanding that Jesus was and is the long-awaited Messiah who came to rescue us from our sin? If this sacred season is anything it’s a season of HOPE! Think of the descriptive words Isaiah used to describe the child who would be born: “Wonderful!” “Counsellor!” “The mighty God!” “The everlasting Father!” “The Prince of Peace!”
Everything we could ever need, in this life and the next, was and is embodied in the Lord Jesus, the Christ! Having walked with the Lord for nearly 60 years, I’m so grateful that He’s more real to me today than ever before. His love is warmer, His voice clearer, His presence closer than they’ve ever been.
My prayer for you this Christmas is, if you’re not where you know you should be with the Lord, that you’ll turn from your worthless trinkets and invest your life in the Treasure, who is Christ, the Lord! Literally nothing this world offers can compare with intimacy with Jesus, walking faithfully and obediently in the light of His love and grace.
Paul wrote in Romans 3:24-25: “Out of sheer generosity He put us in right standing with Himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where He always wanted us to be. And He did it by means of Jesus Christ. God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin.”
C. S. Lewis wrote in his book The Problem of Pain: “The human spirit will not even begin to try to surrender self-will as long as all seems to be well with it. Now error and sin both have this property, that the deeper they are the less their victim suspects their existence; they are masked evil. Pain is unmasked, unmistakable evil; every man knows that something is wrong when he is being hurt.” I can’t presume to know all that Lewis crammed into these few words, but I know this.
One of the most common errors we make in this life is believing God allows us to be sick or in pain because He’s upset with us or punishing us. Quite to the contrary, sickness and pain are allowed to draw us to Himself, because we’re too often deaf to Him until we’re hurting. They’re designed to draw us to Him, not push us away.
God experienced the excruciating pain of the death of His only Son to open the door of opportunity for us to be saved from sin and given new life in Jesus our risen Savior. As the new year dawns, let it be a new beginning of devotion to and life lived in honor of the only One whose opinion of us matters. Trust Him! Love Him! Find hope in Him for the life you’ve only dreamed of having. Everything you’ve ever hoped you’d be can only be found in a personal, love relationship with the King of kings and Lord of lords made possible by the sacrifice of His sinless life in your place, and mine.
Blessings, Ed 😊