25 Days of Advent: Forged for our Hope – Day 17
Immanuel – God With Us
We know there are times when Jesus asks of us to do hard things. And sometimes we must weather difficult seasons. These truths are most evident when we submit unto the authority of God’s throne and are forged for His plans and purposes. Yes, of this we are always learning.
Doing hard things and standing firm in our faith during difficult seasons not only cause us to scrape the bottom of our spiritual well for our last ounce of courage, but they cause us to learn the greatest of lessons in being obedient to the one true King.
This is because obedience means doing what is right, not what is easy.
More often than not we struggle in our humanity wanting to travel the easy road, avoiding the unknown darkness of the road less travelled. Uncertainty causes ones soul to quiver with uneasiness. Because of the sinful nature of our humanity that we battle each and every day, Isaiah prophesied that God would send a Messiah who would provide for our greatest needs: our security. Christ would be called Immanuel, God with us, for our greatest fear is fighting the battles of life alone.
Isaiah 7:14, Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
In the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew we encounter the first telling of Jesus’ birth. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and shared that Mary was indeed with child which the Holy Spirit had placed within her. She would bear a son who would be called by the name Jesus, and he would save his people from their sin. Joseph was told by the angel that this was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah:
Matthew 1:23, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
We are forged for our hope when we can not only hold firmly to our faith, but stand upon the truth that no matter the situation or circumstance of life, God is with us. God fleshed Himself out into the body and Spirit of His Son so that He may forever be with us. His beloved children need not fight the battles of life on their own. Their King would go before them to prepare the way across the battlefield.
Though we are forged, constantly coming under the heat and pressure of the world around us, Christ has never- and will never- forsake us, leaving us to be scattered among the ashes. When we cry out to Him, He hears us. When we lash out at Him, He is patient with us. When we can set aside the struggle and submit in obedience our pride, anger, lust, greed, and fear, there are no limits to how His strength and power will work through us.
Father, though I prefer to do what is easy, help me to always do what is right. May I never forget that you are always with me in all I do, loving me no matter my faults and failures. Teach me to be obedient never wavering in my faith that you hold the future in your mighty hands. In Jesus name, amen.