The God who revealed Himself to humanity is still with us today
When our world has been flipped upside-down and we’re feeling lost and hopeless, we often find ourselves asking “Where is God?” As humans, we yearn for a God who knows us, who understands our struggles and who is accessible to us during our time of need. Ultimately, a God who is out of sight and out of reach somewhere beyond the stars cannot be of any value to us. That’s why the God of the Bible, the one and only true God, wasn’t satisfied being unknown or unseen by His most prized creation. On Christmas, we celebrate the moment that the Son of God stepped down from Heaven into time and space to meet us where we were so that we may know His presence. He is Immanuel, God with us.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
In the time leading up to Christ’s arrival, there were 400 years where the prophets remained silent and God revealed nothing new to His people. In a cruel age of Roman captivity characterized by extreme taxation and brutality, God’s chosen felt that God had abandoned them. In actuality, before the world began and before sin had even entered creation, God already had the greatest salvation plan of all time ready to be implemented at the perfect moment in history.
The prophet Isaiah foretold the coming arrival of Jesus, who would be born of a virgin and named Immanuel. It was by sending His Son Jesus that God demonstrated that He wasn't an impersonal, displeased deity who was far removed from the human experience. On the contrary, He loved us so much that He sent His only Son Jesus to seek and save the lost so that we may have an abundant life in relationship with Him. We do not serve a God who is unable to sympathize with us and our weaknesses because Jesus, being both fully God and fully man experienced the height of human suffering on earth so that we may be forgiven of our sins. If Jesus hadn't first revealed Himself to us, we would have never returned to Him but we can now draw near to Him to receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.
The name Immanuel would not only ring true during the time that Jesus walked the earth but to this day, God continues to be with us through the Holy Spirit. After Jesus ascended into Heaven and took His place at the right hand of the Father, He sent us a great Comforter who would live within all who have believed and received Him in their hearts. Because of the gift of the Holy Spirit, God is always with us in our sorrow, in our struggles and even in our stumbling. He never leaves us or forsakes us so we don’t need to be hopeless or afraid.
This Christmas, let's take the time to pause and meditate on the wonderful truth that God is with us and that Jesus is coming back again to be with us forevermore! Whatever personal circumstances are weighing heavy on your heart today, come with confidence to the throne of grace and lay your troubles down at Jesus’ feet. Invite Him to comfort you and surround you with His presence and fill you with His peace. Immanuel draws near to the weary and brokenhearted--He is literally as close to us as turned attention. Today and every day, let us seek Him and bask in the goodness of His presence.
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