Isaiah 9:6-7a- “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end…NKJV
It’s the holiday season again! Christmas music is playing in the stores, homes and businesses are being decorated, and Black Friday has come and gone. It’s a wonderful time of the year! But not for everyone. Some people will be struggling this year during the holiday season. It will be their first Christmas without a loved one, with many uncertainties, with fears of not being able to have the Hallmark Christmas experience. So for them, this is not the most wonderful time of the year, it’s a scary time of the year, and my heart goes out to you if you are that person!
The good news is that Jesus saw this day far off and made provision for it through the cross! I don’t say this glibly or without feelings. I say this because it is what I sincerely believe. Let’s look at our key text again:
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peaceIsaiah 9:6-7a NKJV
There will be no end…”
Jesus came into the world to provide us salvation, and for that, we are grateful. But that is not all that He provides for us. David said something that I like to quote:
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.Psalm 27:13 NKJV
In other words, David was saying that if he couldn’t expect to experience the goodness of God while he was alive, then it would have caused him to give up!! No one should go through life, never expecting to see God’s goodness. And if hardships are all you expect, it’s time to change what you expect!
God is such an amazing God, and we can see this in the Person of Jesus Christ. He is called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace! With such powerful names, it’s easy to believe He doesn’t want you to be miserable at this time of the year or any time!
I’m reminded of what Jesus said in John 16:
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”John 16:33 NKJV
Jesus told His disciples that hard times were coming. Those hard times included Him being betrayed and crucified, His disciples being scattered, and them feeling as if they were abandoned. Yet despite all of those things and many others, Jesus said that He was letting them know trouble was coming, but they would have peace in Him! And if that isn’t enough, Jesus said that they, or better yet, us, would experience tribulations while living in this world, but we are to be of good cheer because He overcame the world!!
That’s not to make light of your situation. Jesus certainly didn’t make light of the situations that His disciples would face. As a matter of fact, He did all within His power to prepare them for those difficult times. And guess what happened? They still struggled with His death! They went back to fishing. They lost hope!
But Jesus went to them to encourage and strengthen their faith! And He is still encouraging and strengthening our hearts today:
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.John 14:27 NKJV
When our peace is anchored in Jesus, it doesn’t mean that we won’t experience hurt, disappointments, or sadness. It doesn’t mean that life will always be great with great things happening. What it means is that when we have the peace of God in our lives, we know that things will work out. Even if we can’t see, feel, or understand how things will change, we believe it! Because we trust Him!
Paul wrote a scripture that I used to hate when I was younger. I thought it was a cop-out scripture. Now, having lived life for some time and having seen some things happen, I know it for the truth that it is:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.Romans 8:28 NKJV
I know this is difficult to believe when you are hurting, but it is the truth. Things will work out in the end!
My sister passed away. I was thinking of her today. I hadn’t seen her in decades, and one day while I was praying, she came to my mind. I told the Lord that I didn’t want the next time that I saw her to be at her funeral. We connected soon after that, and I invited her to our home for a visit. She came for a couple weeks, went back home, and passed away shortly after that.
The family was gathered for her funeral. We had a relative that shared with me that she had asked her doctor for some medication to handle the stress of the funeral. She was expecting her grief to be overwhelming. I asked her why she was making preparations to be overwhelmed? This may have been insensitive, but I didn’t understand the concept of preparing to be overcome.
That’s how some people prepare for the holidays. They prepare to be sad. They prepare to have a horrible time. They expect to be miserable because of the circumstances of their life. Here’s a thought! What would happen this holiday season if they changed their expectation? What if they prepared to enjoy the season? What would happen if they decided to celebrate this time with their family and loved ones still around?
Maybe, like David, they would experience the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! We can’t wish our departed loved ones to come back and celebrate with us this holiday season, but we can lovingly remember them and the times we shared together. We can’t change if we don’t have the money to buy the next video gaming console, but we do our best to ensure our kids are healthy, happy, clothed, and fed. And in the process, we can teach them that it’s His birthday celebration, not theirs!
Our Savior is no longer a babe wrapped in swaddling clothing. He’s no longer hanging on the cross. But He is still Wonderful! And yes, He is still the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, and our Counselor. Don’t allow this holiday season to rob you of the gifts He so freely gives you! Change your expectations! Grab all the peace, joy, and excitement you need, and have a joyous holiday season. Wonderful Jesus!