For some, Christmas will be a time of laughter and cheer and for others, a time of sadness and tears.
Some people will be ending this year celebrating a new job, new house or perhaps wedding bells are ringing while others may have suffered financial loss, bad health or perhaps a relationship breakdown.
Some will be experiencing the serenity of a burnt orange sunset while others will be overwhelmed by the deafening winds of an unrelenting storm.
However, whatever kind of year you have had, there are three promises worth highlighting today that should provide a sense of victory and hope.
If we truly slow down and take time out of the hectic Christmas and New Year preparations, we will not only see God in expected places, but also in unexpected places.
First, let’s read this classic Christmas verse together:
Isaiah 9:6-7 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, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Promise One: OUR HOPE IS ETERNAL
Today will come and go but Yeshua is our eternal hope.
This Scripture foretells that a son would come and establish a kingdom that would last forever. At Christmas, believers celebrate the fact that Yeshua (Jesus) was that very baby who was born to a virgin in Bethlehem and grew up into a child that would one day become a king. This King was no ordinary king, He gave His life as a ransom for many and billions of people from every corner of the world will hear about this news during Christmas and Easter events. If we look at this Scripture along with Isaiah 53, we see these two elements of Yeshua’s life – the promise of His birth and of His death and resurrection. However, we also see the promise of His eternal Kingdom.
Although Yeshua hasn’t fulfilled Isaiah 9 to the fullest extent as yet, we know that He will again return to take His rightful place as King. This means that every believer in Yeshua shares the hope of this glorious promise.
As it was once said, ‘All that is not eternal is eternally useless’. No temporary trial, circumstance or problem will ever be able to take that away from us. The same can be said for our temporary victories, if it has no eternal consequence, then it really is not all that useful.
Promise Two: IT WILL WORK OUT FOR GOOD
This Scripture also reminds us that in the Lord, there is no such thing as defeat – even when everything looks that way. No matter what we face in life, it’s only for a season. As this year comes to a close, some will have experienced cause for celebration and victory while others may have struggled with pain and disappointment, hoping for a better year in 2019. I speak to the latter when I say that every difficult thing you have endured this year will produce fruit in the season ahead.
Yeshua’s death is believed to have been in AD 30, which means that it has been almost 2000 years since He died, yet this Scripture guarantees His victory is still yet to come. As believers in Yeshua, we also share in this victory.
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We can learn here that having patience is paramount when looking to see God’s promises come to fruition. The delay in seeing this Scripture being fulfilled is so that many will benefit by coming to know Him as Messiah. Our sufferings are but for a moment, but our joy is for an eternity. We are often short-term thinkers and we prefer to avoid pain at all cost but God always looks at the long-term picture and He knows that a little bit of pain today, means victory tomorrow. It was once said that, ‘In order to realize the worth of the anchor, we need to feel the stress of the storm.’
Ask a professional body builder or sportsman about whether the victory made all the pain worth it, or perhaps ask a woman after childbirth the same question. The answer of course will be yes. How much more then is the cost of temporal pain worth when considering the eternal reward? The famous saying, ‘The Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint’ is oh so true. God cares more about our character on our journey than sprinting to the finish line having enjoyed our best life. Yes life can be tough. It can be painful at times but when we are growing in our spiritual walk, it produces a fragrance that’s worth bottling. A fragrance that others around you will notice.
If you are still going through the pain, I urge you to fall at His feet and experience the faithfulness of the One who is called Wonderful, Counsellor and Mighty God. He desires to be there for you through your suffering, so call upon His name. Even today, He is our everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
No matter what kind of year you have had, when you love God, it will all work out for good. This is a promise.
Promise Three: HE WILL DO IT
This short but powerful promise, ‘The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this’, should make our hearts leap for joy.
God’s promise to us here is that He will accomplish His plan and bring it about Himself. He will not leave it up to man to bring about what He has planned before the foundations of the earth were laid and He will ensure that not one of His promises will be left unfulfilled. Without God, there would be no way that we would ever be able to experience victory because man’s natural inclination is to sin. Man left to his own devices will cause war, blood-shed and death – but God promises to bring about peace, justice and everlasting life.
Let’s face it, we need the Lord to help us. Amongst other things, God promises that He will most certainly ensure that good will triumph over evil, light will overcome darkness and sorrow will turn into joy.
The greatest gift at Christmas time will never be found under the tree. Our gift is the One who gave up His life for us on the tree.
In summary; our hope is eternal, all things will work out for good and God will do it.
May God bless and keep you. We will see you next year.
-- By Judah Ayling