Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
PRAYER FOCUS - Immanuel, God with Us
Joseph, the fiancé of the young girl Mary, was confused. How could this be? He had thought Mary had never been with a man, but now she was going to have a baby. And… this baby was not his! That night as he thought about what to do about all this, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream. The angel assured him that Mary had retained her virtue and that this baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Matthew tells us that all this took place to fulfill what the prophet Isaiah had prophesied in Isaiah 7:14. Tucked away in the middle of this story is another name for Jesus and the source of many Christmas songs – Immanuel, “which means, God with us” (Matt 1:23). However, Immanuel is not just a Christmas theme. Jesus is with us every moment of every day of the year.
This name Immanuel reveals that God has actually come in person to be with us. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:1 and 14). At the end of His life here on earth, Jesus assured His disciples He would never leave or abandon them. He sent us His Holy Spirit to be with us on this earth. We are never alone! When life is uncertain, God is with us and knows our future. He understands when no one else understands.
Today many of us are hurting, frustrated, or lonely. In the middle of our need, let’s look to Jesus and allow Him to be with us in our pain. He is there for us; He is in our midst. Sometimes we are so preoccupied with our disappointments that we fail to see Him. Sometimes we are so busy with our own agendas that we fail to let Him direct us.
Ask Jesus, “Show me where you were in something that I’ve gone through or am in right now.” His peace will begin to calm your mind and heart, even in stressful, lonely, and hurting places.