“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, NIV)
When the prophet Isaiah recorded these words of promise and hope that he received from God, things looked pretty bleak. Judah was on the verge of moral and political collapse. The nation was surrounded by their enemies. The great Assyrian Empire, who had already overtaken all the surrounding neighbors, was breathing down their necks. The people of God were on the brink of defeat.
Yet, God revealed to Isaiah that He was still on the throne, still in control, still in charge. He was at work in the present—as he had been all throughout their history—as the Mighty God who would rescue his people. Those living in Jerusalem had forgotten all the previous events that had been told and retold from generation to generation where God had stepped in to fight for them, to stand up for them, and ultimately to save them.
How often is this the case for us as well? How often do we need reminding that we have the Mighty God on our side who promises to never leave us or forsake us? How easily do we forget the amazing ways that God has stepped in at just the right time in our lives to rescue and redeem and deliver? How often do we believe in the lie that God doesn’t care about us, that he isn’t concerned about us, that he’s not even there?
This season of Advent is a reminder to us, just in case we had forgotten, that God is most decidedly for us. The birth of Jesus as the Mighty God is living, breathing evidence of hope and promise even when things look most bleak. He has come to dwell among us, to meet us in our places of pain, helplessness, despair, and fear. He not only does for us what we could never do, but he also empowers and emboldens us to do what we could never dream of doing on our own.
To be sure, this Mighty God, doesn’t always work in ways that are expected, or even preferred by us. He doesn’t work on our schedules, and often we don’t get the results that we would have liked. But that is not for us to complain. We are simply to trust and obey.
This Sunday we’ll be exploring more of what it means for us to put our trust in the Mighty God. In the meantime, consider what places in your life that you need a God who is mighty to fight for you. Confess the ways you have sometimes forgotten or refused to trust in the promises of the Mighty God.
"Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees. Tell fearful souls, 'Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here, on his way to put things right and redress all wrongs. He’s on his way! He’ll save you!’" (Isaiah 35:3-4, The Message)