by Pam Farrel
Have you ever felt like this?
You drag yourself in the door. Your arms loaded with more work than you feel you can ever get done, so you drop the burden of books, papers, briefcase, files, and bags in the middle of the floor. You don’t even bother to turn on the light because you don’t want to look at the state the house is in. You’re not sure if you want to take a long, hot bath or just skip it all together and collapse on your bed fully dressed. You are hungry but making anything to eat seems like such a bother. Your head is pounding, your heart is racing, and your body aches.
You are sick of coffee, sick of people, sick of demands, and sick of life. Everyone seems to need a piece of you, family, friends, neighbors—people you dearly love, but at this moment, it seems overwhelming to move to help them. You want to lock all the doors and unplug from all the phones, social media, and e-mail, but even that seems like work. You are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Something needs to change!
HOPE—a heaven-sent answer to the common plight of humanity—is the good news of the Christmas story. Each Christmas, I speak at various women’s holiday events. Using an Advent wreath and candles, I weave a message of hope, help, and inspiration based on Isaiah 9:6:
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 (NIV).
This verse is well known to anyone that has performed or listened to Handle’s Messiah. During the Halleluiah chorus, it is tradition for the audience to stand. I think that in that inspiring moment, every heart looks for hope on the horizon.
More hope is available in the surrounding context of 9:6. Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. …The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned… 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….The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this (Isaiah 9:1- 7 NIV, emphasis added).
When Isaiah wrote Isaiah 9, the people carried a desperately heavy burden. They needed a Savior and a light to lead them. We need a Savior and a light today, too. Only Heaven can send help when life looks impossible. That message is included in the Angel’s message to Mary explaining how the Messiah would come:
And the angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” …:
Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. …
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God. And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1: 29-37 HCSB emphasis added)
We can have hope, because of who Jesus is, and what he has done and will do in the future.
Wonderful Counselor: An astonishing advisor
Mighty God: The Almighty God: a strong, heroic, warrior Champion
Everlasting Father: The First and Forever Father of All
Prince of Peace: Ruler, Captain, Chief, Commanderof perfect peace and prosperity.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Pam Farrel is the author of 50+ books including this adapted excerpt from Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament: A Creative Bible Study Experience (At DiscoveringJesusintheOT.com, Pam has posted her family’s Christmas Conversation Dinner and Dialogue devotional based on Isaiah 9:6.) More from Pam: www.Love-Wise.com
Join the conversation: What about Jesus has given you hope this Christmas season?