The very thing the whole story has been about…

advent (1)

Therefore, the Lord will give you a sign. The young woman is pregnant and is about to give birth to a son, and she will name him Immanuel. He will eat butter and honey, and learn to reject evil and choose good.” Isaiah 7:14

Christ’s birth was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14. Jesus’ coming has given us peace with God that cannot be undone. And God has purposed from the beginning to restore us to himself by his own plan and power. The prophecies of the Old Testament that are fulfilled in Christ’s coming give us confidence and peace that God is who he says he is and that God does what He says He will do. He promises to always be with us, to comfort and provide for us, to strengthen and guide us.

Whenever we’re on mission with God like Joseph and Mary were as they waited for the birth of Jesus, we have to prepare. Preparation is a statement of faith. It’s committing to trust even though you’re hurting and heartsick. Every detail of the Christmas story tells us that Mary and Joseph endured more than their fair share of trials as they waited for the arrival of Jesus. Mary left town. Joseph refused to reject her on the basis of an angelic dream. We can just hear the neighbors gossip about the scandalous events of Mary’s pregnancy. But they prepared and endured it all to be on a much greater mission than any carpenter’s family could imagine. (Matt Tullos, Bluegrass Baptist Church)

We should expect, just like Joseph and Mary, to endure our fair share of trials.

“So if we have trouble, it is to bring you comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is to bring you comfort from the experience of endurance while you go through the same sufferings that we also suffer.  Our hope for you is certain, because we know that as you are partners in suffering, so also you are partners in comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:6

So suffering is rough and hard to bear; but it hides beneath it discipline, education, possibilities, which not only leave us nobler, but perfect us to help others. Do not fret, or set your teeth, or wait doggedly for the suffering to pass; but get out of it all you can, both for yourself and for your service to your generation, according to the will of God. -Streams in the Desert

Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will surely help you;
I will hold you with my righteous strong hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Instead of yearning for a problem-free life, rejoice that trouble can highlight your awareness of My Presence. In the darkness of adversity, you are able to see more clearly the radiance of My Face. Accept the value of the problems in this life, considering them pure joy. Remember that you have an eternity of trouble-free living awaiting you in heaven. -Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

The birth of Christ is the central event in the history of the earth — the very thing the whole story has been about.” — C.S. Lewis

nativity candle

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