Immanuel - God with Us
This year has surfaced a problem that many struggle with but few wish to admit – loneliness. In a world of social media, we should feel more connected than ever. Yet, people put their best face forward online, hiding the bruises behind lighting filters on their cameras. Also, with COVID banishing the ability to meet in person for long stretches and only small gatherings remaining even now, it has been hard to not be lonely.
Sometimes, the enemy of our souls tries to whisper that God has abandoned us. Fortunately, that is a lie. I am never alone. God promised in Hebrews 13:5b “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (NKJV). Even when I can’t be with family and friends, the Lord is always with me. Especially during the earlier months of the year when I was stuck inside, I often felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. As I read the Bible, truth took on a nearly tangible form and comforted me.
I am so thankful that Jesus chose to come down to live among us here on dirty earth. The mediator that Job had begged God for (Job 9:33) was born in a humble stable some 2000 years ago. Mathew 1:23 says, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, ‘God with us’” (NKJV).
Jesus emptied Himself of the glories of heaven and took on human form so He could be God with us. He ate, drank, got tired, faced opposition, and even wept when His friend died. Jesus experienced all the ups and downs of human life and can sympathize with our weaknesses; now we can approach the throne of grace with confidence to find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16). That was the beauty of Jesus living on earth. His death and resurrection bridged the gap from the Father’s heart to humankind forever, paving the way for reconciliation.
When Christ returned to heaven, He told us “lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:30 NKJV). Jesus didn’t leave us orphans, but sent the Holy Spirit to indwell us (John 14:16-18). We as Christians now become the temple of God. While Jesus may have never faced the current ills of society with social media and a pandemic, He still knows what we are experiencing. When we call out to Him, the same one whose cry pierced the night in a manger long ago, will hold the cries of our hearts. This Christmas season and throughout the year, I pray we will feel the presence of our Immanuel, God with us and know that He is near.
12/20/2020 07:47:51 pm
Love came down to us. Lovely post.
1/6/2021 09:03:30 pm
So glad love left heaven and lived among us.
12/20/2020 08:21:46 pm
So thankful that God never leaves us or forsakes us. While others will do that even when they don't intend to, God is always there. Thanks for the post!
1/6/2021 09:04:48 pm
Yes, even if humans wanted to always be there for us, they will eventually let us down because they are humans. God is the only perfect being Who never fails. So thankful for His presence in my life.
12/21/2020 11:23:46 am
So very grateful for "God with us" each and every day. I know He is because I see Him in the words and actions for dear and special friends like you young lady. Thank you for a year full of inspiring and thought-provoking posts. God's blessings and Merry CHRISTmas Ms. Joanna.
1/17/2021 10:41:32 pm
Merry CHRISTmas to you too! God is with us and for us. May He bless you lots in the new year!
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Joanna Eccles has led Bible studies for over ten years and completed the year-long C. S. Lewis Fellows Program. She is passionate about discipleship and helping people know God better. Joanna enjoys coffee, traveling, and reading, and currently lives in Florida.