Journey Christian Church
It may be because for the very first time, there’s a loved one or a family member that is not around the table.
The Christmas story is all about moving from despair to deliverance.
God’s message to His people throughout Scripture and to us is that, even in the midst of our struggles and in the midst of our despair, He has promised us deliverance. That’s what Christmas is all about!
Our problems began back in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned.
Some people think, “as long as my good deeds are more than my bad deeds…then God somehow owes me heaven.”
And yet, if we’re guilty of breaking even one command we’re guilty of breaking all of them. If you had a window that had one rock or ten thrown through it, it’s still a broken window and it needs to be fixed.
In Isaiah 9, God is going to make three very clear promises: Promise #1. In the darkness of despair God promises light. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2
Every time you see “darkness” used in the Bible it’s always used as a metaphor to describe what life is like without God.
That’s why we have light switches to bring light to a room filled with darkness. Don’t you wish it was as easy as flipping a switch and your fears would subside? It’s no coincidence God’s very first recorded statement is: “Let there be light.” Genesis 1:3
It’s no coincidence there was a northern light that guided the wise men and the shepherds to the birth of Jesus, where we see God’s heart for humanity. It’s no coincidence Jesus calls Himself “the Light of the World.”
And it’s no coincidence Jesus calls us His followers, “the light of the world.”
That’s our job. Our light is to reflect Jesus. Rather than cursing the darkness, why not light a candle? God will reward you for shining your light. You shine your light when you act like Jesus.
#2. In the pain of despair, God promises joy.
“You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.” Isaiah 9:3
Four different times in that one verse, there’s a derivative of joy or rejoicing found. The nation is going to shrink before God can make it grow again and prosper. God’s reminding them, “You have not been abandoned.”
When it’s the darkest, God’s light shines the brightest. It might not look like you’ll be victorious, but in the end you will.
Happiness is based on happenings and circumstances. Joy is different than happiness. Joy is lasting, deep, and comes from within. At Christmas we don’t sing, “Happiness to the world!” We sing, “Joy to the world!” Why? Because “The Lord has come. Earth receive your king.”
He’s a game-changer. He can overcome the odds, and He can do it regardless of the setting and the situation you find yourself in. If you’re in a season of despair, I want to tell you there’s hope. Hold onto hope. Life is hard, but God is good. Because in the depth of despair, He promises light, joy, and 3. He promises us a Savior.
The people needed a lasting hope. They didn’t need another King.
“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
When the lights fade and the tensions rise and the feelings of inadequacy and pain and anxiety begin to creep in, we realize that our deliverance was made possible through the gift of Jesus Christ.
On this side of heaven, we don’t know how long we’ll have to wait. We don’t know how long we might be in that particular season. But here’s what we do know: “Unto us a child was born. Unto us a Son was given.” He has changed everything. One day He will come again and He will take His followers to be with Him to where He is.
God made the Gospel simple so that a person like me could understand it. Here’s the Gospel: All you need is Jesus and you’ll win. That’s the story of Christmas. If you’ve got Jesus, you win. It really doesn’t matter what we go through in this life and on this earth. Whatever your despair, or your disability, whatever death of a loved one you’re working your way through—at the end of time you’ll be victorious if you put your trust and your faith in Jesus Christ.
If you swallow your pride and allow Him to change you from the inside out, through the power of His Spirit He will turn fear into faith, insecurity into confidence, and despair into hope.
Because deliverance isn’t the answer: The Deliverer is the answer. And His name will be called “Wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting God, the Prince of Peace.” And His kingdom will have no end.
Until next month,
7708 Van Dyke Rd, Odessa
Services Sunday at 10:00