Isaiah 9:6-7 says:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon[a] his shoulder,
and his name shall be called[b]
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
As we enter into the winter months, we enter into a time of hope. Like the Old Testament prophets, we anticipate our Savior’s arrival. We have hope that God will fulfill all of His promises. Even when all seems to be going in the wrong direction, we can trust and hope that God is in control. Hope is not wishful thinking but security and trust in God.
We know that with Jesus’ first coming, he paid the price for sin, and with His second coming, we anticipate a day when our hope is fully realized as we worship in the presence of the King.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things, have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
Jesus focused on preaching love throughout his ministry. Two of his greatest commands involve love: Love God, love your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40). Love is the greatest of all the virtues on the Advent wreath and encompasses Jesus’ entire purpose for being on earth (1 Corinthians 13:13).
We cannot walk with Jesus without love for Him and love for others.
“Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him, there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” – 1 John 2:10-11
Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice. – Philippians 4:4
Joy goes beyond momentary happiness. It is a joy we have from thinking about eternal things from God.
Romans 15:13 says “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
God fills us with joy. In fact, it is a fruit of the Spirit. And John tells us in John 16:22 that no one can take joy from us. So even when we face difficulties, we view them differently because we have joy that comes from knowing Jesus Christ. Therefore, as we look to Christmas, we can celebrate joy.
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
When Jesus arrived on the scene, he brought a peace that no one expected. Everyone was expecting a savior, a king that would bring economic and political peace. Instead, Jesus brought a spiritual peace that is far greater. As believers, he gives us peace in two different ways. We have inner peace because of the work that Christ incarnate accomplished on the cross. Second, we have peace with others because we have unity in Christ. Peace from God, biblical peace, allows us to trust in God’s promises (Proverbs 3:5) through faith despite what the world around us says. This season, we can be thankful because we have peace.