“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel’
(which means, God with us).”
Thankfulness is filling my heart this morning that Jesus is Immanuel. Thankfulness that God the Father desired and purposed to send His beloved Son to earth, to this broken world as a vulnerable baby who would grow to experience great difficulty and pain so that we could know Him. To restore the relationship first broken in the garden and continually broken by our rebellion ever since. So He could be, again, God with us.
There is such comfort in circumstances where we know and feel we are not alone. When someone is walking through it with us, seeing us, hearing us, holding us up. Helping us get through it without pushing us through. What comfort, what safety is felt in this.
When we abide in Christ, rest in Him, trust Him, and allow Him in, we experience “God with us” to that extent. We find that He is Immanuel, and that it is real and felt and beautiful and life- and strength-giving.
This is what He came to give us.
At great cost, we are offered Immanuel.
Offered so very much through the sacrifice of the Son of God, the One who created all things and holds all things together (Colossians 1:16-17). He came, and died, so we could experience through this relationship His holding us together.
We receive Him and are given Immanuel, God with us, through His Spirit poured directly into our hearts (Romans 5:5). God with us, not externally where there would be a measure of distance, but internally where the intimacy is experienced for as long as we allow ourselves to rest in Him.
And what wonder it is that it is not just someone with us – it is God Himself. He who understands all with perfect clarity beyond our comprehension, all that is around us and all within us. He who has all power and sovereignty. And He who loves us and works that power in all things for our good, with compassion and grace and wisdom and the kindness of a Father who delights to give good gifts to His children. A Father whose kindness does not shift and whose character does not change. Our God who desires our greatest joy. Our God who is glorified through His kindness, mercy, faithfulness, justice, and power to restore and perfect those who are beloved, those who are His.
This is God with us. Immanuel. Jesus. Our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Our Shepherd (Micah 5:4; John 10:14-15). Our hope (Romans 15:12). Our Savior and light in our darkness (Matthew 1:21; Isaiah 9:2). Sent by the Father in love, our only hope of rescue (Ephesians 1:3-10).
He is here. With you, with me, with each one who has received Him in faith. Each one who realized they could do nothing to deserve Him, but has been welcomed into His presence through the cross, simply by receiving Him (John 1:12-13).
May we rest in Him and rejoice in Him today, that we may experience the abounding love, peace, comfort, and joy of His abiding Spirit within us – our God who came. Our God who never leaves. Our God who never fails.