Advent: Christmas

“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 (NIV)

Advent is a time of waiting for something notable. At Christmastime, we await and celebrate the birth of our King. Merry Christmas! Jesus is born! Emmanuel, God with us! 

Isaiah spoke these hopeful, prophetic words to the Israelites in a time of darkness. They had to wait 700ish years for these words to be fulfilled through the birth of Jesus. Yet when Jesus arrived, people had difficulty accepting a mere baby as the fulfillment of this weighty Old Testament promise. Many were convinced they were awaiting a warrior, a hero, a king. They were so convinced of their own interpretation of the promise, that they refused to accept Emmanuel, God with us–Jesus–when He arrived as a humble infant rather than an adorned king. 

We wait for promises from our Father, prayers to be answered. But when He does finally answer our prayers and our waiting is over, sometimes we go on waiting because the answer He gives us isn’t what we wanted. The Pharisees, who knew Old testament scripture like it was their job (because it was…) refused to accept the coming of their Messiah because it wasn’t how they had pictured it. It didn’t fit right with how they thought things would go. 

Our Father answers our prayers too–just not always when or how we think they should be answered. Sometimes we are still waiting because God is still working. Or, sometimes we are still waiting because we didn’t like His answer when He gave it the first time. If he’s answered, you should proceed in trust. Or, if he’s making you wait, then wait patiently in trust. Either way, God will be with you. Emmanuel! The promised Christ has come! And he has promised to come again!


What promises are you waiting to be answered this year?
Have you already gotten an answer that you have dismissed because you didn’t like it? 
Why is it so humbling to receive an answer to a prayer that you didn’t want or expect? 

By Ellie Heethuis | Byron Center, MI

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Posted in Devotionals