Daily Advent Devotional 12-2-19

The Immanuel   12/2/19
By Rev. Emmanuel Afful

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

Have you been in a fearful situation where you did not know how you were going to breakthrough? Maybe you did not even know how to pray about it. Maybe you lost faith and confidence in God. You sighed deeply and thought whatever will happen will happen, and I am ready to bear the consequence. 

This prophecy was given at a time when Judah was under threat from her enemies—Aram and Israel. The prophet Isaiah encouraged the king, Ahaz, not to be afraid, instead, have faith in God.  He wanted Ahaz to know that despite the threat from his enemies, God’s presence was with him to deliver and secure Judah. Ahaz rather chose to trust in an ungodly alliance with another king.  This prophecy is also applied to Christ in the New Testament when the Jews were under the dominion of the Roman Empire. 

“God with us” points us to Christ, who is God in the flesh. Immanuel is a sign that God would neither leave nor forsake us in good and bad times. No matter how difficult life’s circumstances maybe we can have an assurance of God’s continual presence with us. Sometimes, we are tempted to think God had forsaken us because of a mistake or sin we may have committed. This makes us think we deserve the punishment. Time and time again, God had proven to be an ever-present help in times of trouble.

As we celebrate the season of Advent, take assurance in the fact that you are enveloped in God’s care and love. As He was with Judah when threatened and with the Jews under oppression from the Romans, so He is with you no matter what. I feel comfortable, and it makes sense to me that the promise of the coming Deliverer was made in the context of fear, panic, and oppression. 

What are you afraid of this season? What battles have you fought with no end in sight? Are you in despair? Do you feel forsaken and rejected? Do you feel lonely? This is the promise: God is with you!

PRAYER: Holy Spirit, help me to cling to the promise of your presence. Help me to walk with the consciousness that you are always with me. I will not be afraid.

PROMISE:  I am always with you, even when you don’t feel it.