“God With Us”
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel which means “God with us” Matt.1.23
“God with us” How cool is that? Is God with us really? After all, the economy is improving (so they say) people are struggling, families are hurting, the world is a mess, the world seems so distressed. So, where is God? If God is with us why doesn’t it seem that way? If God is with us, why all the angst? If God is with us, why all the poor, the homeless, the pain? If God is with us, then where is the peace? Where is the joy? Where is the love? Is God really with us?
Emmanuel has come. Emmanuel “God with us” came in the form of man, a baby. God came to earth so that all mankind could have their totally depraved hearts redeemed. If life is hard, if life doesn’t fit our dreams does that mean “God is not with us”? If life is a piece of cake, if life is easy, if all is well then what– “God is with us”? Is it only when life is a breeze that “God is with us”?
I am often reminded by circumstances, by critics, by personal failings, by all sorts of terrible things that happen in this lost and broken world, that following the Christ is not about a bed of roses. Believing in “God with us” was not about having my dreams fulfilled. Asking for forgiveness of my sin was not so that I could be a successful person. No, I believe in “God with us” because He is God period and that redemption, that is redeeming that which was totally lost could be completely found. That transformation from a broken heart could be healed. Oh, I have had my struggles, I sin every day, I fail many times over, but I know personally “God with us” and that changes everything.
It is true that the world is not getting better. Life is tough. Work is work, money is money, things are still things and I can sometimes find myself like many others blaming “God with us” for all that is wrong. Here in lies the truth. Because I asked and ask, “God with us” to forgive me, to reign in my life, to change me from within, yes, things have changed. I’m not motivated by stuff, by accolades, by money, or anything else (most of the time). I still have many things to overcome no doubt, but “God is with me” by faith. And because “God is with me” by faith it is He that is doing a work and He came to do that in all of humanity– that is to redeem mankind to himself. To take care of all of man’s sin.
“God with us” is a reality not because life is so good, or all the bills are paid, or everyone is happy, or because I have a job or because of circumstances. No “God with us” is a reality because by faith I believe that “God with us” is the actual God coming to earth as a baby and dying on a cross so that I can be totally forgiven, I can trust Him every day, I can have peace because He is God, I can have joy because I don’t need all the stuff and I enjoy life because “God is with me.”
How different would this world look if people would believe that “God with us” is true? That the results of His 33 years living on this earth, that the result of His death on a cross, that the result of His rising from the dead is to bring all mankind peace, joy, and forgiveness from a broken and sinful heart.
Ahhhh maybe the reality of Emmanuel is this: “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1.27
Emmanuel– That God with us, is this truth; that by faith when one trusts in the Babe born in Bethlehem, Jesus of Nazareth, God in the Flesh that ultimately died to take on the sins of fallen mankind, rose on the third day– It really is He who lives in us. God with us. Emmanuel, the Great Mystery Christ in you.” Celebrate this Christmas with Great Joy!