Our hope is neither flimsy nor fleeting and it can be felt. Isn't it just like our Heavenly Father to foretell of the birth of the Messiah, giving him the name Immanuel??
"The virgin will be with child and shall bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel,"
which translated means, "God with us."1 ~
the prophecy of Isaiah, rendered 700 years before the birth of Jesus.2
Hmm, Immanuel, God with us . . . what does that mean?
Throughout Scripture, the people of God were assured that God was with them. Joshua was told by God, "the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."3 David wrote of God's presence throughout the psalms; we are comforted by the same assurance he was, that "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me."4 Immanuel.
Just before Jesus ascended into Heaven, he comforted his disciples with these words, "lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."5 Cognitively, we can believe that God is with us, but how can we FEEL his presence? A few thoughts on our part in feeling God's presence~
♦Be desirous of God's presence ~ Consider Brother Lawrence,6 who said, "Oh my God, since you are with me, and I must now, in obedience to your commands, apply my mind to these outward things, I ask you to grant me the grace to continue in your presence. To this end make me prosper through your assistance. Receive all my works, and possess all my affections." He was a dishwasher in a French monastery in the 17th century.
♦Look for God - be aware of where he might be working around you.
>If you are praying about something specifically, and there is movement in that area, don't you think it is at least possible, if not probable, that God had something to do with it?! Look for God at work around you.
♦Ask God to reveal himself to you - Psalm 19 talks about the heavens declaring the glory of God all around us. Look up, look around and listen for him around you.
♦Make room for God with a little silence, so that you can hear him.
"God is the friend of silence . . .
See how nature, the trees, the flowers, the grass
grow in deep silence.
See how the stars, the moon and the sun
move in silence.
The more we receive in our silent prayer,
The more we can give in our active life." Mother Teresa
♦Simply, Be still.
"Be silent in the presence of the Lord God" Zephaniah 1.7
I hope you will give God some quiet to speak into this Advent season as you prepare your heart for Jesus,
I hope you will look for him at work near you, in and around you~
I hope you will listen and let God speak to you, comfort you and assure you of his presence-especially now at Christmas.
And now, the song ~ set in Israel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD-jBLZSZNU
Pray: God of hope, as you came to us, may we come to You. May we make time to look to you with open hearts and yearning spirits. During this Advent season, we listen for you. We will watch for you, open your Word, just longing to hear from you. Our hope is in you, Messiah, who came as a babe, who is our coming King! Amen.
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
Lamentations 3.25-26, The Message
1 Isaiah 7.14
2 Matthew 1.23
3 Joshua 1.9
4 Psalm 23.4
5 Matthew 28.20
6 Practicing the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence