He will be called Mighty God, ....
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had several conversations with believers who shared that they have been experiencing intense persecution lately. One young woman talked of feeling marginalized and silenced by colleagues at her place of work. Another has been isolated by family members because of her faith. Perhaps you can relate to these or other similar situations. The truth is none of these circumstances should come as any surprise to those who trust in God and choose to practice his Word. Speaking to his disciples in Matthew 24:9 Jesus said, “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.” Again in 1 Peter 4:12-14, and 16 believers are reminded, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.…Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” Persecution is part and parcel of the believer’s heritage in Jesus Christ.
In these mean times it is important for us Christians to remember Isaiah’s prophesy concerning the child to be born. He will not just be called a Wonderful Counselor, but also "Mighty God". "Mighty God" means that this child will come as a powerful, undefeatable warrior, clothed with God’s strength and authority to conquer the kingdom of the enemy and to establish the Kingdom of God. So no matter how weak and defeated one may feel in these mean times, Christians can gather strength by focusing on the character of this "Mighty God", who will come with the arsenal of heaven to put Satan in his place.
Christmas time reminds us to wait in expectation for Jesus’ return, and just as the people in Isaiah’s time were facing extreme darkness and looking for a political leader to free them from Roman oppression, today believers can look with anticipation for our Savior’s return because he will free his people from spiritual oppression and will dwell with them forevermore. The writer in Hebrews 10:37 assures us he is coming, and will not delay. I believe that we have not seen anything yet. What we call persecution today is just the tip of the ice-berg. God is using these times to strengthen believers for what lies ahead, the “big leagues.” Of this James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
If you are facing persecution of any kind today take heart because this word is for you. First, remember, you are not alone in this trial. Secondly, This Mighty God is your refuge and fortress, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). Trust in him because he will do what he says he will do for you.
Mighty God, in our weakness, you are strong. Remind us again, as we contemplate the meaning of Christmas, that though you came as a little child, you came to us with all the power of heaven and conquered every spiritual battle that we have ever endured, are enduring or will ever endure. Give us grace and strength to rejoice and be glad for the battle is already won. Amen.