Understanding the Names of Jesus

behold-banner-02Scripture Passage: Isaiah 9: 1-6

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Do you need wisdom this Christmas?  Are you struggling to understand how or why something happened in your life?

Well, we have a God of wisdom and no matter how difficult circumstances may seem. God’s Wisdom always results in a perfect plan, with perfect timing, and TOTAL victory.

Exhibit A: The Fulfillment of Prophecy Demonstrates God’s Perfect Plan

Jesus came just as prophesied and fulfilled every promise made! But it didn’t happen like THEY thought it would happen at all.

Isaiah 9:1-6 assures us that even though times are difficult, the child King will win the victory through an epic plan. He will have the ultimate strategy to accomplish these promises.

God has a plan, but it is not like our plan. And many times we’re not going to understand God’s plan until we’re looking at it in the rear view mirror. Maybe not until Heaven. But we can absolutely trust that He is at work right in the middle of the hardest moments!

Never underestimate what God is doing when things are not going according to plan. Because God has a plan even in the midst of chaos, we can find great comfort that He’s in control. We don’t have to walk in confusion wondering whether He cares. He is the Wonderful Counselor.

Exhibit B: The Seven-Century Gap Demonstrates God’s Perfect Timing

Shortly after this prophecy, Assyria conquered Israel – the Northern Kingdom. This is exactly what the prophecy said would happen. They destroyed the temple, carried off the people into exile, and enslaved them. A few decades later, the same thing happened to the Southern Kingdom (Judah). Then Assyria control is transitioned to Babylonian control which transitions to Persian control. Later Persia gives way to Greece, Greece gives way to Rome, and 700 years pass. Nothing resembling the fulfillment occurs.

As time goes on, they don’t see any end in sight, so a lot of them stop looking and start looking elsewhere. They give up. They pursue other deities and plans.

But at JUST THE RIGHT TIME, these promises begin to unfold.

We need to look at the Gospels as the last part of the Old Testament rather than the first part of the New Testament. The coming of Christ is really the culmination of the promises in the Old Testament!

Exhibit C: The Light In the Darkness Demonstrates God’s Total Victory

Look back at v. 2: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.”

This evidence is something you haven’t just read about in the Bible. You see it when you witness God do something extraordinary in the MIDST of trials. He often doesn’t solve the whole problem, but He reminds us that He is working in the midst of the darkness by shining a great light through answered prayer, through miracles, and through the work of His people as His representatives.

We tend to think of situations in polarized terms: there are good situations and bad situations. But all through the Scriptures, we see how God can take bad situations and turn them around and use them for His glory. And it’s not even that ONE DAY God will show up. Very often, in the midst of the heartache and pain, God is working if we will look. He might even use us in the plan!

Christmas represents a glimpse of the mystery of God’s amazing, wonderful plan to save His people in a way that doesn’t immediately pull us out of the struggle, but saves us in the midst of the struggle. But you can walk in victory RIGHT NOW because He is a Wonderful Counselor. You can rest in the amazing wisdom of God. God is more powerful than the greatest battles you face!

Discussion Questions:

• Will I choose to hold to the promise God has made even though I cannot see it at all, or will I just move on to try and solve my own problems.

• When things are dark and your plans don’t match up with God’s, what are you going to do?

• Are you willing to trust God when you don’t understand, or are you going to count on your OWN intellect?

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