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We long for comfort, stability, and safety – but maybe that isn’t what we need most.

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Read Isaiah 9:2-7

Throughout the history of the Israelites, prophets shared God’s messages – good and bad. Good messages of victory or relief from oppression and bad messages of trouble and exile. The words of the prophet Isaiah were given during the onset of great loss and exile. His words echoed of a coming savior. Yet, their troubles weren’t over after returning from exile. Prophets continued to speak of a Messiah, but Israel continued to be ruled by evil and oppressive regimes.

Now, we’ve all had expectations about gifts we wanted. We’ve all dreamed of certain toys or new realities. And, we’ve gotten excited for a day when our dreams would come true. But, we’ve all probably also felt the hit of reality. When on that day, we got something that didn’t meet our expectations. Rather than getting what we wanted, we received what we needed.

This was what happened when Israel’s Messiah finally came. Rather than freedom from their oppression, he offered freedom from sin’s oppression. Rather than returning them to days of glory, he taught them to be servants and live in humility. They didn’t get what they wanted.  They got what they needed.

The Messiah was revolutionary but not in the expected way. Many people walked away holding on to their misguided desires for a political king. The same is true of us today. What we want may not line up with what we need. We long for comfort, stability, and safety – but maybe that isn’t what we need most. We must remember that what we need can’t be supplied by our own hands. New “things” and new “techniques” won’t fill the vacuum in our soul. Although we may want them to. Only Jesus, the true Messiah, can come to heal our brokenness in exactly the way our soul truly needs. Christmas reminds us that heaven hears our deepest needs and meets them in the work of Jesus.

The gift of Jesus is one of the best revelations of God and his character. List out the characteristics of Jesus the Messiah mentioned in Isaiah 9:6-7. Identify the one you need Jesus to be for you today, and ask him to show himself in this way.

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By Rich Obrecht

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