Faith accepts things that are difficult or even impossible straight-on and then looks deeper.
Dec 6, 2013
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
In our church on the second Sunday of Advent, we light a candle to symbolize faith. Like early believers, who clung to the prophets’ promises of a coming Messiah, we testify to our faith that He is here. He is with us when things are good, and He is with us when we suffer loss. Through the long, dark days of winter, faith in Jesus means we trust that spring will come again.
Because of this outlook, I often have people tell me I’m an optimist. But being a Christian really means so much more. Did optimism sustain the prophets of old through persecution? Was it optimism that drove Joseph to Bethlehem? Was it the reason the wise men followed that star?
By definition, an optimist looks for the good in all things. Surely that’s a Christian’s duty. But where we find that good is what it means to have faith. Faith doesn’t turn a blind eye to what’s difficult, ugly, or even impossible. Faith accepts those things straight-on and then looks deeper. Like the shepherds who witnessed the poverty of Mary and Joseph, smelling the stench of the stable, they chose to kneel before the manger.
They did this in faith, believing what the angels told them, that here–in this place, of all places–a Savior was born.
Faith step: Immanuel has come. God is with us. Let that truth be the gift your heart receives this Christmas season, and look for ways to share it with others.