Journal Entry ~ 12/24/17

1 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!  - Psalm 95:1-2

To prepare our hearts for worship this Christmas, we need to spend time reflecting on the incredible gifts we were given on the day Jesus was born. 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.—Isaiah 9:6. In a tiny little baby, we were sent the One who would be our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince is Peace.

Wonderful means amazing, surprising, astonishing, or awe-inspiring - a perfect word to describe the King of Kings. As we contemplate the fact that our God in heaven sent down His only son to be sacrificed for each of our sins should produce a sense of awe and wonder that our hearts are drawn to worship Him. Counselor is one who gives advice or offers instruction. This wonderful God we have wants to give us guidance and direction for our lives. He has a specific plan for your life, one that is uniquely designed for your gifts and abilities. When we feel overwhelmed by the difficult decisions in life, we need to remember we know the One with a plan for our lives, a plan designed by the One who knows us intimately and cares for us deeply. His plan is for our good. When we need Him, He makes Himself available for guidance simply by seeking Him.  

As our Wonderful Counselor, He not only knows what we’re going through, but He understands how we feel as we face both our celebrations and our challenges. He promises to advise us and accompany us through whatever we are facing. Jesus counsels us with His words and with His life. Despite our continued rejection of His advise, and our continued desire to follow our own path, Jesus doesn't stop speaking into our lives and patiently waiting for us to follow.  He is our Wonderful Counselor - a gift worthy of worship. 

Isaiah also reminds us that the baby in the manger is Mighty God. He is the Creator over all things in heaven and earth, and in him all things hold together (Colossians 1:16-17). Jesus is beyond time and space. He is all knowing, all powerful, all present. No one is deserving of our praise as our God is. There is no one greater; he has no equal. He is eternal God, who is, was, and is to come (Revelation 1:8).

The God we love us sovereign over all. No matter what may be happening in your life, you can trust that a God who is Wonderful is at the helm, and is working all things for the good of those who love Him. We need not live in a state of fear because we know how it’s all going to end and we know who wins. No one is more powerful than the Mighty God we love, all will bow their knee to Him. There is nothing that can rise up against you that He cannot protect you from. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:38-39. This Mighty God came to this world as a helpless baby, all so He could sacrifice His life in order to save ours. Reflecting on these truths draws my heart to a place of worship for who He is. 

My Christmas Eve celebration is different than past years - since it's Sunday, my day has been quiet and on the couch as I recover from my last Taxol treatment.  Sadly, I was too sick to make it to service this morning to enjoy corporate worship, but the reminder this week of how to prepare our hearts for worship has impacted my heart.  Despite all that I have struggled through this year, I have so much for which to give Him praise.  Our Wonderful Counselor has guided me through difficult decisions, and never failed to remind me He is walking through this with me.  Our Mighty God has reigned sovereign over this trial, and I remain confident He is working this out for my good.   

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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