Have you ever watched the weather channel in the morning or checked your weather app to see the promise of clear skies only to be welcomed by rain in the afternoon? Have you heard people promise the victory of their sports team or their horse and jockey in a race only to see their opponent win? What about when someone tries to tell you that Popeyes is better than Chick-fil-A? Then you taste it and you’re reminded that Chick-Fil-A is the Lord’s chicken and nothing compares to it. All joking aside, have you ever been promised something only to be let down in the end?
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” -Isaiah 9:6-7 This is a prophecy from the Old Testament telling of what was to come. It was a promise that a child would come. That He would rule over all. That He would be a king like none other. He would bring peace, justice, and righteousness that would extend throughout the ages.
Can you imagine being there and hearing these words from Isaiah? If we weren’t on this side of Christ’s birth, what would you have thought in that moment? Would you have thought, “Yeah, right. Isaiah is just rambling on again about nonsense.” Or “I wonder what He’s talking about this time. A baby that is going to rule a government of peace that doesn’t end? I’ll believe it when I see it.” I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to believe something, especially as extravagant and world changing as a baby coming to be king, until I see it. We have a doubt-filled society that has learned to expect the worst, sometimes without even hoping for the best.
But Jesus calls us to a different standard. He calls us to expect something different. He calls us to have faith. Faith bridges the gap between disbelief and believing in what is unseen. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” -Hebrews 11:1-3
Faith reminds us to have hope. It reminds us to expect something greater, to believe in what is right and what is good. So, my question for you is this: how is God calling you to live out your faith by expecting something greater this Christmas season?