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Let me share some encouragement with you for this season and for the whole year.
Isaiah 9:6 makes a regular appearance in our Scripture Memory box on the 25th of every month. Yes, that means we are quoting it on December 25, but we’re also reciting it on the 25th of February and April and November, and all the other months. And that’s good, because, although that passage is often featured at Christmas time, its truths are precious all year long.
For unto us a child is born
Unto us a son is given
And the government shall be upon his shoulder
And his name shall be called
Prince of Peace
I encourage you to take a few moments and meditate on this passage with me today. I think you will find that the descriptions of our Lord that are given there will wash over your heart and refresh your spirit to keep on keeping on, no matter what you are facing.
Consider the magnitude of what has been given to us in our Savior, Whom we celebrate at Christmas time.
He is our Wonderful Counselor. When we are puzzled about how best to nurture a son or encourage a daughter or calm a fear or answer a question, we can get counsel—wonderful counsel—from the One Who knows everything. We have the treasure of His Word, with its depths of wisdom, and we have the privilege of prayer.
His counsel is “wonderful”—it is full of wonder. It is extraordinary; not the typical counsel that we hear from the world around us. It is marvelous; it causes us to marvel at the depths of his wisdom. But our wondering can also take a different approach: sometimes His plans are hard to understand, and we wonder how anything good can come out what we’re facing. Perhaps you are in that dark night of the soul right now. My friend, don’t view God through the lens of your circumstances; rather, view your circumstances through the lens of our faithful, loving, good, and wise God. We may not always understand His ways, but we can always trust His heart. He is working something wonderful. Trust His counsel.
Then, Isaiah 9:6 also describes our Savior as the Mighty God. We need might; we need strength and courage. On those days when we feel like we can’t get out of bed, let alone accomplish any school lessons, our mighty God stands ready to infuse us with His strength. When we are trying to form a new habit that will benefit our health or encourage our hearts, and we, in our weakness, make the wrong choice and fail . . . again; rather than berate ourselves and sink into the slough of despair, we can call to mind the truth that we are not left to do this on our own. Our Mighty God is ever present by our side, and His strength gives us hope. We can cling to His promise that His grace is sufficient. We don’t have to be strong in ourselves; we can lean on His strength.
He is also our Everlasting Father. Though everything around us seems unstable, we have a Heavenly Father Whose kingdom is unshakable, Who is everlasting. He will not change; He is steadfast amid the shifting sands of this world. And He is a good Father. His constant love and provision will support us throughout the seasons of life, as only a perfect Father can. We can count on Him to provide what we need when we need it. There is no cause for worry; He will take care of us. He has not forgotten us. He loves us with an everlasting love.
Prince of Peace
And because of that, we can be at peace. In fact, Isaiah tells us that our Lord is the Prince of Peace. When fears beset our souls and worries try to settle in our heads, God offers a deep-seated calm to all those who keep their minds stayed on Him. We don’t have to carry anxieties in our hearts. Our Savior invites us to make the great exchange: We can hand over our worries, the things that are so hard to hold, and He will carry them for us and place into our hands and hearts and minds, in exchange, His peace. The way into that peace is keeping our gaze on our Savior—not fastening our eyes on the storm around us, not focusing on the fears within us, but fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Oh, we have been given many wonderful treasures in this Savior of our souls. And these four names only scratch the surface of the depths of the riches of Who He is. If you haven’t recently studied the names of our God, I encourage you to embrace that pleasant occupation this coming year. Read through the Bible and look for every name and description of God. Ponder each one, and you will be encouraged.
My prayer for you this Christmas is that you will listen to the Wonderful Counselor and trust His wise heart; that you will draw strength from the Mighty God, Who has not left you alone; that you will find security in the goodness and provision of the Everlasting Father; and that you will learn to keep your mind stayed on Jesus and rest in the Prince of Peace.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Simply Charlotte Mason.