For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulders.
And His name will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
What a year it’s been. 2016 will go down as one of the most historic years in American history. It was an election year, the Cubs won the World Series, and a gorilla became a posthumous legend.
Depending on how you view these events (mainly the election) means it was a time of hope or a time of grief and worry. Millions of people across the country were viewing this as a time to determine their futures and find whatever they were searching for. But, if you’ve turned on your TV at least once this year, you’ll see that most people have ended up disappointed. Not just with the election, but with numerous other events that have taken place across our land. Through all of the trial, tragedy, and pain, people are clearly searching for something.
And to that I say…Merry Christmas! This is the time of year that celebrates the answer to everything we’ve been searching for, whether you realize it or not. Every person you meet is searching for something, whether it be guidance, someone strong to follow, someone to love them unconditionally; or perhaps they’re simply looking for peace.
And I tell you: Christmas is the answer.
Christmas? The answer to peace? L.O.L. The time where you get overworked and then overspend so that, to quote Dave Ramsey, “we can impress people we don’t even like.” Yep, sounds soothing doesn’t it?
But I promise Christmas is indeed the answer. Hopefully, reading this means you’ve found a moment to breathe. So let me take advantage of this time in your busy holiday schedule to remind you that, if you are in Christ, you have found what you are searching for. And if you are not, I hope this helps show you the answer to your heart’s deepest longing.
Anyone who is searching hopelessly for help is in need of a counselor. It can be a humiliating experience to admit you need help finding your way, but many people have done it and have found the help they need. And yet, that is with fallen, sinful human counselors. Jesus is better!
Notice that He is not angry, gruff, or disconnected. He is wonderful. Jesus, taking the form of a man 2,000 years ago, is able to understand our need for help and guidance. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
The Hebrew word for wonderful is “pela.” Do you know what it means? It means “wonder” or, better yet, “miracle.” So our Wonderful Counselor is not just a pleasant, pleasing, good-advice giving counselor. He is a miracle-working counselor. He provides wisdom in the most unexpected ways and in the most unexpected places. Yet, it is precisely where and when we need it. He is a counselor that can guide us in a way that no one else can.
Not only is Jesus a wonderful, miracle-working guide. He is mighty. He is God. Simply read through the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and see the might of our Savior. Satan tempted him in every way he tempts us in Matthew 4. Jesus resisted all of it. The sick, blind, lame, deaf, and even the dead were brought to Jesus. And He healed them all, even raising the dead. He calmed the storms. He walked on water. He cast out demons. He lived an entire life without committing a single sin. And He died a death worthy of the price God demands for sin…and then He beat death by rising from the grave 3 days later.
Our God is mighty.
Because of Jesus, we are able to gain access to God the Father. Some of us will experience a painful Christmas season because of the situation with our earthly father. The father that raised and loved you is perhaps no longer here. Or perhaps you’ve never known a loving father.
Regardless of your experience on earth, through Christ you have access to an Everlasting Father. We have come to know the Father because of Jesus. His life on earth modeled the character of the Father for us. Jesus Himself said, “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) He says again in John 14, “If you have seen Me, You have seen the Father.”
Herman Bavick said it this way: “Jesus takes away our guilt and again opens the way to God’s fatherly heart.” Everything you’ve ever desired from an earthly father, whether it be love, protection, guidance, or anything else you ever dreamed a father could be for you can be found in God our Father because of Jesus.
“Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to be called children of God.” (John 1:12)
Prince of Peace
Peace is perhaps the greatest thing many of us have been searching for lately. 2016 was anything but peaceful. But that is exactly what Jesus brings. “He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.” (Ephesians 2:17)
Where there was conflict, hostility, and wrath in our stance before God, Jesus has replaced it with peace. The same Jesus who was born and rested soundly in a manger on the first Christmas now offers peace and rest to the weary and burdened. (Matthew 11:28) He has made peace with His enemies. “…while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God…” (Romans 5:10)
We live in a violent and restless world. But we can have peace in the midst of it all. If you are in Christ, your greatest battle has already been won for you. Christ has paid for your sin and you now have peace before a perfect, holy God who has every right not to be peaceful toward you. By grace you have been saved!
No Grace without Christmas
All of this is possible because of Christmas. Because God kept His promise to send a Savior. Now the lost have been found. The wanderer has a Wonderful Counselor. The weak have a Mighty God. The hurting and unloved have an Everlasting Father. And the restless and weary have a Prince of Peace. Because of Christmas.
Do not miss the magnitude of what we are about to celebrate. It’s not about presents, decorations, or a big meal. We are celebrating the very day where our greatest prayers have been answered. Our deepest longings have been fulfilled. And the greatest promise has been kept.
So what do you need? Are you lost and in search of the right path? Jesus offers wisdom and counsel that cannot be found on this earth. Are you weak and need of someone strong to look to and follow? Jesus is our Mighty God. The same Jesus that controlled the wind and the waves, that healed the sick and raised the dead, is very much in control of your life, so take heart. Do you feel unworthy, unloved, or abandoned? Jesus has gained us access to our Everlasting Father. A Father who loves His children perfectly. Are you weary and burdened, feeling like the weight of the world rests squarely on your shoulders? Run to Jesus. “Cast all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) His yoke is easy and His burden is light, and He will give you rest.
All of this is possible because of Christmas.