The Christmas season can often be a time of great stress and uncertainty for many people. Some find themselves in unhappy and broken family situations that lead to anxiety and frustration. Others will find a spot vacant around the Christmas tree, a place that was once filled by a special loved one, while others carry financial burdens that make Christmas a very difficult time. These circumstances can often steal the joy of Christmas.

God’s people were in the midst of difficult times and looking for hope when the prophet Isaiah wrote these beautiful words 700 years before baby Jesus arrived,

“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.” Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

His words point us to the hope and joy of Christmas despite difficult times. Love came down in the flesh. The divine put on clothes and became one of us. According to Isaiah the babe in a manger can break through our frustrations and fears this Christmas to give us hope! As “Wonderful Counselor” he offers direction in the midst of our doubts. As “Mighty God” he gives power and strength to each who feel tired and weak. As “Everlasting Father” he comforts us in our pain. As “Prince of Peace” he offers rest for the weary.

Whatever your circumstances, I pray that you experience a hope filled Christmas because love came down. Merry Christmas!