This message was part of the ‘Isaiah’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Fallowfield in early 2020.
This sermon was based on Isaiah 9:1-7.
2 The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
3 You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
4 For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
6 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 Counselour, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Do not Despair
- If we live in gloom long enough we can start to give up. We still call ourselves a believer, a follower of the Lord, do what we are supposed to do, but we start to expect less and less from God.
- We all are called to be people of faith, people who trust in the Lord, in our particular circumstance.
- We don’t always have an easy time. You might not have an actual army coming against you, but we all have pressures, family disasters, money problems, work crises. And these are hard to withstand. The temptation to despair is understandable, it is human.
- In my personal experience, nothing good ever comes from that sort of despair, with our God there are always possibilities. God’s presence is with us.
God will do Something Miraculous
We will rejoice because God is going to bring us miraculous freedom. Not superficial happiness but deep down joy that can only come from God. That sense of the genuine presence of God.
This miracle, is going to be all God. In the end, it has to be all His work. We are fundamentally separated from our God. We have all our laws, our traditions, our covenant with the Lord.. But even when we try our best, these laws seem to show us where we are going wrong, but they do nothing to help us. We’ve proved time and time again that salvation cannot be a team effort. It has to come from God.
- Call on God for his power, his deliverance, his miracle. He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.
God will Surprise You
God is not going to send a top general, a mighty fighter, or even an amazingly charismatic speaker. It is easy to get used to how God seems to work in the world, to get into a routine with God. Maybe we start to expect less from the Lord. We start to limit God to what he has always done in the past, to what we have already experienced from him.
The Lords thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are his ways our ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth so are his ways higher than our ways and his thoughts higher than our thoughts.
God is not going to send an army, or a host of angels. God is going to send a baby. This baby, this boy, is going to be in charge of everything. All power, authority, rulership in this world and the next – God is going to give it to this baby, this son.
He will bring peace between man and God. Once this is done it will never be undone. Whatever else we see around us, whatever else happens, that peace, that rule will never be taken away.
So don’t give in to despair. Let God do something unexpected. Look again to God for a miracle.