Names of Jesus Week One, Day Five
The name "Immanuel" appears twice in the Hebrew Scriptures and once in the New Testament. One of the most comforting of all the names and titles of Jesus, it is literally translated "with us is God" or, as Matthew's Gospel puts it, "God with us." When our sins made it impossible for us to come to him, God took the outrageous step of coming to us, of making himself susceptible to sorrow, familiar with temptation, and vulnerable to sin's disruptive power, in order to cancel its claim. In Jesus we see how extreme God's love is. Remember this the next time you feel discouraged, abandoned, or too timid to undertake some new endeavor. For Jesus is still Immanuel — he is still "God with us."
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" — which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:22 - 23
Promises Associated with His Name
What does it mean to say that God is with us? Surely it doesn't mean our lives will be easy. It doesn't mean we will be insulated from failure or doubt or that God will take our side in every argument. But it does mean we will never face even a single struggle alone. It means the Lord will never withhold the help we need to do his will. It means that ultimately we will come out on top even if we feel we're living most of our life on the bottom.
What difficulties are you facing? Chronic illness? Troubled children? A broken marriage? Financial hardship? Take a moment today to stop imagining yourself surrounded by all your difficulties and instead begin to envision yourself as you really are — surrounded by the presence of your faithful God. Invoke his name — Immanuel. Decide today to do everything in your power to follow him. Then ask for his peace, pray for his protection, and open your life to his power.
Promises in Scripture
But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" And God said, "I will be with you." Exodus 3:11 - 12
"I will never leave you nor forsake you. . . . Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:5, 9
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:2 - 3
Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:20
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you."
So we say with confidence,
"The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can human beings do to me?"
Hebrews 13:5 - 6
Continued Prayer and Praise
Pray this verse when you are afraid. (Joshua 1:9)
Be encouraged because no one can prevail against you if God is with you. (Isaiah 8:10)
Remember that Jesus will not leave us orphans. He will show himself to those who love him. (John 14:15 - 21)
For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.