DAY 11 - DECEMBER 6th, 2018

A Truth That Stands Immovable

Aubrie Gallas

But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen—that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.
— Acts 26:22-23

Paul had just gone through hardship after hardship, and yet he said, “To this day I have had the help that comes from God.” Here he stands on trial before King Agrippa. Paul, who was by all human ideals righteous, was now a rebel causing riots through the message he spoke with boldness. After being accused by his own people, the Jews, he gives all credit to God in his defense speech. Even through the trials he faced, he was able to give glory to God because he knew the truth: Everything he had prepared for--every ounce of hope he invested in the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Christ – had come. The prophecies were fulfilled in his own lifetime! 

Here are some examples that show the fulfillment of the coming Christ was Jesus. They are Old Testament prophecies with their New Testament fulfillments:

Isaiah 7:14 /  Luke 1:35

Micah 5:2 / Matthew 2:4-6

Psalm 78:1-2/ Matthew 13:34-35

Isaiah 8:14 / 1 Peter 2:7-8

Isaiah 35:5-6 / Matthew 11:2-6

Isaiah 40:3-4 / John 1:23

Isaiah 42:1-4 / Matthew 12:15-21

Isaiah 61:1 / Luke 4:16-21

Zechariah 9:9 / Matthew 21:1-6

Deuteronomy 18:15-16 / John 5:45-47

Jeremiah 31:31 / Matthew 26:28

I don’t know about you, but I tend to look at my circumstances and forget the big picture. I can become overwhelmed by the trial I am facing within relationships or events and complain. But what if I followed Paul’s example? What if I took a step back from what is happening and said instead, “To this day I have had the help that comes from God”? What if I remembered instead that God is good and is a keeper of His promises, even if those fulfilled promises look different than my human mind expected? I would learn to trust God more. I would be more grateful for what I’ve been given. I would have more peace and a firm foundation that cannot be shaken by disappointments.

Which gives God more glory, complaining or being grateful? Trusting Him or having doubts? I’m not saying we shouldn’t be real with the moments we’re experiencing, but I suggest that they be acknowledged and then compared with truth. The truth is, God saw us in our sin and “hated the things that hurt us without hating us for causing them.” (Susan E. Isaacs)

God, who created the universe – from the stars and creatures, to the process of thinking and music and everything beautiful – who turned back time, split the sea, gave Samson his mighty strength, and who contains all the wisdom in the world looked at us and decided to become a human man named Jesus. God had compassion on us and decided that it would be worth taking the punishment for everything done wrong to make things right. He died for it. Jesus felt, for the first time, the agony and abandonment of separation from God. “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46, ESV) was His cry of desperation. Yet He was the only One to defeat death and come back victorious, giving us the chance to follow the light! What justice! 

We have the choice to look at our trials as big or small. We can either quail in fear from the challenge or be focused on our God, who is love, who knows what to do, and who cannot be defeated! God always keeps His promises. We can remember that “To this [very] day [we] have had the help that comes from God.” Past. Present. Future. And that will never change. Wow!

Question to Consider:

How has the Lord been faithful to you in the past?

AdventJocie Morganadvent, 2018