Sometimes it’s difficult to walk by faith. God’s word says that He “calls
things that are not as though they are” and He asks us to trust Him. He asks us to see beyond what our eyes can perceive, beyond what our ears can hear, or our minds can comprehend as real.
God gives us promises that seem impossible to come true yet it is impossible for a holy God to lie. His word declares, “For no word of God will ever fail.” Luke 1:37
As Christmas approaches I think about the people to whom God chose to reveal His Son more than 2000 years ago on a starry night in the hills of Bethlehem.
Shepherds were among the lowest ranking groups in society yet God opened up the heavens and gave them a concert led by a host of angels from His own royal courts. The world may not have thought much of those shepherds, but God highly favored them.
They were so important to God that they have been forever engraved in His holy scriptures, while the lives of almost everyone else who lived back then have been written in the dust.
Every year almost since the church began children and adults have dressed up as those shepherds to re-enact the Christmas story. The drama has been played out in movies, operas, plays, pageants, songs, stories, and sermons.
There is no end to the references to the common shepherds whom God elevated that night on the Judean Hills when He opened up the heavens and sent an angel choir to sing the announcement of the birth of His Son to them.
Those humble shepherds had a choice to believe the angelic vision or
disbelieve. Filled with the glory of Heaven they followed the shining star over the
humble manger and found everything the angels sang about to be true.
Everyone was looking out for a Savior to deliver Israel from her oppressors. But an infant born into poverty was not the type of Savior King they expected. The shepherds, Mary, Joseph, even the Magi who were to enter the Christmas story later all had to accept by faith God’s word that this Baby was God’s Messiah.
What is faith? The author of Hebrews 11:1 writes, “Faith is what makes real the things we hope for. It is proof of what we cannot see.” The bible says of Mary that “she treasured all these things up in her heart.” And Jesus later asked His disciples to hide His word in their hearts. Why? Because “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
Mary, Joseph and the shepherds would have to wait 33 long years for the angel’s promise to bear any fruit. For Jesus had to grow up before He could become the Messiah. Then He would again defy appearances and challenge their faith because He was not going to be the kind of Messiah they expected.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,”
~was the song the angels had sung to the shepherds that first Christmas night. (Luke 2:14) Jesus was not just going to save Israel but the Gentiles too. He was going to save people spiritually not deliver in a political way. When Their Promised Messiah was sacrificed on the cross don’t you know their faith had to be severely challenged!
The people God chose to bear His Son were normal people like us with fears and doubts who struggled to believe God’s promises just like we so often do. But God gave them the grace to keep going forward because they kept saying “yes” to God. They kept trusting Him despite appearances. They kept choosing to walk by faith even when all hope seemed lost, even when it posed a risk to their very lives and reputations. They never gave up.
Elizabeth said to Mary when she came to her, “Great blessings are yours because you believed what the Lord said to you! You believed this would happen.” (Luke 1:45)
It is not easy to walk by faith. That is why God downloads a portion of Himself in the Person of His Holy Spirit into our hearts when we accept Jesus as our Savior. The minute we say “Yes” to Him, Christ gives Himself to us and then helps us to believe one day at a time. We just have to keep on choosing to say, “Yes, Lord, I believe, help Thou my unbelief.”
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for understanding us so well, and for giving us Thy own Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness. Help us to walk by faith, knowing that You will never leave or forsake us, nor fail to keep every promise You make to us. We love You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Merry Christmas to all my readers! I’ve made a Christmas video just for you from one of the songs from my Christmas album, “*Christmas Joy.” I hope you will enjoy & be encouraged by “The Shepherds’ Song”! God Bless you with a Beautiful Christmas!
I love you all! ~Suzanne ♥
*All profits from the sales of my albums “Christmas Joy” & “God’s
Rainbow Promise” go to ministries that benefit the homeless & survivors
of Abuse. Thank You for your support of my music & for these
ministries. God Bless You Always!
AngelSong: Walking by Faith: © 2013 Suzanne Davis Harden, All Rights Reserved. “The Shepherds’ Song Music Video created by Suzanne Davis Harden, Music & Lyrics © 2013 Suzanne Davis Harden, All Rights Reserved. / Picture credits: Internet