All of us experience hardships and face struggles that make little or no sense to us. Sometimes the hurt comes from what others do to us, sometimes we cause our own pain, sometimes it takes place at work, or in our home or family, or in our finances. The fact is, there are times of hardship in all our lives. God knows this is our situation; that’s why he sent his Son to save us.
Do you remember how hard life got for the mothers of Bethlehem a few months after Christ’s birth when Herod murdered their children (Matt. 2:13-23)? God sent Jesus to offer hope, and right away Herod caused the deaths of all those little boys! As a parents, I can’t imagine the suffering of those families. Had they known this was caused by the birth of Jesus, they might not have been so thrilled to know the Messiah had come. Yet, in the midst of all this hurt, God demonstrated how much he cares for us.
Remember that God warned Joseph three times about what Herod intended to do, thus intervening to save Jesus’ life. That’s the good news in this story. God is not on vacation, way off in the distance watching our lives as some disinterested being. He is involved in our lives, helping us cope with the hurt that he sees. That’s what “Immanuel” means – “God with us” (Matt. 1:23). God sent his Son to let us know that he is close by and wants to be involved in our everyday lives.
He is not only close, but is busy in your life. When you are hurting, it is often difficult to see God at work around you. But he is caring and loving and working for your good (Rom. 8:28). He knows how much we hurt, and he stays close by to help. And in the end, he will give us the victory through Jesus, as long as we obey his will (1 Cor. 15:57; Heb. 5:9).