Immanuel in our suffering

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 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 1:21-23)

This past Sunday, Annmarie Boulay, co-founder and executive director of the Underground New England, spoke at NewLife. The Underground, according to their website, “is a grass-roots, faith-based initiative dedicated to ending sex trafficking and sexual exploitation throughout Connecticut and New England.” The work that Annmarie and her team does is vital, Christ-like, and heartbreaking. It is horrible to think of what so many children and young adults go through at the hands of people who think nothing of exploiting their bodies and souls for profit.

There are have been many times like this past Sunday when it is easy for us to become overwhelmed by the suffering that so many experience in this world. Life rarely goes according to plan, and no one escapes tragedy – some worse than others. And sometimes, like in the case of those who have been the victim of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation, it can be hard to understand where God is in the midst of such horror.

In Matthew 1, an angel visits Joseph to encourage him not to divorce his fiancée, Mary, who has unexpectedly become pregnant. The angel tells him that she will give birth to a son who they will name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. And this, according to Matthew, will be the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that the virgin will give birth to a son who will be called Immanuel, which means ‘God with us’ (Matthew 1:21-23).

The wonder of the incarnation is that God did not stay far off in the sinless glory of heaven, but that Jesus, Immanuel, God the Son, came down to go through the hell and heartache of this world in order to save us. He endured homelessness, poverty, abuse, betrayal, torture, and an unjust death in order to rescue us and restore us to a right relationship with God. God could have devised a way to forgive us our sins from the comfort of heaven, but instead chose to suffer alongside us, overcoming sin and death and giving us a path to eternal life.

I do not know why some people suffer the way they do in this life. I have no answers for why some are born into good families while others have the deck stacked against them from the start, or why some are exploited and victimized while others are not. But I do know that Jesus has walked the hard road of abuse and injustice. I know that those who exploit and victimize others will one day stand before the Judge of all the earth. And I know that one day we will be with Him forever, where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain . So turn today to the one(Revelation 21:4) who understands and find healing and hope in Him today.

No Comments






1 Corinthians 10 1 Thessalonians 5 2 Corinthians 13:5 2 Timothy 4 Abundant Life Adoption Affirmation American cullture America Anonymity Anthropology Anxiety Apologetics Approval Arguments Atheism Baptism Barnabas Battle Be still Bible Study Bible reading Bible study fellowship Bible Billy Graham Bob Pierce Bonhoeffer Books Breath Prayer Brennan Manning Brian Fearon Bronx Busyness C.S. Lewis Cape Coast Castle Central African Republic Character Charles Spurgeon Charleston Cheap grace Christian media Christian privilege Christian publishing Christmas Church growth Church life Church College Commitment Communication Community Compassion Competition Confidence Contentment Coronavirus Counseling Courage Cove Service Cowardice Craig Wolfram Critical Race Theory Criticism Cross Culture D.L. Moody Daniel David Death Deborah Despair Discernment Discipleship Distractions Division E.M Bounds Easter Ebenzer Ecuador Edward Kimball Election Elisabeth Elliot Enabling Encouragement Endurance Envy Ephesians Eternal life Eternity Evaluation Evangelism Faith False Teachers Fame Family Fasting Father Fear Fellowship Footwashing Forgiveness Francis Chan Freedom Friendship Gaia McDermott Gates George Mueller Gift exchange Gino Marozzi Giving Glory God's character God's faithfulness God's goodness God's leading God's love God's plan God's presence God's sovereignty God's wrath God\'s faithfulness God\'s love God\'s sovereignty God Good Samaritan Gospel Grace Grief Haiti Handel's Messiah Happiness Hartford City Mission Healing Heaven Hebrews 11 Hell History Holiness Hollywood Holy Spirit Home Hope Horatio Spafford Hospitality Houston Human rights Humility Hypocrisy Identity Ideologies Idols Immanuel In memory of Information overload Injustice Insecurity Integrity Intimacy Isaiah 9 Israel JI Packer Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 8:11 Jesus' death Jesus' love Jesus\' love Jesus Job Joe Barone John 8 Jordan Perterson Joseph Joshua Joy Judgement Judges Justice Kanye West Kingdom of God Knowing God Lamentations Lament Las Vegas Leadership Leaf by Niggle Lent Les Miserables Lessons learned Longing Lord's Prayer Love Lynne Pleau Mark 10:21 Mark Driscoll Marketing Memorial Day Men's conference Mercy Mike Yaconelli Ministry Missions Money Moralistic Therapeutic Deism Moses Music Nancy Butler New Year's New life NewLife Old Testament Opinions Optimism Order Orlando Outreach Parenting Passion of the Christ Passion Pastoral care Pastoral ministry Pentecost Peru Phil Vaglica Philip Yancey Philippians 4:13 Play Pokemon Go Politics Poverty Power Prayer Preaching Pride Month Pride Prison ministry Progress Prophecy Prophet Prosperity Gospel Proverbs 14:4 Proverbs Psalm 13 Psalm 46:10 Psalm 46 Psalm 51 Public Speaking Purpose R.C Sproul Reflection Relationship with God Relationships Relativism Relevance Reputation Rest Resurrection Rev 2:4 Revival Rich young ruler Righteousness Romantic love Ron Luce Running Sabbath Sacrifice Salvation Same-sex marriage Samuel Sanctification Satan Saul Seculosity Self-Image Self-Worth Service Sex Trafficking Sex Shirley Prey Signifigance Silence Sin Smartphones Social justice Songs of Ascent Spiritual Disciplines Spiritual Gifts Spiritual Warfare Spiritual growth Statues Stories Street Church Stress Success Suffering Suicide Sunday School Survivor Syria Technology Teen Mania Thanksgiving The Hartford project The Ragman The Sound of freedom The Underground The Valley of Vision Tim Keller Titanic Tolkienn Tozer Trauma Trust Truth Uconn basketball Unanswered Prayer Unity Uvalde Valley of Vision Vows Williams Syndrome Wisdom Work Worry Worship Zechariah accountability accusation addiction bitterness cancel culture child trafficking confession conflict cool devotion disillusionment divorce emotions evil evolution faithfulness foster care glory days gratitude idolatry influences listening marriage nostalgia pastor perspective problem of Evil prodigal son purity of heart racism recovery redemption relevant repentance story temptation the one Jesus loves time management trials tribalism violence vision