“Lord Jesus, thank You for being our Immanuel, as well as the Light of the World. You will take care of all our needs. When prices go up, we will lift our hands up even higher to You. We will not live in fear of the future, but instead we will look for great miracles of provision that come from a Savior who was born in a manger and whose oil never runs out.” AMEN

“As the seasons of Christmas and Hanukkah arrive, many of us are busy planning the gifts we will buy for friends and family. This year, however, our bank accounts may be a little smaller and our wallets a bit thinner. As inflation saturates our nation’s economy, some might wonder how they will maintain their lifestyle, or simply get by. Yet in the midst of these difficult realities, we can look to the very holidays we are celebrating for a glimpse of hope and encouragement. Christmas and Hanukkah provide important reminders about what God can do when supplies run dry. Certainly, a lack of resources furnishes a sturdy platform upon which the Lord can showcase His mighty work.”

“In the Christmas story, Mary and Joseph travel all the way to Bethlehem, only to find that there are no places to stay. Luke 2:6–7 says: And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Certainly, these humble accommodations weren’t the luxurious quarters in which one might expect the Savior of the world to be born, but they were exactly what was needed. Additionally, from the moment it was revealed to Mary that she was carrying Jesus, she and Joseph had to fully trust that God would lead them through a difficult, overwhelming situation that would require continual provision. It would not be easy, but in Luke 1:37–38, the angel had already reassured Mary: “For nothing will be impossible with God.” And with great faith, she answered: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” This reminds us that God is not limited in what He can do for us in times of need or distress. Like Mary, we can “let it be,” as the Lord takes control.”

“The story of Hanukkah reflects the idea that God will provide what is needed, at the right time and place. After King Antiochus IV Epiphanes desecrated the Second Temple, a rebellion broke out among the Jews. Even though they were outnumbered, these determined Jewish warriors (the Maccabees) were eventually able to drive out the Seleucids from Jerusalem and reclaim the Temple.”

“After its desecration, however, it needed to be cleansed and rededicated to God. Answers in Genesis quotes the ancient scroll of Antiochus to describe the process: “The Hasmoneans [Maccabees] entered the sanctuary, rebuilt its gates, closed the breaches and cleansed the Temple court from the slain and from the impurities. They looked for pure olive oil to light the Menorah, and found only one bottle with the seal of the High Priest so that they were sure of its purity. Though its quantity seemed sufficient only for one day’s lighting, it lasted eight days owing to the blessing of the God of heaven who had established his name there.”

“Even though the supply of oil was limited, this did not limit what God could do. Miraculously, this small amount of oil lasted for eight whole days. The miracle of lights showed that God had provided everything that was needed to cleanse and illuminate the Temple. In the natural, it appeared that a one-day supply of oil would surely run out, but God’s economy operates on a supernatural level.”

“In these troubling times, it often feels like our oil has run dry and we have no place to take refuge. But we cannot let this become our mindset, because that will paralyze our faith and keep us from moving forward. We must never forget that when the wolves surround us on all sides, it is Jesus who holds us in the palm of His hand. Like a lamb that takes refuge with a shepherd, so with us — we have a mighty Savior who can protect and provide, if we will only trust Him.”

“Prices may continue to rise throughout the holiday season and beyond. This is all the more reason to remember this verse from Isaiah 7:14, which describes the birth of Jesus: Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

In these troubling times, it often feels like our oil has run dry and we have no place to take refuge. But we cannot let this become our mindset, because that will paralyze our faith and keep us from moving forward

“The name Immanuel means “God is with us.” At Christmastime, we remember that God came to earth as a baby so He could dwell with us in the flesh. Next, He died on the cross so He could be part of our lives spiritually and eternally. When we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, He becomes our Immanuel who is with us 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If we truly believe He is with us, then why should we worry and fret about whether we will have enough? If we know God is with us, it will change how we respond to inflation, pandemics, food shortages, and all the crises we face. As in the miracle of Hanukkah, when God is with us, His oil never runs out.”

“The economy and prices will fluctuate, but the faithfulness of our God does not. In the coming months and years, it’s possible that many of us will endure financial challenges that seem hopeless. But it’s imperative that we take our place under Jesus’ mighty wings of refuge and trust Him for our provision and security.”

From Angela Rodriguez, IFA Contributing Writer | December 17, 2022

Categories: Praise