God With Us
By Greg Quinn
December 23rd, 2020
2020 has been a year to remember. 2020 brought the Covid19, or Coronavirus, or Yuhan Virus, whatever you choose to call it. 2020 brought a stall to one of the greatest economic recoveries in the history of America. 2020 separated employees from employers, family from family, colleagues from colleagues, friends from friends. 2020 is a year when the entire world was shut down due to a flu-type virus. Airplanes were not allowed to fly. US tourists were prohibited from entering other countries, and in some cases, even other states. Global economic stagnation affected everyone in 2020. Schools shut down. Businesses shut down. Governments shut down. Churches shut down. Americans and others around the world were quarantined within their own homes. People have been afraid to be around others or leave their homes. People were infected with a sickness at a rate (if one believes the news reports, which I do not) higher than in the early 1900s pandemic. Hospitals were full. People were dying at an alarming rate. Death has seemed to touch everyone. Fear scarred the faces of Americans. We are forced to see each other without seeing each others’ faces; faces hid by masks we are mandated to wear. World leaders were confused as to what action they needed to take. Activists in 2020 inflicted racial unrest unlike any seen in America since the early 60s. 2020 had a US President under investigation and tormented politically like no other in the history of our nation. The news media conglomerates in America have consistently lied to our citizens, mongering hatred and social unrest, building to a climax in 2020 that harbored on the horrendous. 2020 has a vaccine being developed internationally with talk of government mandates for citizenry in America, something so far removed from our US Constitution that something of this kind was unheard of previously. A “stolen election” in 2020 has enlisted confusion in the greatest democracy of the world. And most of the problems indicated herein extended across the world, not just America. In 2020, “we the people” no longer know what to believe. People are confused, lied to, afraid, and feel we have no hope. Even Christians pray to God and ask for answers and seem none are there. People feel alone.
2020 has been a very tough year for the Quinn family. 2020 brought us the same things mentioned above but were brought very close to home for our family. 2020 brought the continued sickness and ultimate death of my brother Jeff. Jeff led the editorials of Gunblast.com since 2000, for 20 years, since the time us three brothers started what became the first online gun test publication and has ever since ranked among the largest and most respected publications in the industry. Jeff was the “face” of Gunblast.com, and in late July of 2020, he went on to Heaven. Less than two months later, on October 11 2020, we lost our dear Mom. While we miss Jeff and Mom tremendously, they enjoy their new life in Heaven with family members that have gone on before them, as well as saints from the ages, and of course Jesus our Savior.
In times like this, we need hope. We need a word of encouragement. We need hope of peace. We need an end to suffering. We need assurances of truth. If nothing else, perhaps 2020 has brought people to their knees unlike any year I’ve witnessed in my 63 years on earth. We humans are seeking hope. And it can be found in only one place; hope and peace that comes from God alone.
The Holy Bible records the ancient history of the world and our civilization. It is the only book authored through hands of humans but with words of Almighty God. In a time when we wonder what to believe, we can believe the Bible. It is the only truth we can rely upon.
Now here we are at Christmastime. Yet the 2020 Christmas season is different than any I remember. There are no big church programs with packed houses to see the plays, listen to the music, and collectively praise God as in past Christmases. There are no Christmas parties. Family gatherings are cancelled or greatly reduced. Things are different this Christmas.
Yet in this time of suffering, confusion, hopelessness, economic challenges, faltering faith, aloneness, we do in fact have hope. The same hope that came to the world some 2000 years ago. The same hope that was announced unto lowly shepherds and witnessed under a single star. The same hope that yields peace in times of storms. The same hope that is always there, always waiting, always available. Hope and peace that only comes from God.
All four Gospels in the Holy Bible (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) tell the story of Jesus. Only Matthew and Luke tell the story of His birth. Jesus the long-awaited Messiah. Jesus the Son of God. Jesus who is God but who became a man. Jesus, God on earth, that came to save us from our sins.
God with us. In times like these, the best comfort we have is knowing that God is with us. God, who created the universe. God, who designed each of us for a specific purpose. God, who through creation of all humanity made no two people exactly alike. God, who loves each of us so much that He gave the greatest gift of all, the gift of his son Jesus, so that we may live forever.
God saw the suffering of His people.
He saw that the evil of this world, led by Satan and his angels, were
wrecking havoc on His people. The
only salvation for humanity was for God to come in the flesh as a human, live
like the rest of us, face temptation like we all face, yet sin not and do no
wrong, to take upon himself the sacrifice and become the gift that provides to
each of us that accept it freedom from sin, freedom from sickness, freedom from
death, peace, joy, and life everlasting. Only
Jesus can do this. And through
Jesus, God’s Son, we have “God with us” each and every day.
So, in times like now, times of sickness and hardship, times of suffering and uncertainty, times of loss, times of pain, times of sorrow, times when it seems to be no peace, times when we feel all alone; what do we do?
First, we recognize that Covid19 didn’t come from God. It is not a plague from God on humanity. It is not a punishment for the sins of mankind. God doesn’t create sickness; he heals sickness. This disease is man-made, created in a laboratory. Satan and his demons, acting through evil men, unleashed this sickness upon the world to fulfill evil political and socio-economic agendas. God didn’t create our problems. We live in an evil world and the prince of this world, the Devil, “roars around like a lion seeking whom he may devour”.
Second, we recognize that God alone has the answer to our problems. Whether these problems are sickness, loss, depression, pain, financial hardships, confusion, or any other suffering, God is the only answer. As it says in the scripture illustrated earlier, Emmanuel means “God with us”. God hears your prayers. God listens. God knows your pain. God has a plan for deliverance for each of us. God not only has the gift, God IS the gift.
Third, we only need to freely receive this gift to obtain the peace, joy, fulfillment, confidence, health, and hope that Jesus died to give us. Sin is so ugly that a Holy God demanded a payment for this sin. Jesus became that payment for you and I. Jesus on the cross paid the punishment for our sin. He took our place. And through Jesus, we are offered a gift, a gift of hope and peace, a gift of eternal life, a free gift that we only need to accept. How? We simply tell God, “God today I accept the free gift of peace and hope and freedom and eternal life through your son Jesus, knowing what He did for me on the cross. I accept Jesus as my Savior and Lord.” Just as you would accept a gift given you by a loved one, accept this gift that was given to you from the foundations of the world from the one that loves you the most, the one who is ALWAYS with you, God.
Finally, enjoy your peace. Share your peace. Let it sink deep down inside you that, no matter the confusion of this world, you know that God is with you. And when others see you exhibiting peace and joy and hope during these tumultuous times, let them know with a smile that it is because you know Jesus.
Roughly 2000 years ago, at a time we celebrate as Christmas each year, the best gift ever given to humanity was the gift that could only be given by God through Jesus. A gift to each and every one of us. Receive this gift. Enjoy this gift. Share this gift. This gift is summarized as “God With Us”. We recognize that no matter the challenges we face, no matter the hardships and trials, we know that God is there, always with us, never leaving or forsaking us. So as the Prophet Isaiah prophesied hundreds of years before Jesus came, the Prophet said that “God With Us” is coming. Now he is here. He is here today. He is here for you.
If you have never accepted this free gift of the life God meant for you through accepting Jesus his Son, do so today. Don’t put it off. If you have already accepted Jesus, then come to him anew with an appreciation of what He has done for you and pray to God each day thanking Him for the blessings even in times of storms, that come through a life with Jesus Christ.
Enjoy Christmas of 2020. It may be different. It may seem more alone. But we can enjoy it because God is with us. GOD WITH US. Carry this peace with you.
On behalf of Gunblast.com, I wish you and your family the very best Christmas ever, and wishes for a prosperous 2021.