Immanuel, God With Us

by Alice Matagora December 25, 2023
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

“Mom, I’m falling!”

I was on a hike with my toddler and preschooler. As we made our way down the hill, my son’s arms flailed wildly as his feet slid down the leafy dirt path. I reached for his hand, and with my help, immediately he found his footing. Hand in hand, we continued on our journey until we made our way safely home.

Throughout different seasons of my life, I’ve also found myself crying out to God, Help — I’m falling!

Nothing major or traumatic needs to have happened. It could be that I simply feel emotionally unsteady, physically exhausted or overwhelmed by life, like I am wandering and I’m not sure if I have the strength to keep going.

Then I feel God’s steadying hand reach for mine to strengthen me and help me, and I remember what His Word assures in Isaiah 41:10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Today especially, we praise God that He has kept this promise to strengthen, comfort and never let go of His people.

How do we know? He sent Jesus to be Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23).

One thing I love about Jesus is that He reveals to us the very heart of God — because He is God. Matthew 9:36 says, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (NIV).

The Son of God, who knows all things, could see every last thought in the mind of every human. But in this moment, He didn’t respond with judgment or condemnation of the crowd’s lusts or jealousies or anger or sin; He had compassion on their inner torment. He saw their harassment and helplessness and knew they could do nothing to save themselves from it.

Because of Jesus’ compassion toward us, He came to earth as a baby to live a sinless life; to die on the cross, bearing our sin, shame and powerlessness; and to be raised to life again so that whoever believes in and receives Him will never again have to live life harassed and helpless on their own. We not only have God’s steadying hand that will hold us — we now have God’s steadying Spirit who will live within us, if only we turn our hearts to Him (Ephesians 1:13-14).

As we celebrate this Christmas, may we remember that Jesus is God with us in our mess. He is God with us in our pain. He is God with us in the deepest dark valley. He is God with us in our exhaustion. He is God with us in our waiting and in our wandering.

Jesus is Immanuel. He is with us all the days of our lives — and all eternity.

Lord, when we feel unsteady, remind us that Jesus is God with us and that the Holy Spirit is God within us. Lead us to turn our hearts to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



God wants to use you right where you are. Drawing on cutting-edge research and biblical wisdom, Alice Matagora invites you to enter Jesus’ plan to save the world, wherever you are, in her book How to Save the World: Disciplemaking Made Simple. She understands your anxieties (because she’s experienced them) and helps you to break down barriers, pointing you to the joy of engaged discipleship: knowing Christ, making Him known, and helping others do the same. Get your copy today!



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Psalm 16:5-8, “LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (NIV).

Where in your life do you most need the steadying Spirit of God? What keeps you from turning to Him?

What scriptures or experiences of God’s faithfulness remind you that Jesus is Immanuel, God with you?

We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2023 by Alice Matagora. All rights reserved.

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