The Hope Collective Advent Guide
Hope | Week 1 | Day 2

For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Christmas, the Divine Initiative

If God had not taken the initiative to redeem fallen humanity by sending His Son into the world, there would have been no incarnation, no Christ, no Gospel, no reconciliation with Him. If God had not acted, there would be no resurrection, no working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and no revelation of God instructing us how to love. I’m so grateful that God took the initiative.

As Isaiah’s well-loved prophecy describes:

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined…
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

(Isaiah 9:2,6-7 NKJV)

By saying, “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this,” God is essentially saying, “I am the God of unshakable plans. I will accomplish everything I intend to accomplish, and nobody—nobody—will frustrate my plans.”

The title Lord of hosts means, “I am Commander in Chief of heaven’s innumerable angels and unbelievable resources.” The Lord of hosts stands, not only as a God of unshakable plans, but of unlimited resources as well. And when He speaks, He speaks with ultimate authority. This was the initiative behind Christmas. Christ came into the world with all the resources of heaven behind Him. All the forces of heaven stood on tiptoe, weapons in hand, anxiously awaiting His slightest command.

We need to remind ourselves that Christmas comes from divine initiative, the unshakable plans of a loving God with unlimited resources and unbounded enthusiasm. Do you find yourself caught up in His enthusiasm? Excited by His unshakable plans? Swept along by the mind-boggling concept of unlimited resources being released into your world? “The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” We can confidently write this next to every one of the promises of God.

— Stuart and Jill Briscoe, Meet Him at the Manger, Used with permission.


Father, You are a loving God of unlimited resources and unshakeable plans and unbounded enthusiasm. Thank you for the initiative behind Christmas. Help me today to trust your promises as I prepare for and anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth.


Be patient in line at the store today. Offer to let someone go ahead of you.

Serve your next door neighbor by helping around their yard, bringing their garbage cans back from the end of the driveway, raking leaves or shoveling their walk.

Write a thank you note and hand deliver it to your local police department.

Family Application

Choose 1-3 relatives or family friends. Record a short selfie video Christmas greeting as a family and text it to them.