“Emmanuel.” You can imagine what that name must have meant to Joseph when he awoke from his dream. First, it must have consoled him. The fact that God was with Mary and him in such a physical way must have been comforting, so much so that he became willing to take Mary as his wife. Second, it must have given him courage. Humble tradesman that he was, Joseph probably felt unqualified to be the guardian of the Messiah. So the name Emmanuel probably felt like a shield against fear. It gave him the boldness he needed to guard and protect Mary and her child. Lastly, the name Emmanuel must have filled him with joy. At last! The Messiah that Israel had long awaited! God had come to visit his people in a new and powerful way; he was going to save them from their sins. How could Joseph possibly contain his excitement? God had kept his promise. He was with them! This dream changed Joseph’s out- look on the dilemma that he faced with his betrothal to Mary. Comforted, strengthened, and made joyful by the name Emmanuel, he could now say yes to God’s plan for his life and for the unique family he would lead.
This one name—Emmanuel— holds these three treasures for you as well. When you wake up each morning and start thinking about the challenges of the day ahead, remember that God is with you, like a friend you can spend each day with. He is your courage and strength when you feel unqualified to handle a particular situation. He is your joy, reminding you of the promise of heaven. So hold on to Jesus, God-with-us. Look for signs of his presence in your life. Wrap yourself in his protection. Most of all, rejoice in it! God has sent his Son to you. You have a Saviour who is always with you!