by Stephen Whitney

The Ruler Named
Stephen Whitney
Isaiah 9:1-7

The 1946 Christmas movie It's A Wonderful Life staring Jimmy Steward has become on of the all time classic holiday movies.
The story is about young George Bailey, who grows up in the small town of Bedford Falls, Massachusetts longing for the fame and fortune of faraway lands. "I'm going to see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Coliseum. Then I'm going to build things. I'm going to build air fields . . . skyscrapers . . . bridge a mile long . . ." he says.

But when his father dies, George is left to take over the family business, the Bailey and Loan Company. At first he laments his fate, but he eventually comes to understand his father's words,
"In a small way we are doing something important in helping people own their own homes."

He gives up his plans for college, world travel and big business for quiet faithful service to his fellow man. But halfway through the movie, the struggling little Building and Loan hits hard times.
The money runs out and the bank is ready to foreclose so George begins to doubt. He loses sight of his value to others and sees himself as a failure, worth more dead than alive.

Discouraged and defeated he trudges toward the faithful bridge, but not before he stops at Marini's nightclub. Slumped over the bar, he is at his wit's end . . . and that's where the story shifts.

In desperation, he offers up a prayer, "Dear Father in heaven,
I'm not a praying man, but if You're up there and You can hear
me, show me the way. I'm at the end of my rope. Show me the way, God . . ."

Everyone goes through difficult times when it did not seem like It's A Wonderful Life. We may have suffered through times of
sickness, depression, loneliness, financial problems or the loss
of a loved one. Life can be hard instead of wonderful.

God offers us hope instead of despair in times of distress.

Anguish ended :1
In 732 B.C. ten years be ...

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