Friday, December 10, 2021

The Promise of Christmas for Writers

by Joshua J. Masters @JoshuaJMasters

As many of us toss our normal writing routines aside like the wrapping from a toddler’s Christmas present this month, let’s be sure we take time to reflect on the Christmas story in our lives.

With hope waning under the Roman government’s oppression, the Jews waited for the fulfillment of a promise penned by Isaiah seven-hundred years earlier: 

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. 
(Isaiah 9:6 NKJV)

A Messiah came into this world to bring restoration and healing to our brokenness. And the power of that promise is so great, it should affect every aspect of a Christian’s life, even their writing.

Let’s explore how each of these titles for Jesus can encourage us in our writing careers and offer prayers for each one as we embrace the promise of Christmas. 

As writers, we all know the importance of a properly placed comma. So, I should confess there’s disagreement among biblical translators whether they should render this verse, “Wonderful Counselor” or “Wonderful, Counselor.” But whether “Wonderful” is a stand-alone title of the Messiah or a description of His role as our counselor, the promise remains the same.

The Hebrew word for wonderful in this verse means amazing or miraculous deeds. 

And the word for counselor is tied to the concept of encouragement through wise advice. How would you like to see miraculous acts in your writing career? How would you like your writing to be fueled by unending encouragement and wisdom?

Yet, we so often rely on our own wisdom and actions to make things happen. Do we want the full promise of a Wonderful Counselor, or do we just keep Him on retainer for moments of writer’s block or looming deadlines?

What if we rededicated the entirety of our craft and career to His wisdom and path for our writing this Christmas?

Wonderful Counselor, You are my source of hope and wisdom. You have declared a wise path for me and my writing. Teach me to lean on Your counsel and the wonderful deeds You’ve planned for me, so I might experience the wisdom of Your ways. Amen.

The promised Messiah was more than a human child. He was (and remains) the Mighty God of creation. The word mighty in Hebrew refers to strength, courage, and military skill. It’s most often translated in the Old Testament as mighty warrior. In other words, the promise of the Messiah is that He will be your strength and fight for you.

Don’t you tire of battling to make things happen in your writing? Sometimes I exhaust myself trying to be a Mighty Josh when I should lean into the Mighty God who’s already declared victory for me. 

God called you to be a writer, and He wasn’t wearing blinders when He spoke that over you. A Mighty God created you for a mighty purpose. He has a courageous path forged for you—a purpose-filled plan far better than your personal goals.

The promise of the Messiah is that He’s greater than your obstacles and has already developed a strategy for your life. Rely on His strength rather than your own. 

Mighty God, You are the maker of the heavens and earth. I know You’ve created me for a purpose that reveals Your strength, even in my weakness. Allow me a glimpse of your power as I surrender my life and craft to Your sovereignty. Reveal Your glory by what You do in and through me. Amen.

The greatest promise of Christmas is an eternal Father who offers eternal life through Christ’s sacrifice. 

Many writers struggle with a march of rejection that casts a shadow over them like a giant balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A difficult critique or an unaccepted manuscript can make an author feel unloved and unwanted. 

But our Messiah, who is one with the Everlasting Father, loves you unconditionally. Our heavenly Father is one who never abandons, never leaves, and never harms. His love endures forever (see Psalm 136). So, another promise we receive in the gift of Christmas is an identity rooted in His unchanging love rather than the fickle acceptance of a writing career or this world.

How would it transform your approach to writing (or the way you live) if you walked in complete confidence, feeling absolutely loved and entirely accepted? That’s what our eternal Father is offering.

Everlasting Father, teach me to live and write in the hope of Your eternal promise rather than the broken promises of this world. Show me how to anchor my identity in Your love, embracing who You say I am rather than believing the lies this life has taught me about myself. Amen.

Have you ever paced back and forth, uncertain how you’ll meet a deadline? How many anxiety-fraught nights have you spent waiting for the elusive response of a publisher? When we reject the perfect timing of our Wonderful Counselor, forge ahead in our own strength rather than our Mighty God’s and seek the love of this world over the love our Everlasting Father offers, it’s impossible to have any lasting peace.

But the Prince of Peace broke through the chasm between our sin and God to be born as a humble slave (see Philippians 2:6-8), so He could rescue us from the curse and sorrow of this broken world. His desire is for you to have peace. He said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV).

You can have peace in your writing and in the life that surrounds that career.

Prince of Peace, I’ve faced struggles and anxieties in this world and in my writing. I want to experience the unyielding peace of your victory. Lead me in a way I sense your calming presence, knowing you offer peace beyond human understanding. Amen.

The promise of Christmas is greater than a writing career, of course. But it should permeate every aspect of our lives. As we become discouraged, let’s remember that the Messiah came to give us an abundant life here on earth (see John 10:10), followed by a perfect life in eternity.

For unto us a Child is born. 
Unto us a Son is given. 
Merry Christmas.


Joshua J. Masters is a pastor, author, and speaker with a heart for encouraging others. His book on prayer, AMERICAN PSALMS, was a Serious Writer’s Book of the Decade finalist. He’s been featured on CBN Television, HIS Radio, the Light Radio Network, and worked in the film industry as a member of SAG-AFTRA performer. He is a regular teacher and speaker for large groups. A self-proclaimed sci-fi and comic book geek, Josh loves film, pop culture and is known in some circles as THE BAT PASTOR. Joshua was raised in the White Mountains of New England and now serves as a pastor in South Carolina where he lives with his wife, Gina, and their miniature poodle, FRANKLIN THE PUP, who is the subject of his latest book. Josh would love to connect with you on his website, JOSHUAJMASTERS.COM


  1. Great piece (peace) Josh. Have a great Christmas season.

  2. "The promise of Christmas ... should permeate every aspect of our lives." Amen. Thank you.

  3. Thank you for this, Josh. I'm our Father's most wayward child, charging off by myself. Then, when I get in a pickle, I come crying into His lap for comfort and help. How much better to begin with these prayers and allow Him to lead! My word for 2022 is follow. I'm printing out the prayers you wrote.

  4. Wonderful (amazing and miraculous) lesson for me today. Thank you for your ministry.

  5. This one is a keeper! Thank you, Mr. Masters.