In Luke 1:26-38 we see that Mary is troubled by the idea that although she is a virgin, she is pregnant. In those days being pregnant out of wedlock was culturally taboo. Joseph would know it was not his baby. Deuteronomy 22:20 says a woman in this situation should be stoned to death in the door of her father’s house. Mary had good reason to be fearful about the future. In Matthew 1:10-24 Joseph realizes that Mary is pregnant and plans to marry her anyway and divorce her later. At least this would save her life. His dreams of happily ever after were shattered and he dreaded the future.
In both cases, an angel of the Lord assured them that God had called them for a special purpose. The angels said that God was working in the situation for their good, and for the good of all mankind. They both had a choice to believe what the angel said or not. If Mary had not believed the promise, she might have committed suicide. Better to take your own life than be stoned to death. If Joseph had not believed the promise, he might have married Mary and made up a reason to divorce her later. In both cases, the Holy Spirit gave them hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. They chose to believe by faith that God was calling them for a purpose, and he was working for their good.
The hope that Joseph and Mary had enabled them to keep going and not give up. Although our lives are very different today, the human condition has not changed. We can find ourselves in a seemingly hopeless situation leading to a bleak future and we see no good way out. The promise made in Romans 8:28 that God has called us for a purpose, and He can work for our good in every circumstance is ours today, too. We can choose to believe it by faith or not.
Even when the road ahead is dark and we dread the future, we can ask the Holy Spirit to give us the same hope he gave to Joseph and Mary. In all things God’s people can have faith in His promise that we are called for a purpose and He is working for our good.
Rev. Walker is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church www.emanuelreformedchurch.com and she can be reached at 828-962-8196 or email@example.com.
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