Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to divorce her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”…When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife… Matthew 1:18-21,24 (New Revised Standard Version).

Joseph’s world was turned upside down when he found Mary was with child. He knew he wasn’t the father. How relieved and overjoyed he must have felt when the angel told him in a dream that the child Mary carried in her womb was the Son of God and would be the Savior of the World!
All doubts and fears melted away as Joseph trusted and obeyed the will of God. Like Joseph, we live in troubling times and have challenges. Sometimes we are in despair, but God knows the perils we face. Through prayer and reading His Word we are guided by the Holy Spirit to make good choices and come through these challenging times.
Early on in life, I lived in a fantasy world thinking all my dreams were going to happen. When troubles came, disappointments happened, I began to face the reality that life isn’t easy. I had to let God be in control, but still work hard, keep focused, and do my best.
God is like a gardener, planting seeds in our hearts. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Our Heavenly Father watches over us, hears our prayers, and, being the good gardener He is, never abandons us.
The trials we encounter strengthen our faith. The Holy Spirit not only guides us but also is a comforting spirit. Drawing nearer to God’s will for our lives should be our constant prayer. Like Joseph, when you hear God’s voice, listen, trust, and obey.
Prayer: Lord, show us Your way as we live through challenging times. Strengthen our faith to put our trust in You.
Wondering While Waiting: Reflect on a time when God challenged a belief you held, leading you to something greater.
Judy – Inspire. Ignite. Invite.
St. Mark Lutheran Church, Batesville, IN