Teenside Daily Devotional

Read Matthew 1:18-25.

During the last couple of weeks, I have really struggled to keep myself from complaining, to remain optimistic. I have a lot of big plans in my near future, between getting married and looking for a job, things I am still hoping will happen this summer the way that I pictured. Now, I worry that these things will be affected by events that are out of my control. I am sure that the current circumstances of our world have created similar worries for many people, maybe yourself. However, if any story in God’s Word should change our outlook on life in this time, it might be this one. Joseph and Mary have it all planned out. They’re engaged and about to get married soon. They’ve probably already got a house lined up, Joseph may already be working. Then, it happens. Mary is pregnant out of nowhere. Joseph knew that the child wasn’t his since they were not married yet. He is thrown into a torrent of confusion and hurt, a season where the world around him would justify his complaining. His world would even justify her being stoned to death. Being the man he is, however, Joseph chooses to do what is best for the both of them. He doesn’t want her to feel shame. Then God responds. He tells Joseph the plan, and he obeys, taking Mary to be his wife. Joseph and Mary reacted a completely different way than me  to having the world they live in turned upside down by one event. Neither one of them complained. Neither one of them backed out. Neither one of them stopped trusting in their God. I believe that taking on these same characteristics is critical to growing closer to God in a time when many of our plans will probably fall through.

*Take a moment to journal these questions. Write down your thoughts, questions, and concerns. Then date your entry. One of the coolest things is being able to look back and see how God came through for you.*
  1. What disappointments are you currently facing? If you’re not currently experiencing disappointment, what is a disappointment that you have faced in the past?

  1. How do you feel/act when disappointment sets in?

  1. Like in Joseph’s case, God often does not reveal his plan right away. In the waiting, we see Joseph resolve to take the “next right step”. He decides to divorce Mary quietly so that she is not shamed (or put to death) by the community. While you are waiting, what does your “next right step” look like?

  1. Then, God visits Joseph and throws him another curve ball. He tells him to take Mary as his wife in order to fulfill a promise that He had established long before Joseph was even born. There are two ways we can view what happens next. We can see it as another part of the Christmas narrative that we have heard so many times, or we can choose to see it from Joseph’s perspective. He makes the seemingly impossible decision to obey, no matter the ridicule he’ll receive for doing so or the obstacles he’ll have to overcome. I believe that Joseph had to have a remarkable trust in the God who told him “not to be afraid” to obey. Take a moment to pray for this kind of faith. We can trust God when he tells us not to be afraid; because he will never leave or forsake us, even in disappointment. 
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