Monday, October 14, 2013

Joseph's circumstance

Have you ever considered that life didn't turn out the way Joseph planned? I'm talking about Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus who was just another Jewish guy in the first century trying to make a living through carpentry and preparing for marriage. Then BAM! Out of the blue - Mary's pregnant! We often move through this story too quickly because we know the ending and we race to the happy ending of Jesus was born on Christmas Day! Well, slow your roll. Joseph's circumstances didn't turn out as expected...... and neither do the circumstances of my life and yours! Think about it. How much that you have planned for your family, your future, your finances, or your faith actually turns out as you thought it would? Honestly, we'd have to say that life goes mostly not the way we planned it. So how do we get through it? Well in Matthew chapter one we see how Joseph coped when his fiance' turned up pregnant and it wasn't his. 1. Joseph reacted righteously - Just because he thought he had been wronged, he didn't lash out and lose his standards of doing right. He maintained who he was before God. 2. Joseph wasn't afraid - at least not in the long run. This is the word the angel gave him with the explanation of Mary's pregnancy. Don't be afraid. This is often our first reaction to circumstances out of our control...which is why the Bible reminds us so often not to be afraid. 3. Joseph was obedient - once the angel appeared to him, he did everything exactly as God instructed...including taking Mary as his wife, not sleeping with her, and giving his son the name Jesus. When circumstances go awry in life, it is best to stick with obeying God in what you know. Wait a minute. This all sound great on Monday morning from a pastor's reflection, but how do you expect me to act as Joseph did? Two simple realities make his response possible. 1. God has a plan (see the prophecy stuff in Matthew 1). God always has a plan. Nothing ever takes him by surprise, so even the most unexpected and painful circumstances have an outcome that will glorify God somehow. It's what HE does! 2. God is with us. The name Immanuel from the prophecy means God is near...actually with us. So whatever the circumstance today, we are never alone. How do we know? He sent his son.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I think Joseph is one of the most overlooked people of the Bible. He was an amazing example of character, strength, and faith. Additionally, he was a step-father, and his children were half siblings to Jesus. Not exactly the picture of a Norman Rockwell family, but inspiring to blended families of today.