By Karen Friday
The birth of Jesus lies at the center of the Christmas story. But have you ever wondered how Jesus’ earthly parents would describe the events? Or what we can learn from his parents and his story to apply to our lives today?
In looking at the overall story, Joseph has no speaking parts…no words quoted in the Bible. Still, we learn valuable lessons from him. Like three ways to always trust God.
Always Trust God
1. Always trust God’s promises.
The gospel of Matthew paints the scene of a man engaged to a young woman. Yet Mary was pregnant before they married. This situation was completely unacceptable in their culture.
In fact, the engagement period was a commitment similar to marriage today—a vow to remain true to your betrothed and sexually pure.
Matthew 1:19 describes Joseph as a “just man” who did not want to put Mary to shame in public, so planned to divorce her privately. But in a dream, an angel proclaimed to Joseph the child was conceived through the Holy Spirit. Joseph took Mary for his wife.
God promises if you move forward in his timing, his ultimate will and purpose is completed, not only in the present, but also in the future.
2. Always trust God’s protection.
After the birth of Christ, an angel warns Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt because Herod wanted to destroy Jesus (Matthew 2:13-15). Once again, Joseph is completely obedient to the Lord.
When you are completely obedient to the Lord, he is working behind the scenes on your behalf.
3. Always trust God’s plan.
In another dream, an angel tells Joseph that Herod’s dead, to take the child and Mary and go to the land of Israel. There they dwelled in Nazareth.
Prophecy regarding Jesus is fulfilled in each part of the story.
Will you trust God’s promises, protection and plan?
Always Believe God
Unlike Joseph, Mary speaks in scripture. We glean powerful truths and insights from her words. Because Mary responded to God’s plan in the way he desires from each of us—she believed him.
4. Believe who God is.
In Luke 1, the angel Gabriel tells Mary she has found favor with God, she will conceive and bear a son. Luke 1:32-33 confirms the baby is God’s Son. God himself.
A virgin with child? Yes. “For nothing will be impossible with God” (verse 37).
He’s the God of everything’s possible. He’s the God who takes ordinary people and does extraordinary things.
Mary’s beautiful words of praise magnifies who God is. She calls him her Savior, mighty, holy, merciful, with a strong arm and a God who faithfully spoke to his people. (See Luke 1:46-55.)
5. Believe what God says.
The story gives the end of Mary’s response to the angel.
“I am the servant of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38 (ESV)
Do you believe what God says in his word? Do you believe God fully, no matter what culture says?
Even later in Jesus’ ministry, we find Mary believing at the wedding in Cana. When the host ran out of wine, Mary said to the servants in John 2:5 (ESV), “Do whatever he tells you.”
What if you believed in who God is and in what God says to the point that you do whatever he tells you?
6. Believe how God works.
Prophecy foretold a virgin would conceive and bear a son. And the Messiah would come from the lineage of King David.
In the genealogy of Jesus listed in Matthew 1, we see that Joseph came from David’s family line.
Nothing is coincidence in this story or in your story. Instead, it’s God’s mighty work being carried out for your good and his glory.
God always confirms his Word by his works.
Will you choose to trust and believe everything he tells you through the Christmas story?
Wife Step: Journal about the three ways to trust God and the three ways to believe God. Ask the Lord to help you grow in the areas most needed.
Karen Friday is a pastor’s wife and women’s ministry leader. A blogger, Karen “Girl” Friday engages a community every week, Hope is Among Us. She has published a number of articles and devotions in both print and online media, and is currently working on her first book. Vulnerable about her own marriage journey, Karen knows life never gets more real than as a wife. Karen and her husband Mike have two grown children and two grandchildren. The entire family is fond of the expression, “TGIF: Thank God it’s Friday.” They owe Monday an apology.