Matthew 1:20-23 - But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and they shall call His Name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).
What if? What if I lose my job and I can't make the house payment? What if my husband gets cancer? What if I fail the test? All you have to say is "What if?" and my mind is off and running, constructing elaborate nightmares of all the bad things that might happen, could happen, if only ...
Joseph probably went through some of this after the angel told him to take Mary home as his wife. What if I do marry her—will people blame me for the too-early pregnancy? Will the gossip in the village hurt my wife, my family, our business? Will the baby even love me, since I'm not His real dad? And how in the world could I possibly help raise the Son of God?
But to all of this, the angel says simply, "Fear not." Don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife. God's hand is in this situation. God knows the answer to all your questions, and He is in control. When you need to know something, He will let you know. In the meantime, just trust Him. It will be okay.
God says that to us, too, when we are afraid of the future. "I am with you always," He says (Matthew 28:20). "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10). "Even to your old age I am He, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save" (Isaiah 46:4). When we are afraid, we can turn to Jesus, our Immanuel, God-with-us. He will never fail us.
THE PRAYER:Lord, when I fear the future, draw me close to You and help me to trust in You. Amen.
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
The Coming King REFLECTION QUESTIONS!
When you were little, what did you imagine your life would be like someday?
How is your life different than what you imagined as a child? Is it better or worse, and why?
When you look to the future, what concerns you? How do you keep your faith strong in God?
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