The birth of Jesus took place like this. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn’t know that.) Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced.
While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus—‘God saves’—because he will save his people from their sins.” This would bring the prophet’s embryonic sermon to full term:
Watch for this—a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son;
They will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”).
Then Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream: He married Mary. But he did not consummate the marriage until she had the baby. He named the baby Jesus.
Matthew 1:18-25 MSG
I’m not the first person on the planet God has asked to walk into the future without understanding exactly what the plan is.
When Joseph found out his bride-to-be was pregnant, of course he suspected that she had cheated on him. That’s how babies are made, isn’t it???
Yet he was noble and kind and hesitated to expose her to public ridicule, or worse (the Old Testament penalty was death) so he waited a bit, deciding what to do.
As he waited, God spoke to Joseph’s heart, assuring him that this was no natural conception and that Mary had done nothing wrong.
God also gave Joseph a commission: to raise His son as his own.
Joseph received this word and did as God commanded.
Now God hasn’t spoken to me in a dream, or in clouds across the sky or from the mouth of a donkey or any other supernatural phenomena.
BUT He has spoken to me by His written Word.
It is plain to anyone with eyes to see that at the present time all created life groans in a sort of universal travail. And it is plain, too, that we who have a foretaste of the Spirit are in a state of painful tension, while we wait for that redemption of our bodies which will mean that at last we have realised our full sonship in him. We were saved by this hope, but in our moments of impatience let us remember that hope always means waiting for something that we haven’t yet got. But if we hope for something we cannot see, then we must settle down to wait for it in patience.
Romans 8:24-27 PHILLIPS
It’s hard when life seems to be going terribly, terribly wrong to trust.
It’s understandable to look at what I can see and assume that is all there is.
But I don’t want to do that.
I can choose, like Joseph, to embrace the command to wait, to be patient, to step confidently in the direction of tomorrow because He is already there.
I want to stretch my faith-receiving God’s promises, holding onto them, and walking boldly into the future trusting they will be fulfilled.