Summary: What if your fiance announced she was pregnant with someone else’s child? Talk about confusion. How do we embrace God during confusing times? We’ll use Joseph and Mary as examples.

God With Us: Embracing God During Confusing Times

Circumstances have a way of making us feel that God isn’t with us.

See if you feel the confusion in these verses

Matthew 1:18-25

18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us." 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Circumstances have a way of making us feel that God isn’t with us.

Let me show you what I mean

They had long engagements in those days; Joseph’s fiancé was found to be with child before their consummation (sex)

Joseph contemplated divorce

Angel spoke: “Do not be afraid”

This was the same message given to Mary

His name was to be called Jesus: save his people from their sins

Fulfillment of the promise spoken of by prophets

Joseph did what the angel commanded (took her home) though the child was not his. He and Mary prepared for the child. There was no physical union until after Jesus was born.

God with Us

God isn’t just with me, He is with us. There is a communal aspect to God’s work in our lives. You can’t separate him and your community.

The little child that Joseph embraced during this time of confusion was not his child, but he embraced him nonetheless.

Just as Joseph embraced the Christ child, so must we.

God is with us in the midst of confusing circumstances

God speaks; Are you listening for God’s voice?

You embrace God in the confusing times by listening for His voice.

Jacob heard God’s voice during confusing times

He called the place Bethel: the house of God

God lives in our toughest moments

God speaks away the fear; Are you receiving God’s promise?

You embrace God in the confusing times by receiving His promise.

God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

All this “Took place to fulfill what the Lord had said”

God wants to fulfill some promises for us too.

God speaks away the fear so that we can focus on a larger agenda. Are you focused on God’s plan?

He didn’t divorce her; he didn’t become intimate with her. Joseph focused on the needs of his wife and coming child, rather than his own needs.

There are times when even good things must be set aside for the best.

God is with us. Do we recognize Him?

Are we listening for his voice?

Are we focused on his agenda/plan more than our own?

Vinnie Cappetta, PhD

Crossroads Community Church

Framingham MA

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