Summary: When We trust in God, He gives us the strength to face our Fears and restore hope to our lives.
Luke 2:10 10The angel said, "Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide:
I. Fear Steals Our joy-
a. Joseph was engaged to be married to Mary.- A joyous occasion for both
b. Joseph gets the news that Mary is pregnant and immediately fear takes hold and steals his Joy.
c. If we are listening for god He always has a plan to restore Hope.
II. Fear causes us to hide.
a. Joseph’s initial reaction was to hide Mary. Keep her a secret.
1.The Bible says it was out of respect for her. I would not disagree with that.
2.Put your self in Joseph’s shoes. (Ask someone from Congegation you trust and is single)
a.Don’t you think he was a little concerned about what people would think of him?
b.Joseph was a righteous man. If his Bride to be was now pregnant.
c.Meant the stoning of the woman if it were adultery.
d.Joseph was in a tough spot.
1.Tell them it was not him-Mary dies
2.Allow them to assume it was his…Joseph is disgraced.
B.Joseph was Afraid
1.Filled with doubt- from Satan
2.What would others think?
3.They will not respect me any more.
C.How can God be glorified in this situation?-No way-(most likely Joseph’s thinking)
D.He did not seek council for others-isolated.
a. God Did not make us to live and deal with our problems in isolation from Him and others.
b. Often isolation is our first instinct.
1.When we do it affects our relationship with God and others.
III. God can always use a situation to bring about his will regardless of bleak it may seem
A.Watch how God does not waste this “time of tribulation in Joseph’s life.
2.God uses the doubt and sorrow in Joseph’s life to bring Hope.
3.Joseph Obeyed- and continued to Follow God and His Law.
IV.Evil Despises Hope- Matthew 2
A.Herod was afraid- He was familiar with the prophecy of a Jewish King arising to power.
B.Afraid for his throne. (Power)
C.Herod’s Reaction-Destroy Hope
D.If we allow it Fear will destroy our future.
E.For Herod this baby represented 2 things.
1.End of Herod’s Future
2.Beginning of the Jewish people’s future.
V.Fear causes us to do irrational things.
A.Herod sent the “magi to find the King and return to him His location so he could kill the Baby.
B.Assumed the magi would not understand what he was up to.
1.God used the Magi which represented the vision of Herod and turned Herod’s Vision into Christ’s vision in their hearts.
VI.Fear has no hope of success in our lives when we seek God.
A.Herod went off his rocker. He set out a decree (an Order that must be followed) to destroy every male child 2 years of age and under.
1. His own fear caused him to commit mass murder.
2. Even with these extreme measures Herod failed…Fear has no hope of success when we seek God. Mary and Joseph sought God and as result had hope which resulted in purpose.
3. Hope gives us purpose and passion- Fear destroys Hope and passion.
VII. When we face our fears with God He does 4 things.
A.Restores hope-Joseph and Mary faced their fears and Look at the purpose for which God used them.
1.Herod Refused to Face his fear and depended on his own resources
2.Herod was corrupt
6. Eventually what he feared happened death
B.Gives us passion-
1.Mary immediately went to share the good news with her cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth and Mary were so passionate about the news Elisabeth’s baby (John) “leapt” in her womb.
A.Passion is contagious
C.Gives us a purpose. - Only through God can we fulfill our true purpose in life.
1.If you are not following God and think you have a purpose you are wrong.
2.God’s purpose always involves more than us.-It takes a village to accomplish God given purpose.
a.True purpose, Purpose for our lives willed by God, Is always too big for us to accomplish with out Him, and others. Mary and Joseph are proof.
D.When we face our fears God ALWAYS provides a light to reveal the way.
1.It is not always as obvious as a star, but As long as wee seek him He always shows us the way.
I follow Christ NOT because I am afraid of Hell
Not out of guilt or necessity.
Not because I am commanded
I Follow Christ because He is my source of Hope.
What’s your source?
Are you afraid?
Is fear running your life?
Does Fear control you?
Worried what others will think of you?
Think about it. The world is trying to destroy our hope. They want to wish us Happy Holidays…the retailers do it not of hatred for god but out of FEAR that will offend those who don’t love God.