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Summary: By all outward appearances Mary looks cursed rather than blessed by God. Our outward circumstances do not necessarily mean God is not with us.

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Why Does God Do This To Me? Have you ever felt this? I’m not sure there is anyone who hasn’t felt this way.

Life is going just fine. Good friends. Stable Finishing Grad School, The Future is Bright. Whatever will happen next – it will be great.

Look what happened to Katie and I….

Out of grad school.

Lost student apartment.

Can only get part time work.

Lost medical insurance.

Living with relatives.

Broke.

In dept.

By the way – your wife is pregnant and good luck paying for the birth.

What could happen next – I did’t want to know.

One thing goes wrong, then another…and another. Sometimes it is just a lot of little things. You know, those days where you spill coffee on yourself as you walk out the door. Maybe that’s everyday for you…It gets to the point where we can stop and realize. Where are the blessings of God in my life? That is a very real question. It is one that reveals how we see the favor of God in our lives.

As Americans we tend to believe, When things are going well...

My health is fine,

Relationships are stable,

My mental health is sound,

My finances are fine,

that we are in God’s favor and God is blessing us. And to the contrary when we see a series of unfortunate events in our lives...

Relationships we value coming apart,

Poor health or anxiety setting in,

that God is against us, God has removed his blessing from us.

The reality is this: Hard times, bad circumstances……desperate circumstances, are in no way a sign that God’s blessing is not upon you.

This morning we will see: People who are in God’s favor, do tend to have great difficulties in their lives. Opposite of what we would assume. God will make it happen – I myself will not. The true blessings of God are deeper than we may expect.

God Has A Plan For Your Life…..I’ll trade his plans for me for the plans of someone else’s life. I sure have felt that way at times. God has a plan for your life. Ok, what is it? Because I sure can’t see where it is going. But it is true, whether we can see it or not. God has a plan for you life, for my life, for all of us.

The Purpose Thing.

We saw God placed us here for a purpose – that became pretty clear. If he has a purpose – he certainly has a plan. But remember – his plan – is not our plan…..We tend to romanticize life in the past…Wasn’t it wonderful to have an infant in the house, so sweet, cuddly? Don’t you just love little babies? I don’t miss the lack of sleep – that’s for sure.

Newlyweds - that was us. We had a cute two bedroom cottage with 2.5 acres around us; Huge Oak treeshanging over the house; A creek that horseshoed around the house; Ivy all over and lowers everywhere, it was cute as a button. BUT, the oven was held together with bungee cord. We saw one just like it in an antique store. The shower. If you used any other water, it would stop – to a drip. Leaky toilet, he had ice in the winter around toilet. The Heater. to get it to start we had to take a pair of alagator clips attached to bare wires together sticking out of wall, clip them together (no kidding) jump three times anf it would start. I am not making this up. We had rats that would literaly cratch the bottom of the tub, when one of us was in it – creepy!

It was a wonderful place to live.

We also tend to romanticize the lives of those long ago. Wouldn’t it be great to have been with Jesus? Wouldn’t it have been wonderful?

Well I don’t know....

Plan for Mary.Take a well respected woman from a good family, who is in love and thrilled to be married soon, and be on her own soon. She is excited about the future. Send an angel with “Good News” (In Luke 1)

You will bear the messiah; You will be called loved. Sounds great – wonderful plans Lord – thank you..But what a minute....

Matt 1:18

“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.”

Understanding that the pledge given for marriage means they are engaged, for about a year, and are to have very little, or no contact with each other, otherwise the legal implications are they are as good as married. Also understanding that this society took adultery, very, very seriously. Judgment being possible death. Rarely carried out in this time. An act that carried a judgment so severe even the perception of the act of adultery would cast you in a bad light. What do you think people thought of Mary? Were they happy for her, congratulated her?

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