Summary: If we want to see God turn our disappointments into dreams come true, like Joseph, we must trust and obey Him.
Show video: Mary and Joseph (Skit Guys) “…Joseph, I’m pregnant.”
Imagine Joseph’s disappointment when he heard those words. According to the custom of the day, the engagement period was a time to prove the purity of the bride-to-be. They were engaged for a year. And if, during that year, the woman showed no signs of pregnancy, then everybody would know that she was a worthy bride – pure and chaste for her husband. But if her belly began to swell, everybody would look at her as a whore, an object of ridicule and shame. Her fiancé would call off the wedding, and sometimes the community would stone her.
Nobody ever expected it to happen. They just waited a year to get married, because it was customary. Well, imagine Joseph’s shock when he found out that Mary was pregnant. WE know that it was by the Holy Spirit, but JOSEPH doesn’t know that, yet. The only conclusion he could come to was that his bride-to-be was messing around with another man. To say the least, Joseph was disappointed. No. He was devastated!
And perhaps, some of you find yourself in a similar situation. Perhaps, there is a broken relationship, or the death of someone you love, and the pain of loneliness is very acute at this time of year. Perhaps, you just feel empty in the midst of all the tinsel and lights. Your plans have failed. YOU have failed, or maybe you’re just not satisfied with what life has given you up until now. Christmas can be a disappointment to many. But look…
YOUR DISAPPOINTMENTS CAN BE TURNED INTO DREAMS COME TRUE.
Your hurts can become halleluiah’s! Your pains can become praise.
Matthew 1:18-19 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. (ESV)
An engagement was so binding in those days, that it literally took a divorce to break it.
Matthew 1:20-21 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.” (ESV)
What was bad news has now become the best news anybody could hear! Joseph’s Mary was pregnant, not with another man’s baby, but with the Son of God, the Savior of the world. Joseph’s worst fear has now become the fulfillment of his greatest hope! His Mary was bearing the Messiah. It was a dream come true!
But not only for him, it was a dream come true for the entire world! Sherwood Wirt describes what that first Christmas was like in a Christmas card he wrote several years ago:
“The people of that time were being heavily taxed, and faced every prospect of a sharp increase to cover expanding military expenses. The threat of world domination by a cruel, ungodly, power-intoxicated band of men was ever just below the threshold of consciousness.
“Moral deterioration had corrupted the upper levels of society and was moving rapidly into the broad base of the populace. Intense nationalistic feeling was clashing openly with new and sinister forms of imperialism. Conformity was the spirit of the age. Government handouts were being used with increasing lavishness to keep the population from rising up and throwing out the leaders.
“Interest rates were spiraling upward in the midst of an inflated economy. External religious observances were considered a political asset, and abnormal emphasis was being placed upon sports and athletic competition. Racial tensions were at the breaking point.
“In such a time, and amid such a people, a child was born to a migrant couple who had just signed up for a fresh round of taxation, and who were soon to become political exiles.”
But this child was none other than the Savior of the world! He came to “save His people from their sins” (verse 21). Jesus’ coming is a dream come true for Joseph and for the world! The Hebrew prophets had been looking forward to this event for centuries!
Matthew 1:22-23 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). (ESV)