Summary: God has good in mind when He messes up our lives.


Matthew 1:18-25

S: Joseph

Th: Courage at Christmas


?: How? How is this observed with Joseph?

KW: Inductive

TS: We will find in our study of Joseph what God has in mind when He intervenes in our lives.

The _____ aspect of Joseph’s story we are considering is the…

I. DOUBT (18)



IV. DUTY (24-25)

Version: ESV

RMBC 14 December 03 AM


ILL Notebook: Pessimism (over the hill)

I want to share with you some special insight I have developed. For I have figured out what age you are officially over the hill.

Let me ask you this…

How many of you are 43 or older?

Would you please raise your hand?

Now, those of you who did not raise your hand, how many of you were lying?

Well, you are officially over the hill when you hit 43.

Do realize that I say this being over 43!

But when I hit 43, I soberly faced the reality that I was at the top, and it was all downhill from here.


The reasoning goes like this…

43 is closer to 45 than 40.

45 is closer to 50 than 40.

50 is closer to 100 than 0.

So when you are 43, you are practically 100 already, and thus over the hill.

That makes sense, doesn’t it?

It is pessimistic, though, don’t you think?

1. Have you ever discovered that pessimists prefer the title “realist”?

When you hit 43, be realistic, you are old.

Now, are you a pessimist or an optimist?

We all have a tendency to be one or the other.

Now, I must admit to you, regardless of how over the hill I am, I tend to be an optimist.

I tend to see the glass half full, so to speak.

But the pessimists don’t view themselves as ones that see the glass half empty.

No, they are realists.

They just see things as they are

Now take my wife, .

is a pessimist.

For example, if I say to her, “Honey, you really look good today.”

Do you know what her response will be?

She will say, “Why do you say that? Did I look bad yesterday?”

Yes, it is hard to “win” with the pessimist.

Our series this month is called “Courage at Christmas.”

You may remember that…

2. Last week, we considered Mary as an optimist.

I must admit that I find her to be quite amazing.

The messenger and the message she receives are quite frightening.

An angel that is from out of this world brings a message that she will have a baby while she is still a virgin.

Now, all the plans she had for her own life are interrupted.

Life is going to be much more difficult than she could have ever thought.

So, how does this poor, peasant girl react?

She calmly replies, “Let it be to me as you have said.”

I admit I do a “double-take” on that response.

Even though I tend to be optimistic, I relate much more to Joseph’s response.

You see…

3. Joseph, on the other hand, has trouble accepting the “good news” as good.

When Joseph gets the news about Mary’s pregnancy, his world is turned upside down.

Everything is messed up!

The plans are dashed.

Their ideas are nixed.

Life is now so disappointing.

It is a time of defeat and failure.

Which brings us now to…


I. The first aspect of Joseph’s story we are considering is the DOUBT (18).

Joseph found Mary’s story unbelievable!

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.

So, how would you react if you learned that your fiancée was expecting a baby and you were not the father?

We have no idea how Mary approached Joseph on the subject.

We do not know what was said in the conversation between Joseph and Mary.

But whatever she said and however she explained it, it is clear that Joseph didn’t believe it.

The explanation was not satisfactory.

And Joseph must have been filled with consternation and dismay.

In fact, to him the explanation is even profane.

How dare she claim that God has done this to her?

It is such an absurd justification for this sin.

And his conclusion certainly makes sense.

This is not good!

This is bad!

This is an unwelcome nightmare into his life.

The pain must have been excruciating emotionally.

ILL Notebook: Pain (country song)

There is a country and western song that goes like this:

My pain comes and goes

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