“But Joseph had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:25 NIV)
Some people are good at the immediate. They can jump right into anything, but they are not good at “keeping on keeping on.” And other people are good at lasting, but it takes them a long time to get there.
To live the exciting life of faith that God has planned for you, you need to be good at both the immediate and the lasting — and both of those require that you keep on trusting.
Joseph didn’t understand what it meant for Jesus to have a virgin birth; he didn’t understand Jesus would be God in human flesh. But he knew what God told him to do, so Joseph kept on trusting. He was a newlywed who didn’t get a honeymoon, and his new marriage was not anything like he planned, but he still kept trusting.
What are you going to do when life doesn’t work out like you planned or wanted?
I am always encouraged by what the apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:8: “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed and broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit” (LB).
I don’t know why some people are diagnosed with terminal cancer. I don’t know why some children rebel so strongly against their parents. I don’t know why so many things happen that don’t make sense. So it’s encouraging to hear one of the greatest men of faith say, “I don’t know why things happen as they do, but I still choose to not give up.”
It’s good to know that we can trust God and that he knows things we don’t. He has promised that one day he will set everything right. One day he will bring everyone who trusts in him together.
Until then, there are two ways you can live your life. You can live feeling like God owes you an explanation, or you can live realizing God has given you great gifts.
If you live life feeling like God owes you an explanation, you will only wind up in a constant state of bitterness, because God doesn’t owe you anything.
But even though he doesn’t owe you anything, he has given you everything. He gave you his own Son. He gave you the gift of eternal life. He gave you the promise of being together with him forever. Those are great gifts.
Talk About It
In what situation is God asking you to trust him, even though it doesn’t make sense to you?
Paul may seem far from an ordinary man. In what ways can you relate to him? How are you encouraged by his trust in God?
Tom Holladay is a teaching pastor at Saddleback Church and author of The Relationship Principles of Jesus. This devotional © 2012 by Tom Holladay. All rights reserved. Used by permission.