< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: More thoughts about Mary and Joseph

Friday, July 20, 2007

More thoughts about Mary and Joseph

We all face changes in our lives all the time. We can look at Mary and Joseph for an example of how to cope with some of these changes.

We’ve heard their story so many times we don’t really think what it would have been like. To be so young, with marriage ahead of them within a year. Their plans in place; they expected to get married.

They did not expect to have a child right then. And they were certainly not expecting Mary to give birth to the Son of God!

Neither was expecting to be approached by an Angel. And they didn’t expect to play a major role in God’s plan of salvation.

But, God had greater plans for them then what they expected! He brought a radical change into their lives and they showed total trust in God, which led them to respond with courage. They knew God was in control.

The Lord’s Prayer doesn’t promise that faithful people will never experience the consequences of evil in the world and neither does the rest of scripture. Even Jesus, the perfect one, died on a cross as the result of evil. But, great good came of that.

And that’s God’s promise to us as well. We aren’t promised trouble free lives, but we are promised rewards in the age to come. And the expectations of those rewards can give us confidence in the midst of problems and tests we face.

Christian speaker and writer, Beth Moore, wrote, “No perfume has ever been sweeter to God then the faithfulness of believers who are suffering.” In other words, He sees what we are going through and He knows how hard it is and fully appreciates what it takes to stay faithful during those times.

We don’t always understand what God is doing in our lives, but sometimes our best plans are far inferior to God’s plans for us. Often our problems keep us close to Him. He’s usually the first place we turn to when we’re in need. He wants our trust and our love. In fact He loves us so much He wants to spend eternity with us!

He does have a plan and He is in control. He created us and knows exactly what it will take to have us finish the race and become like Christ. He is interested in using every situation to transform us into His likeness and to build a relationship with Him – not merely to make us comfortable.

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