Daily Devotions – Walk in faith in the face of rejection

Photo by Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash

 

Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:

 

Matthew 1:18-25 NIV
Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.\

 

What do you learn about faith from Joseph?

 

Joseph was a man of quiet strength. He was a man of integrity, true to his convictions. I can only imagine the anguish, anger, and heartbreak that he was going through after receiving a life-changing punch to the gut. He couldn’t, in good conscience, go on with the wedding; yet, he couldn’t bring himself to humiliate Mary either, much less put her to death. The weight on his heart had to be crushing. But then, You spoke to him in a dream and gave him direction. I have had many dreams, most of them have been bizarre and elusive. I don’t normally make major life decisions based upon what I saw or heard in a dream. Yet Joseph recognized that the angel in the dream was from You and he listened. He married Mary and claimed Jesus as his own. Joseph was a faithful man of God who concerned himself with honoring You even when all the facts were not initially known. He listened to Your voice over worldly wisdom. Think about how difficult it is right now to have Christian convictions, thoughts, and beliefs.  It is difficult to walk against the cultural grain as Joseph did. Listening to Your voice can be life-changing. Being obedient to Your voice is challenging. Lord, I often worry about what other people think. Forgive me. Help me not feel discouraged when others do not accept my beliefs, especially those close to me. Help me to not worry about what other people think more than I worry about what You tell me. Lord, I believe in You. I trust in You. Let me recognize it when You are giving me direction and follow it with confidence. Let me dare to be obedient to Your will in the face of objection. Lord let me stand in faith against all fear, opposition, or rejection. Let my actions be an example of my faithfulness. Let others see You through my faithful obedience. Give me humility based on a simple trust that, by Your grace, all things really do work together for good for those who love You and are called according to Your purposes. Amen

 

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