Note from JesusDear Disciple,
I know most of you hate tests! Some of those tests are medical tests which can be terrifying. Some tests are necessary to get you into universities or special programs and I know you can feel anxiety as you face them. Other tests are required to receive licenses or to achieve professional certifications, and these can cause great stress in your lives. I hear your prayers and recognize your anxieties and stress over these tests. I know the long hours you’ve put into preparing for some types of tests. I care about you and these tests that you face.
Other tests are life tests. They have to do with tough times in your lives, times that are hard, painful, and discouraging. They may involve a time of illness, hardship, persecution, marriage problems, family upheaval, job difficulties, loneliness, grief, or a host of other painful experiences. I care about you having to face these kinds of tests, too! Many of these tests come because you live in a broken world.
Some periods of testing invade your lives because other people do evil things or make unwise choices. Sometimes, times of testing come because Satan wants to discourage you and lead you to doubt My love and grace. Sometimes, testing comes because of your unwise or sinful choices. Bottom line: The fallout from times of testing can blow into your world and wreak havoc in your lives.
So please, know two things about your times of testing:I will never leave you or forsake you (Romans 8:32-39; Hebrews 13:5). I came to earth and shared in times of testing, facing many of the same kinds of challenges that you face so I can help you when you are tested (Hebrews 2:14-18).You can grow stronger, develop character, and have the compassion to share with others by faithfully living through your times of testing (James 1:2-4; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4).One of the things I most appreciated about Joseph, who served as My earthly father, was that he faced an incredibly difficult test and proved himself faithful. He had shown himself to be completely committed to being a man of God. He had lived in purity so he could honorably marry a woman who had saved herself for him.
Joseph was committed legally to marry a young woman named Mary, My mother — this is sometimes called betrothal, something much more binding than modern engagement. Then, she told him that she was pregnant by the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit. After that, she disappeared and went away to be with her cousin Elizabeth for several months. What was Joseph supposed to think? How could he understand My mother’s pregnancy? He thought that there was only one way for her to be carrying a baby: she had betrayed him sexually. There was no other way, except…
Joseph believed what My mother told him. Joseph believed what the angel told him. Joseph believed that I — the Messiah, the Son of God — was conceived by the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit. He believed that My mother was not only pure and faithful to him but also that both of them together were chosen to parent their Savior, Christ the Lord — Me.
Incredibly, Joseph accepted this truth by faith. He knew he would be tested all the days of his life for his faith. People would talk behind his back. People would say he wasn’t My father and that My mother had “stepped out” on him and been unfaithful to him. He chose to accept this ridicule and he also accepted taking care of Me with all of the associated risks, hardships, and impenetrable mysteries. Joseph passed all these tests and helped Me be ready when My time came to serve.
So here’s my message for you today: You never know who will be blessed — even saved — by the character and compassion you show while you go through your tests!
I know this may seem hard to believe. So remember Joseph. Please remember that My situation on earth depended — and your faith depends — on Joseph’s faithfulness.
Also remember this: Someone is watching and depending upon you to pass your test! Hang in despite the hardship… keep your faith despite the pain… I’m with you and won’t ever forsake you… and your testing will not be wasted. Your character and your compassion will be blessings to others — some of whom you will never know till you share in eternal glory with them.
When you remember Me, please remember these truths!
Verses to LiveHere are some Scriptures I want you to think about as you face your tests and remember Joseph’s test. The first one comes from my half-brother James, who with the Spirit’s help learned the lesson about tests from Joseph, too! The second comes from Matthew. He tells the story of my birth and the struggle of Joseph very clearly and simply. The third set of verses comes from Luke’s gospel. Luke shares the story of My conception with a little bit different focus from Matthew’s account. Notice how the wonder and amazement of Luke’s story pairs beautifully with the testing Joseph faced as recorded in Matthew’s story. When you recognize the challenges that Joseph faced in taking My mother as his wife, you have to recognize that both My mother and Joseph were people of amazing faith!Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line — mature, complete, and wanting nothing.
So here, finally, is the story of the birth of Jesus the Anointed (it is quite a remarkable story):
Mary was engaged to marry Joseph, son of David. They hadn’t married. And yet, some time well before their wedding date, Mary learned that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph, because he was kind and upstanding and honorable, wanted to spare Mary shame. He did not wish to cause her more embarrassment than necessary.
Now when Joseph had decided to act on his instincts, a messenger of the Lord came to him in a dream.
Messenger of the Lord:Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to wed Mary and bring her into your home and family as your wife. She did not sneak off and sleep with someone else — rather, she conceived the baby she now carries through the miraculous wonderworking of the Holy Spirit. She will have a son, and you will name Him Jesus, which means “the Lord saves,” because this Jesus is the person Who will save all of His people from sin.Joseph woke up from his dream and did exactly what the messenger had told him to do: he married Mary and brought her into his home as his wife (though he did not consummate their marriage until after her son was born). And when the baby was born, Joseph named Him Jesus, Savior.
Years and years ago, Isaiah, a prophet of Israel, foretold the story of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus:A virgin will conceive and bear a Son,
and His name will be Immanuel(which is a Hebrew name that means “God with us”).
Six months later in Nazareth, a city in the rural province of Galilee, the heavenly messenger Gabriel made another appearance. This time the messenger was sent by God to meet with a virgin named Mary, who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David himself. The messenger entered her home.
Messenger:Greetings! You are favored, and the Lord is with you! Among all women on the earth, you have been blessed.The heavenly messenger’s words baffled Mary, and she wondered what type of greeting this was.
Messenger:Mary, don’t be afraid. You have found favor with God. Listen, you are going to become pregnant. You will have a son, and you must name Him “Savior,” or Jesus. Jesus will become the greatest among men. He will be known as the Son of the Highest God. God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David, and He will reign over the covenant family of Jacob forever.(Luke 1:26-33)Response in PrayerHoly God, thank You! Thank You for making Jesus’ story so much a part of the world I know. Thank You for using real people like Joseph and Mary to show us that being faithful in times of great testing brings great blessings. Help me, dear Father, in my times of testing. Please use my struggles to bless others and to help them through their difficult times so that they can find faith and hope in You. In the name of my Brother and Savior, Jesus, I pray. Amen.’A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware. © 1998-2022, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus’ is part of the Heartlight Network.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
My Mother's Situation Proves Joseph's Faith
Source: Passion for Praise