Pregnant

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. 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.

Matthew 1:18-19

We know that Mary and Joseph would have received ridicule for being pregnant out of wedlock. This would have been a total scandal. And it is easy enough to read this passage and think that it has little to do with us. Yet, God continues to impregnate His people through the Holy Spirit with unbelievable promises. And He often does this in ways that cause a scandal.

When God gives us a promise, there is often a “conception-gestation-birthing” process that we have to walk through in order to get to the fulfillment of the promise. This process can be awkward and embarrassing. It causes a disruption in our life and in the lives of those closest to us. This disruption often causes conflict and misunderstanding.

During these trying times, we are often faced with the decision that Joseph faced. Will we divorce ourselves from this promise, uncertain as we are of its origin and its fulfillment? Or will we see it through regardless of the disruption that occurs? Our answer to this question is everything! It is the difference between a promise aborted and a promise fulfilled.

In order to stick it out and give God our unconditional “Yes,” we will most likely need an encounter with Him–some sort of confirming revelation or experience–that gives us enough confidence and boldness to move forward. For Joseph, an angel appears to him in a dream and told him to marry Mary and name the baby Jesus. The angel confirmed that, “what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20).

Often the level of encounter we have with the Lord confirming His promise to us is equal to the level of opposition we’ll face to see it through to its fulfillment. I want to encourage you today that if the Lord has given you a promise or a word over your life, see it through to completion. Handle opposition with grace and humility, but don’t let it abort the promise.

You may face skepticism, ridicule, condemning words, rejection, and all sorts of opposition. The reason for this is multifaceted. Opposition comes because: 1) people naturally don’t like change, 2) the enemy doesn’t want that promise to come to fruition and 3) the testing will purify you and get you ready to steward the promise when it comes.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

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