293. The Power of a Cause

Matthew 1:18-21 NKJV Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. (19) Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. (20) But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. (21) And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”

 In 1999, when I was 21 years old, I got married and I was terrified. I didn’t know what to expect after the wedding. What would life be like with my new bride, was just one of the hundreds of questions flying through my mind? I was also concerned and afraid of how my relationships would change with my friends. I wasn’t the first of my friends to get married. One of my friends had already been married and divorced by that time, which only added to the anxieties. I remembered how it changed our relationship and was concerned about how getting married would impact my relationships. I was afraid… because I didn’t know my direction and next step, nor how amazing marriage can be. NOTE: Getting married will change your relationships with others. This doesn’t mean it has to be in a negative way, but if your relationships don’t change and evolve with your family and friends after you get married… there is a problem. Still, I was afraid because I didn’t know what that would look like and how people would treat me. But my fears had to pale in comparison to Joseph’s.

Joseph was an amazing man. After finding out that the woman he is to marry is pregnant he loved her enough to not want her to be stoned to death or publically humiliated. He had to be hurt and angry, especially when he was told the ridiculous story that she was still a virgin and that she had been supernaturally impregnated by the Holy Spirit. Then an angel appeared to him and confirmed the story he had been told and instructed Joseph to go ahead and take Mary as his wife telling him not to be afraid to do so. He had to be terrified. He had already probably been attacked with the fears of what his family and friends would think when he broke off the wedding because Mary was already pregnant and now he is faced with the fears of what others will think of him in marrying this pregnant girl that everyone assumes is an adulterous.

Fear will always try to stop you from fulfilling God’s plan. That’s why God had this angel tell Joseph why this plan was so important. Having a WHY, a purpose, or a cause that is bigger than your fears will enable you to persevere through them. Just like the Lord had this angel give Joseph direction and explain the purpose of His instructions, the Lord desires to help you see His purpose in your life. He desires that you see the point in everything that He instructs us to do in His Word or by His Spirit. Because when we know our purpose, we are equipped with the power of cause to resist the fears telling us to run, quit, or back down and instead are empowered to Fear Not!

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