Monday, December 5 – Luke 1:26-33
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and was pondering what kind of greeting this was. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”
When people say they have news to share with you, how do you react? Usually, our reactions are based on the body language and tone we can read from others to determine if the news is good or bad.
For Mary, the greeting she received was primarily positive. The angel Gabriel greeted her as the “favored one” and went on to tell her how she had found favor with God and about the plan God had for her life. This plan was not one of wealth, comfort, or prosperity; it would involve great risk but would end in great reward. If we are not careful, we will try to confine God to parameters we define. We want the answer that would be most pleasant or most financially wise, one with little to no risk for our comfort or reputation. When we feel God’s prompting in an unexpected direction, we must be careful not to confuse a lack of comfort with a lack of blessing. Mary was told that she was favored by God and then received news that she would become pregnant—news that, in her culture, often meant death for an unmarried woman.
As we wrap up 2022, remember the hope of Mary, who trusted God even when the plan revealed to her had no details, step-by-step instructions, or promise of a comfortable life. We never know what the new year will bring, but we can trust the God who guided Mary in the impossible. We can trust that He gives us great hope, and He is with us every step of the way even when the path doesn’t meet our expectations.
- When has God worked in a different way than you expected?
- Who have you seen trust God even when difficult things came their way?
- Pray and ask God to grow your faith and assurance in Him, trusting Him even when the circumstances are difficult.