Do you remember a time when you were betrayed? Ok, I know that is a bummer way to start, but I want you to remember those feelings of anger, hurt, sadness, and frustration – so that you can understand what Joseph went through.
Joseph must have felt betrayed. He was engaged to a young woman named Mary – and she told him that she was pregnant. She had a wild story about an angel telling her that the pregnancy was from the Holy Spirit. Joseph didn’t believe her. He must have been hurt, angry, embarrassed. Joseph was a good man, someone who loved God and worked hard to obey the Lord’s commands. He had a reputation as a righteous man. He made up his mind to break off the engagement, but to do so quietly to protect as much of her reputation as possible. We can read between the lines and see the deep love Joseph had for Mary, as well as the deep pain he must have felt at being betrayed.
But he was not betrayed. Mary was telling the truth. And this is where Joseph’s faith would be stretched to new levels and he would learn to trust God in a whole new way. You see, staying engaged to a pregnant woman would mean that Joseph would lose his reputation as a godly man. He would either be seen as the man who got Mary pregnant before they were married or the man who stayed married to an unfaithful woman, which he was not supposed to do in his culture. Joseph had to trust God in deeper ways. His obedience to God actually meant that his reputation as an obedient, godly man would go away. Joseph did the right thing, and his faith would continue to be stretched and grown throughout the rest of his life.
Here’s the thing: God will ask for you to trust Him in extraordinary ways. He will ask for you to step out of the boat onto the waters. He will ask you to go to the ends of the earth. He will ask you to stand up to Pharaoh. He will call you to be uncomfortable. Authentic devotion requires extraordinary trust. You can do it. God is always faithful.
In what extraordinary ways has God been asking you to trust Him?