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 (NIV)
I can only imagine the depth of Joseph’s disappointment when he discovered Mary’s pregnancy. They were engaged~a time that should be full of hope for the future~a time of dreaming and planning. Joseph was probably hard at work building a home for his expectant bride. As a carpenter, I can imagine him carefully and lovingly building each piece of furniture for their new home. To then find out that Mary was pregnant must have shocked him to the core. This woman who he believed was good and honorable seemingly betrayed him. What would people say? How would they look at him? Would they even believe him if he protested that he was not the father?
Like Joseph, we have all experienced deep disappointment. Maybe you’ve been betrayed by a loved one. Maybe your dreams were shattered. Maybe your heart is still bruised. Romans 5:3-5 reminds us:
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (NLT)
Disappointment develops endurance in our lives. But if we are not careful disappointment can distract us from the truth of God’s love and the hope of our salvation. That is why Paul tells us to rejoice during our problems. It isn’t wrong to feel disappointment, but don’t dwell there~don’t let it distract you from God’s truth!
This Christmas let’s choose to bring our disappointments to the manager and exchange them for the hope found in Jesus. Let’s not be distracted, rather let’s rejoice in God’s greatest gift to us!
Breathe in His love…exhale all your struggles…
Are you filled with sorrow or disappointment? Allow God’s love to fill you with His hope!
1. What disappointment or sorrow in your life is distracting you from experiencing God’s joy?
2. What would it take for you to lay this at the feet of Jesus?
3. What can you do today to turn your focus to Jesus and not be distracted?
Lord~We come before You offering You our disappointments and broken dreams. Our hearts are bruised and battered, but we give them completely to You. We’re trading in our sorrow for Your joy! Each time we sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!”, help us remember that You are our joy! In Jesus’ name we pray…Amen!
Share a disappointment that you are giving to God in exchange for His joy.