Luke 2:1, 3 God Uses Situations To Fulfill His Will

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. And everyone went to their own town to register. Luke 2:1, 3

Unexpected situations happen in the lives of people on a regular basis. Very few people actually enjoy these situations when they occur.

These situations are a disruption in their life and can often be costly and time consuming. Along with those things they are often uncomfortable. It can cause a change in plans and desires very quickly, yet must be dealt with.

One some day, Caesar Augustus suddenly decides to have a census taken of everyone in his empire. This caused everyone to have to travel back to their hometowns.

Some people probably still lived in their hometown, so it did not mean much to them. Others, however, lived far away and it meant some long distance traveling. For one couple, Marry and Joseph, they lived a good distance away and she was also very pregnant. Yet, they still had to make the trip.

In the end this trip caused Jesus to be born in Bethlehem, not Nazareth, as the prophecies had claimed.

Although most people are not a part of some grand prophecy, God still has a plan for their lives. In order for God to fulfill His plan for their lives, sometimes He has to move them down a different path than what they are on. This can often mean some discomfort and disruption in life.

God may cause a car to break down on the way to work, so that the believer can be a witness to a mechanic or towing person. One may lose a job, so that he gets another job in order to be a witness to a new group of people.

Disruptions can occur all the time, but God uses them for His purpose in the lives of His people. Every believer must be willing to see what God’s will is in every situation.

As you are going through life, there will be disruptions in your plans. Seek God’s Spirit to know what He wants you to do. Ask why He is moving you down a different path and how you can use it to His glory.

These situations may be for your growth or for you to help someone else to grow in the Lord or to come to the Lord.

Are you willing to be used or will you grumble and complain?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know God’s hand in your life; that you will see God’s plan for your life; that you will allow yourself to be used by God; and that you will work to build God’s kingdom on this earth.

Matthew 2:14-15 Needed Move

So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Matthew 2:14-15

Some people love to move, while others hate moving. It is something that requires change and often a great amount of uncertainty and risk.

The process of moving can often bring about an improvement in situations in life. At the same time it moves one away from the known friends and family to the unknown.

After Jesus was born Herod wanted to have Him killed. An angel warned Joseph and told him to move to Egypt. Joseph immediately got up and moved his family to Egypt, which fulfilled a prophecy about Jesus.

There are times that God will call a person to make a major change in his life, a move that is onto a very different path than he has been traveling. God, in His great all-knowing sovereignty, can see what is coming up and knows the best path to take in this life. He knows exactly where a person needs to be and when to be there.

Changes like this can be very sudden and extreme. Humans cannot always see the full reason why, but need to trust God in making the move.

As he was going, Joseph may have wondered why God was sending him back to Egypt where the Israelites had left years before. Joseph’s move protected Jesus from being killed and also fulfilled a prophecy at the same time.

God will move a believer to where it is the best place for him to be. This may be to help the believer, or to help someone else. Either way the believer must trust and obey God in making the move immediately without question.

You may feel comfortable and safe where you are, but God may be calling you to make a move. The type of move may be a physical move, a change of jobs, a change of church, or some other major change.

Do not ignore God’s call upon your life, but make the change. Trust that God knows what is best for you in fulfilling your calling in His great and eternal kingdom for both on this earth and for eternity to come in heaven.

Take that step of faith to move forward with God.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will hear God’s voice of direction in your life; that you will trust God’s word to you; that God will use you to build His kingdom here on earth; and that you will see God’s hand upon your life.

Matthew 1:24 Immediate Obedience

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. Matthew 1:24

Commands are given everyday to people that do not always make sense. A choice has to be made as to whether one will obey that command or not. Often people choose to not obey the command or they will choose to question it. Some will even refuse to obey it, regardless of where it came from.

In some places, if one chooses not to obey it, they will be removed or be in trouble immediately. Obedience is expected immediately.

Joseph was pledged to be married, when he found out Marry was pregnant, so he planned to divorce her. After an angel told him that this was from God and he was to marry her, he immediately married Mary.

Just as in the workplace where the boss gives commands, God also gives people commands. In the same way, there are times when the commands of God do not always make sense. During those times when the commands don’t make sense, one has to just trust God and obey immediately.

God sees the bigger picture of what is going on across the board. He knows what action is best to take. Humans, in their finite little minds, do not see the bigger picture. They cannot see what is actually going on in the scheme of eternity.

Every believer has a choice to make as to whether he will obey what God says or not. Instead of questioning or arguing with God, one must immediately choose to trust God and obey. In obeying God, it allows Him to use the believer in greater ways than the mind can comprehend.

Immediate obedience to God will allow things to effect the lives of others for all eternity.

As a believer, there will be times that God will ask you to do something that is crazy and does not make sense. Instead of being like the world and questioning it or refusing to obey, choose to obey immediately.

See what God can do in and through you to touch the lives of people for all eternity. Your obedience will often have an eternal impact upon this fallen and dark world.

Questioning God and refusing to obey is what the world does. Do not be like the world, but like Joseph in obeying God.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will hear God speak to you; that you will know what God commands of you; that you will obey God in all He tells you to do; and that you will see God work in and through you for all eternity.

Matthew 1:20 Do Not Be Afraid

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit”. Matthew 1:20

There are times things happen that people do not fully understand. When times occur like that, many people are afraid, not knowing what to expect or fearing what could occur. As this occurs, people will often take sudden, extreme measures to get out of the situation or to deal with it. The do not always see the bigger picture, but quickly judge upon some few facts.

Mary and Joseph were engaged to be married. Suddenly she was found to be pregnant, so Joseph chose to break off the marriage. An angel comes to him and tells him to not be afraid, because this is from God’s doing.

God’s ways are often above the ways and thinking of man. From a temporary viewpoint, His ways do not always make sense. They can often appear dangerous or wrong. When seen that way, people are often afraid and try to take the situation into their own hands to deal with as Joseph did.

Before a believer should choose to take a situation into his own hands, he should seek God. He should try to find out what God is doing in the situation. As he finds out that it is God’s working in his life, he should no longer be afraid.

Ever since the beginning of time, God is telling His people to not be afraid. Believers are to trust God in every situation and not immediately take things into their own hands as the world does. As Joseph believed God, he was able to be a part of the salvation of all mankind.

As a believer, there may be times when God does something in your life that does not make sense or looks dangerous. First you must seek God to find out if it is from Him and then find out what your next step should be.

In all of this, never be afraid. Know and trust that God is in control of every situation in your life. Do not be like the world and try to take control in your own way. You don’t know, but maybe what is happening is God’s way to save a nation or world through you.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will seek God in every situation; that you will not be afraid, but trust God; and that God will use you in great ways.

Joseph: Faith-God Is In Control

Handcuffed hands

So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of Egypt. Genesis 45:8 

The next person of faith that I want to look at is Joseph. It is not common to think of him as a person of faith, but he was. I will quickly retell his story leading up to why he is a man of faith and how his faith looks.

Joseph grew up as the youngest for many years in a large family of twelve plus children. Not only was he the youngest, but he was much younger than the rest of his brothers. He was different in that God had given him visions, even at a young age.

Some of the visions he had been given had made his brothers angry with him. They realized that the visions meant that at some point in the future they would bow down to him. In their anger they were about to kill him, but was stopped by one of the brothers. Instead they sold Joseph into slavery.

Abu Simbel temple

Despite being in slavery, God was with him and gave him great favor. He had started out being the head of the house of Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials and captain of the guard. This was a very high and honored position to have. Potiphar trusted him completely.

However, Potiphar’s wife tried to get Joseph sexually. Joseph refused and she had him falsely accused and thrown into prison.

Even while in prison, God was still with Joseph and continued to give him favor. He was made the head of all the prisoners because of his faithfulness. Yet, he was still a prisoner, locked up in prison for a false accusation against him.

While in prison, two prisoners had a vision and were unable to understand what the vision was about. God gave Joseph favor and gave him the meaning of the visions. Both of the visions became true.

Human eye

Later, Pharaoh had some visions and no one could interpret them. One of the released prisoners then remembered Joseph interpreting his dream and mentioned him to Pharaoh. He brought Joseph out of the prison to get the interpretation. Again, God gave Joseph favor and he was able to interpret the dream for Pharaoh.

Pharaoh then honored Joseph and made him second, only to him over all of Egypt. Joseph was the person who would save Egypt and much of the world during a very long famine in the land. It was Egypt that would provide food needed by people from many nations.

Some time later, his brothers came to Egypt looking to get some food. Immediately Joseph recognized his brothers, but did not reveal the fact until later, because they did not recognize him. They thought he was either dead or in slavery yet.

When Joseph did reveal himself, he told them not to worry about what they had done wrong to him, but that it was all God’s doing. God had put him into slavery in order to get him to Egypt, in order to have him in position to save Egypt and the world from a famine.

Egypt pyramids

This is where his faith comes in.

It is commonly thought that when a person becomes a Christian believer in Jesus that everything will go alright, that there will be no problems. It sounds nice. Think about it God is with you, He will protect you, and He will meet all of your needs. Why should anyone think anything different?

Yet, this is not the truth. Yes, God is with you, is protecting you and is meeting all of your needs, but the process may be through tough times. God is also going to use you to meet the needs of others. In order for that to happen, you may have to be moved or have to go through something to get you in the right position to be able to meet those needs.

Being moved into a downward position does not always make sense. Why would God move someone down, when He said He would lift a person up? God gave Joseph a vision that he would rule over his brothers. Why would God make him a slave then?

Puzzle pieces

God sees the bigger picture. He is standing above all watching what is happening and is able to know where each person needs to be to fulfill His work. We, as people at the bottom of the picture, or in the picture, cannot see the full picture. We cannot always understand what God is doing or why He is doing it. We cannot always understand why God is allowing certain things to happen in our lives.

This is where faith comes in. Remember, faith is being certain of what you cannot see. Joseph could not fully see what God was doing, but He had faith that God was in control. Instead of blaming his brothers, he was able to see that it was God’s hand that moved him to where he was in the way that it occurred.

God may have placed a vision or a dream in your heart as to what He wants from you. As you strive to achieve that dream, you may have to go down a different path that appears to move you further away from it. You may have to go through some difficult times to achieve that vision.

During those difficult times, do not give up on God. Do not lose faith in God. Have faith in God, knowing that He is still in control and knows what He is doing.

Burning car

Do not allow yourself to become bitter because of the circumstances you may be going through or have already been through. Everything that you go through is meant to build you up in Jesus–to make you more like Jesus. It can expose areas that need to be worked on, areas that need to be strengthened, areas that need to be removed and cleaned up, and areas that can be honored and broadcast.

Every believer has some area to improve on to become more like Jesus. No one is perfectly like Him, so there is room to grow. Trust that God is in control and is working towards that goal–that is faith in God.

Looking up

Seek God to understand why you are going through tough times or had gone through tough times. Find out how you can use those tough times for His glory and His kingdom.

This is faith. You cannot fully see the whole picture, but can know that God does. God is working all things out for your good. Have faith that this is true and will always be true.