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Welcome to the CMWF Blog! We hope you'll find some encouragement and comfort here through stories of military life and truth from God's Word.

Joseph Surrendered His Plans

By Mary Parker

Although there are many examples of Godly people in the Bible, one of the most admirable is Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph. In Matthew 1, Joseph discovers that his betrothed, Mary, is pregnant and is certain the child cannot be his. Joseph, despite what must have been devastating news, decides to go through with the marriage and plans to quietly divorce Mary (Matthew 1:18). This passage clearly displays Joseph’s great love. In spite of his own hurt, he does not try to hurt Mary. 

Joseph abandons his plan and follows God’s plan, trusting the word of God as truth. Then, an Angel of the Lord visits Joseph in a dream and tells him that Mary is in fact carrying Jesus, who “will save his people from their sins”. Joseph does not sit idly by or doubt the word of God (Matthew 1:21). We are told that Joseph was faithful to the law; it is important to remember that before Jesus, the law was the only way for people to consecrate themselves to God. 
Because Joseph was so faithful to God, he was obedient to God’s word. We are told, “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). Despite news that would rattle even the most faithful believer, Joseph puts all his trust in God and immediately follows God’s instructions from the moment he wakes up. Joseph abandons his plan and follows God’s plan, trusting the word of God as truth.

The story of Joseph, his strong character and faith show us that God does not operate according to our plans. I’m sure Joseph never dreamt of marrying a pregnant woman whose child was not his own. But I’m also confident that Joseph would not have traded being the earthly father of Jesus for any plans he may have prepared on his own. 

As we study this story around Christmas, I encourage you to pray over any plans you have made for your life – for today, tomorrow and long-term. Instead of relying on your own plans, put all your trust in God, our faithful Father who provides a way in every circumstance, even those that test our faith. 


Why is Joseph’s story an important aspect of Christmas? 

How can you develop the strong faith of Joseph?

In what areas of your life can you surrender your plans and trust God completely? 

Father God, Thank you for this time that we get to study your son Jesus, and all of the wonderful ways that his coming blessed the world. Thank you for your word that tells of Joseph’s faith so that I may learn how to better follow you and your plans for me, each and every day. I trust that you will make all things work together for my good, even when circumstances seem scary or turn out differently than I expect. Help me to put my plans aside and put all my trust in you today and every day. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen. 

Mary Parker is an Air Force wife who works as a public relations writer. A South Carolina girl at heart, she and her husband have recently relocated to Fairbanks, Alaska. Mary spends her spare time honing exercise and cooking skills, and is a self-proclaimed DIY addict. You can read about how faith and hope shape military family life, and check out Mary's latest projects, at her blog, Mary's Mischief

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