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Sustained Obedience

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

Trust is the best proof of love – and its nemesis, betrayal, is a life-shattering experience. In Matthew chapter 1, verse 18, Joseph hears that his fiancé Mary is pregnant. We can only imagine the immense betrayal Joseph must have felt. He had been planning and preparing for their wedding. But now, she is pregnant.

In verse 19, we learn that Joseph was a righteous man – a man who is committed to obeying God. Such a man will show his obedience to God in the way he loves those whom God brings into his life. So instead of being consumed by anger and revenge, Joseph thinks about how he can save his teenage fiancé, Mary from public humiliation by giving her a quiet and quick way out of the engagement. But then, God intervenes.

An angel informs Joseph that Mary has not betrayed him, but her child was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Joseph is also directed by the angel to name the child Jesus. Imagine the mixed emotions Joseph would have gone through – the relief that Mary was not unfaithful, the bewilderment that God was in their midst, and the anxiety of the days ahead.

Joseph immediately marries Mary and ensures her public dignity. The astonishing thing is that the angel never comes back. There is no continuous visible supernatural encouragement to persevere. Through the pregnancy when doubts come, all Joseph can do is trust God and continue to obey Him. And when the child is born, just as God commanded, Joseph names him Jesus.

Like Joseph, we too are called to continually trust God and obey Him. There will be days when circumstances might send us to the depths of fear and anxiety. Through all life storms, we can be confident about God's presence in our midst and go through life fixing our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). And just as God was faithful to Joseph and Mary through the difficult months of pregnancy, labor, and delivery, He will be faithful to us (1 Corinthians 1:8, 9).

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