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December 8: Hope in the Midst of Darkness



Daily Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:13-15


Hope in the Midst of Darkness

The Christmas Story has dark places, especially if you continue reading after verse 15. In Matthew 2:13-17, we find a passage that encapsulates the essence of hope amidst adversity. Following the birth of Jesus, King Herod, driven by fear and insecurity, sought to eliminate any potential threat to his throne. In his ruthless pursuit, he ordered the massacre of all male children in Bethlehem under the age of two.


Amidst this darkness, hope emerges in the form of divine intervention. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, urging him to flee to Egypt with Mary and the infant Jesus. In the midst of a horrific massacre, God provided a way of escape for His Son, preserving the hope of salvation for all.

This narrative echoes the broader message of Scripture—that hope is not extinguished in the face of adversity but rather finds its roots in the sovereignty of God. Even in the bleakest of circumstances, God is at work, orchestrating events according to His divine plan. Joseph's obedience to the angel's message becomes a testament to the power of trust and faith in the face of despair.


That is the sophisticated way to articulate the story. As we face our own challenges and uncertainties, we can draw from Joseph’s response.  Joseph had to be thinking, “Are you kidding me?” Mary becomes pregnant without Joseph’s help. Joseph and pregnant Mary have to travel to Bethlehem because of family lineage.  There is no room in the inn, shepherds keep showing up, and Wise Men from afar bring weird gifts. Later, it is time to pack up and travel to Egypt.


Joseph’s faith prevailed.  He understood that God's promises endure, and His plans for us are filled with hope. This is all beautiful until I reflect on my life.  Joseph had the faith to do all of those things while, at times, I struggle to find the inspiration to walk across the house.  But, in the darkest moments, we can find solace in the assurance that God is in control, guiding us through the storms of life. Our hope is anchored not in the absence of difficulties but in the unwavering faithfulness of our Heavenly Father.


Questions:

1. What darkness are you battling? God is with you.

2. Where is the Holy Spirit calling you to go? Joseph took his family a great distance but every journey begins with a single step and the days are shorter when traveling with children.

3. Where do you need to see and where have you seen the unwavering faithfulness of God in the midst of the difficulties of life?


Daily Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I am amazed at the faith of Joseph and Mary.  I know they had their own hardships just as I have my own.  Grant me an ounce of their faith as I yearn for your unwavering love and promises for my life.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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