Trusting God’s Promises During Hard Times
What is a mother worth? One company figured $138,000 a year. A commentary in the newspaper responded with a reference to the MasterCard ads and said “priceless”. Unfortunately, some moms do not fulfill their responsibilities as they should, but those that do are priceless. However, being a mother does not consist just of love and happiness. There can be much pain and difficulty associated with this great work.
Mary Becomes Jesus’ Mother
Luke 1:26-38 – Gabriel’s promise. Mary was frightened, perplexed, confused. This was so unexpected for her. Mary knew about the promise regarding the coming Messiah…
but for this to happen to her?! She needed encouragement from the angel.
Luke 1:46-49 – Mary’s response of praise. Her response is a tremendous song of praise. She beings by saying that God had blessed her greatly. She shows excitement, joy, blessedness. (Did Mary ever waiver regarding these words as events unfolded?!)
Luke 2:34-35 – Simeon’s prophecy. Simeon’s statements are similar to the angel’s regarding the greatness of her son. But Mary will be affected by the opposition against her son. This prophecy seems to “come out of nowhere”, as swords that pierce the heart tend to do.
In the following examples, we may question, “Why so much suffering?”
Luke 2:1-7 – Trip to Bethlehem. It had to be so very hard to travel in the late days of her pregnancy. There was no decent housing available when they arrived. She had to lay her firstborn in a feeding trough for animals.
Matthew 2:13-18 – Flight to Egypt. They were warned by an angel to flee. She knew she had peers who lost their sons in death, at the hands of the murderous Herod.
Luke 2:41-48 – Jesus “lost” in Jerusalem. You sense the pain here. It is no wonder that after three days of separation she speaks to Jesus with anxiety. She was beside herself. So little is recorded about Jesus’ childhood…notice that this experience recorded for us is one that brought Mary pain.
John 19:25-27 – Jesus is crucified. It is so hard for any mother to lose a child in death. (Notice that in the midst of his own pain, Jesus was aware of his mother’s pain.)
How much did God’s promises as delivered by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:32-33) sustain Mary through all the trials that she faced because she was the mother of Jesus? If you were a virgin, and a baby started growing within you, it would be nice to know what was happening. But much more than that, how sustaining these words from the angel must have been for Mary, such words as: He’s great, he’s the son of God, he’s a king, he will fulfill the prophecies. She could not always understand, but she could believe.
The truths we are studying apply beyond Mary to all mothers…
Others Who Were Chosen
Exodus 2:1-10 – Moses. How much did Moses’ mother know of all that God had planned for Moses?
Jeremiah 1:4-10 – Jeremiah. Jeremiah’s work for God was huge, involving whole nations, many people. But did his mother know?
Galatians 1:15 – The Apostle Paul. Did Saul’s mother know? Just because God does not send an angel to every mom, it does not mean each child does not have an important role in the world. God has great purposes for our children.
We Are Chosen by God!
Ephesians 1:3-6 – God has a plan for every believer, and every believer’s family. We have an eternal God with an eternal plan. God does not just “wake up” one day, and say, “Oh, here is what I think I will do today.”
1 Thessalonians 1:2-6 – You are so loved by God! God has a plan for you. v. 6 – So much of this process happens in the midst of tribulation and suffering.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 -Paul repeated this important truth.
Romans 8:28-32 -God is always working according to a plan. “You are a favored one of God”…these words said to Mary are for everyone of us. May this truth help us through every hard time.
If Mary were to walk in this service, upon seeing the fruit of God’s plan so many years later, she would say with tears streaming down her face, “It was worth it all!”
—Robert Lee, 5-13-07, a.m.