December 12, 2022

Direction for Difficult Decisions

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:20


Joseph was in a true dilemma. He must have felt hurt and betrayed to discover Mary was pregnant. You can feel the struggle to determine the right decision as you read the passage (Matthew 1:18-25) and consider the implications. But here is a man who truly sought God’s will for his life, even in a messy situation. Joseph shows us what to do when we need direction for difficult decisions.


It seemed Joseph had only two choices: put Mary away as his betrothed, either publicly or privately. Then God intervened and gave him a third choice. An angel of the Lord  assured Joseph that the child she was carrying was conceived of the Holy Spirit. This birth would fulfill the prophet Isaiah (7:14) who said a virgin would be with child. So Joseph did exactly what the angel told him to do. He took Mary as his wife and was not intimate with her until she had given birth to the promised Son.


Was it possible that others misunderstood and judged his decision? Absolutely! But once Joseph knew the way God wanted him to go, he simply obeyed—regardless of his fears. He not only received the guidance he sought, but his life went in a direction he could not have imagined. Just think of the moments of wonder and worship he must have experienced as the earthly father of God’s promised Son!


The same God is still faithful and powerful on our behalf. He has placed in our hands the help we need for each dilemma we face. The Bible offers guidance for day-to-day life and direction for difficult decisions. His way is best but it’s not usually the easiest. It often involves sacrifice that even other believers may not agree with or understand. His indwelling Spirit enables us to overcome those fears as we chose to obey and take the path He’s chosen for us.


Father, thank You for giving direction to those who seek You and desire to please You. Your plan is always the best choice, regardless of any difficulty it may involve. Your Word gives direction for each decision I face. May the greatest desire of my heart be to please You above all else—one decision at a time.


Previous devotions in this Christmas series: When God’s Plan is Different From Our Plans