Trouble Turned To Joy

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"An angel of the Lord appeared to him (Joseph) in a dream and said, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.'"—Matthew 1:20

It was evening. Joseph, the carpenter had finish his work for the day. That evening he was a troubled man. He had become aware of a fact which disturbed him greatly. Never had he expected anything like this. He recalled how happy he had been when Mary had accepted his proposal for marriage. She had seemed so lovely, so pure, so spotless. She had quickly left Nazareth to be with her relative, Elizabeth, and on her return 3 months later, he knew. His Mary was pregnant.

There he sat with his face in his hands. What did the law say? Put her away quickly. Disown her. Void the engagement. That is the way of real men. That is the way it must be. But love is strong. He did not want to make a public example of her. He had in mind to break the engagement quietly. 

Then he fell asleep. In a dream came a message from God delivered by an angel. The message was, "Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name, Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

So trouble was turned to joy. Then when the emperor's decree for a census came requiring his return to Bethlehem, the town of David because he was a descendant of King David, he did not leave Mary behind, but took her along to Bethlehem, a journey on foot of about 70 miles. It was certainly a very uncomfortable journey for both of them, especially Mary.

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase.
To added affliction He addeth his mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace. 

When we have exhausted our store of endurance
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father's full giving is only begun. 

His love has no limit; His grace has no measure.
His pow'r has no boundary known unto men.
For out of his infinite riches in Jesus, 
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

—Annie Johnson Flint

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