How Joseph Showed Faith in God

Faith in God is one of the most important qualities a believer can have. Throughout the Bible, we find inspiring examples of people who demonstrated great faith during trying times. Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus, is one such example. Despite the unusual circumstances surrounding Mary’s pregnancy, Joseph’s steadfast faith in God shone through.

Joseph’s story provides valuable lessons on trusting God even when we don’t understand His plans. As we examine Joseph’s actions, we can learn how to deepen our own faith.

Key Takeaways:

  • Joseph chose to obey God rather than follow his own inclinations
  • He accepted a situation he didn’t fully understand because of his faith
  • Joseph protected and provided for Jesus at personal risk
  • His continual trust in God’s purposes was rewarded
  • Joseph models how we should respond in faith to God’s prompting

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How Joseph Showed Faith in God

Joseph’s Obedience Despite His Doubts

Joseph and Mary were engaged when she miraculously became pregnant by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18). This put Joseph in a difficult position, because it appeared his fiancée had been unfaithful. At the time, engagement was a binding commitment, so Joseph would have been justified in feeling betrayed and calling off the marriage.

However, Joseph didn’t act rashly. The Bible says he was “a just man”, meaning he sought to do what was right (Matthew 1:19). Joseph probably felt confused and hurt by Mary’s seeming infidelity, but he didn’t let those emotions cloud his judgment. He waited patiently for God’s direction.

Then God sent an angel to speak to Joseph in a dream, explaining that Mary’s pregnancy was by the Holy Spirit and telling Joseph not to be afraid to wed her (Matthew 1:20-21). This dream was a test of Joseph’s faith. He had to decide whether to believe his own assumptions about Mary or to trust that God had orchestrated a miracle.

By proceeding with the marriage after this dream, Joseph demonstrated faith in God’s revelation. He chose obedience over following his human inclinations. Joseph modeling a key aspect of faith – setting aside our limited understanding and submitting to God’s greater wisdom.

“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)

Joseph’s decision required courage. In Jewish culture, wedding a woman pregnant by another man could have serious social consequences. But Joseph was willing to obey God even when it risked his good reputation. This took immense faith.

Sometimes God asks us to follow paths we don’t fully comprehend. Like Joseph, we must listen for God’s voice and allow it to guide us rather than our own wisdom. Joseph’s obedient faith challenges us to surrender our will to God’s, especially when it feels difficult or illogical.

Accepting a Miraculous Situation

Joseph’s obedience is even more remarkable when we consider that he accepted a supernatural explanation for Mary’s pregnancy. The concept of being pregnant without sexual intimacy was as outlandish back then as it is today. By advancing in his marriage to Mary, Joseph implicitly believed the angel’s words that she had conceived by divine miracle.

Joseph didn’t insist on understanding the mechanics of the virgin birth before proceeding. He took the angel’s explanation on faith, even though it defied his expectations and conventional logic. Joseph allowed faith rather than doubt to shape his reaction.

Moreover, Joseph shielded Mary from public disgrace by taking her as his wife. He could have “exposed” her supposed unfaithfulness by rejecting the marriage after her pregnant state became known. Instead, he graciously guarded her reputation and fulfilled his marriage commitment. Joseph chose compassion despite feeling personally wounded.

Through his grace-filled actions, Joseph demonstrated tremendous faith in God’s supernatural plan. He embraced the improbable because he trusted God. Joseph set aside his bruised emotions to obey the Lord’s calling.

Sometimes God leads us down paths our human logic can’t grasp. Faith means proceeding even when God’s plan confounds our understanding. Like Joseph, we shouldn’t let confusion or doubt stop us from taking steps of obedience. What God ordains will always be right, even if it initially seems improbable.

“…Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:45)

Caring for Jesus Despite the Risks

After the angelic dream, Joseph immediately took Mary into his home as his wife (Matthew 1:24). He selflessly adopted the unborn Jesus as his own son, giving him legal lineage in the family of King David (Matthew 1:1-16). As Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph would have provided for him, taught him a trade, and raised him according to Jewish law and customs.

Protecting and providing for Mary and Jesus came at great personal cost for Joseph. First, it damaged his reputation to marry a pregnant woman. Neighbors likely assumed illicit behavior had caused her condition. Joseph endured this societal shame for the sake of obeying God’s call.

Additionally, if authorities had discovered Jesus’ miraculous origins, Joseph and Mary could have been in danger. The rulers were wary of potential messianic figures emerging to lead an uprising. Joseph risked his safety by sheltering the infant Jesus from those who might seek to destroy him.

Despite these risks, Joseph courageously guarded, taught, and fathered Jesus during his formative years. He played a vital role in raising and protecting the Savior. Joseph did so at risk of ostracization and harm, exemplifying remarkable faith.

As believers, we are sometimes called to obey God in ways that may have painful personal consequences. Joseph’s example inspires us to follow God faithfully even when it requires sacrifice. The rewards of obedience are eternal.

“When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.” (Matthew 1:24)

Joseph’s Faith Was Ultimately Rewarded

Initially, Joseph’s faith stepped out based on limited information – an angelic dream and Mary’s word that she’d conceived under divine circumstances. But as time passed, Joseph witnessed many affirmations that encouraged his faith.

He got to know Mary’s holy character. Her grace and virtue would have validated his decision to believe her miraculous story. Joseph later received additional angelic dreams that provided more instructions from God (Matthew 2:13, 2:19).

When Jesus was born, Joseph witnessed the miraculous signs and visiting shepherds (Luke 2:17-18). The Magi’s later visit showed Joseph that this child truly was the promised King of Israel (Matthew 2:11).

The Bible says Joseph was given four prophetic dreams that guided his major actions (Matthew 1:20, 2:13, 2:19, 2:22). God knew Joseph’s faithful heart, and rewarded him by entrusting him with divine revelations and directions.

Because Joseph repeatedly trusted in God and obeyed, he got to take part in the greatest story ever told. His courageous faith led him on an incredible adventure. Joseph’s trust was ultimately validated, affirming he had made the right choice.

When we follow God in faith, although the path may be unclear, we can trust God will make His will plain in due time. If we proceed in faithful obedience, God will reveal affirmations of His plan to encourage us, just as He did for Joseph.

Conclusion: Follow Joseph’s Example in Faith

Joseph’s remarkable faith in confusing circumstances sets a powerful example for believers. He trusted God’s plans rather than following his own inclinations. Joseph obeyed promptings from God that defied human logic and potentially risked his reputation. He courageously guarded and parented Jesus despite the dangers involved.

Joseph didn’t have the whole picture, but took steps of faith as God led him. Because of his obedience, Joseph played a pivotal role in the greatest story of all time. His example challenges us to walk by faith rather than sight. When God calls us down an unfamiliar path, we can proceed with confidence in His trustworthiness.

As we’ve seen, Joseph responded to each situation in faith and was ultimately rewarded. When we choose faith over doubt, demonstrating humble obedience, God honors that faith. Like Joseph, we can fully rely on God’s perfect plan and provision.

May Joseph’s inspirational example spur us on to deeper trust in God’s promises and purposes for our lives. Despite the questions or uncertainties we face, God is faithful. When we follow Him in faith, we will discover the wondrous plans He has in store.

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