Promise Maker, Promise Keeper

December 18, 2022

Luke 2:4 NIV

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

Today's Reading: Luke 2:1-5 

Devo Author: Scott Jones

Date: December 18, 2022

Hadn’t Joseph and Mary experienced enough tribulation thus far? As I think about the ways they had already accepted God’s plan, despite their fear, and given way to obedience even in strife, I am almost shocked by God’s intention to will all of this at the time of a Roman Census. In the last days of Mary’s pregnancy, God was asking her and Joseph to travel by donkey for ninety miles through a desert for days. We could dig deep into the many potential hardships of this journey, but for now, it is worth noting that it was indeed an extreme tribulation.

I can think of so many ways in my life that I continually ask God, “Why?” Recently, I was sitting with my community group sharing ways we were experiencing an abiding relationship with Jesus. Some were walking in family illness and death for a fifth time. Others were experiencing extended job strife even after a transition God had seemingly provided. I was questioning my calling, my singleness, and was struggling with a long illness at the worst possible time.

I am often tempted to tally up my struggles and deliver my case to the Lord for His blessing. I’m sure Joseph and Mary were tempted to do this as well. But it is this very mindset that keeps me from seeing His faithfulness and forces me into dark places void of gratitude and joy. Our wisdom has such a shallow reach compared to the Lord’s. In those days, Caesar Augustus, also identified by Gaius Octavius, was referred to as “the divine savior who has brought peace to the world.” How much more so was Jesus Christ delivered to us to be a true Savior who brings real peace into the world? Our Prince of Peace and Lord of lords always has a higher plan. Just like His fulfilled prophecy in Micah 5:2, of a messiah from Bethlehem, God is a Promise Maker and a Promise Keeper.

How has God kept His promises to you in joy and in sorrow? Romans 8:28 (NIV) says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This is one of the promises I cling most to in my life. When my vision for the road ahead is unclear, I have learned to enjoy the clarity of the rear view. Take a moment today and ask the Lord to open your eyes to the ways He has woven things together for your good. Allow this discipline to keep you tethered to a heart of gratitude and illuminate the promises like Romans 8:28 that God has kept in your life.