At just the right moment, God encourages!

Yesterday we read about Simeon, the prophet at the temple that recognized baby Jesus as the long awaited Messiah.  He had praises to God for allowing him to see His plan of redemption come to earth.  Then Simeon turned to Mary and Joseph and gave them words of encouragement and dread.  The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,  so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Luke 2:33-35   He revealed that Jesus would be a catalyst for faith and disbelief.  He would open their hearts and see into their souls.  To Mary personally, he revealed that she would suffer great sorrow, have her heart pierced.  It is thought that this refers to her being present at Jesus’ crucifixion and seeing her son mistreated and dying.  Joseph was believed to have died earlier so he was not present at the end of Jesus’ life explaining why he was not named in this prophecy.

annaGod is so good and cares for us.  Right on the heels of this startling news they meet Anna an old lady who lived at the temple and each day fasted and worshiped God.  Listen to her words of encouragement.  “Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” Luke 2:38    She immediately reminded Mary and Joseph that this child would be the redeemer of all Israel.

This trip to the temple to carry out their obligation under the law, verse 22, brought them a reality check- their son was to be the savior of all mankind, loved and hated by many. He was to be one who could see into a person’s heart and would bring Mary great sorrow.  All that would be a lot to take in but was confirmation that they were part of something bigger that would be of great good to mankind-redemption.  The cost would be well worth the gain.  Jesus put it this way,  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30   When God calls us to do something, and He had called Mary and Joseph to be the earthly mother and father of our Lord, He also equips.  He gives us what we need so that the yoke of discipleship- being linked to Him- is light as He walks with us.  We have His promise in Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Look for encouragement from God today.  He knows what you need and will provide you with just the right stuff to keep you going and working for Him in your life.  Are you feeling discouraged and feel the burden of life is too much?  Ask God for some encouragement today.  He will provide just what you need.

I related to this cartoon and Jesus as our teacher does make all things light.

Faith is day by day living without fear,


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