Purpose

So you’ve got life sussed. You know the ministry God has called you to. You know you’re right in the centre of all that he has for you, since the blessings are abounding mightily, and it’s so satisfying. OK, wildest dreams and all that. For most of us, we know we’re right in the centre of all that God is doing when life is at its toughest!

Looking at the life of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus (Matthew 1:17-25), that was how it was. He was just looking forward to marital bliss, when he found out his fiancee was expecting a baby – and it sure wasn’t his. At a time when that sort of indiscretion could result in stoning, Joseph didn’t want Mary to suffer more than necessary, so he decided to be as decent as he could in the circumstances, and quietly walk away. Dreams shattered, this was not his idea of God’s blessing; he must have heard wrong from God; how could he have been so mistaken? His mind must have been in full-blown turmoil as he went to bed that night. But God gave him a new dream – to go forward into the problem without fear. And a new ministry – to provide a home and family for Jesus. It was never going to be an easy ride: wagging tongues, implication of guilt, wider family disappointment, not to mention delay of conjugal joy, and then huge responsibility for a child not his own.

Yet it was a calling, a ministry. God had chosen specifically this man to do this task. And we can see why God chose him. When he woke up from that dream, Joseph went and did exactly what God asked of him, without question. And because of his obedience, his name is written in the genealogy, even though he was not a blood relative.

Maybe your problems are because you got it wrong, you mis-heard God. But maybe not. Ask him for a new dream. A new way through the problems. And grace and courage to go forward in obedience. There are some very strange ‘callings’ in the bible, so why should yours be ‘normal’? If God has given you a job to do, that is your ministry until he tells you to stop. We don’t know much more about Joseph’s life, but we do know that he pushed through when it mattered most. And God honoured him for that.

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