“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.” (Matthew 1:18–19, NASB95)
And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. Discipleship moves forward through our character. God uses people of character – He sees into our heart and soul and knows who will walk well with Him and obey Him when He asks.
And one of the easiest ways He does that is by looking at our interactions with those closest to us. As with Joseph, Mary’s untimely pregnancy was an opportunity for Joseph to reveal what was inside him, to demonstrate His soul publicly.
You see, our problems aren’t our problems. Our problems only reveal our problems. When difficulties and pressures seek to squeeze the life out of us, we can know that God has allowed them because He knows we will do well. In fact, in the letter of James, we discover that trials are actually God’s gymnasium. Each trial is a new exercise, a test of our strength if you will. God always knows that whatever He sends to us we are able to handle.
He even has a purpose for those troubles and tests. God sends them “knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:3–4, NASB95)
For Joseph, in this trial of his life, his young bride was pregnant with someone else’s baby. What would he do? He did what was in his soul. He, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.
Our choices reveal our character. We do it in the little things when we choose not to take a pen that doesn’t belong to us. We do it in the big things when we refuse to disgrace someone, even if they are close to us and have broken our hearts.
Disciples of Jesus are men and woman of great character!
Train Them Thursdays seeks to wed the Great Commission directive of Jesus with the practice He employed while on Earth. Each nugget is meant to encourage the reader with a “can-do” spirit to realize that discipleship is something each person is both capable of and empowered to accomplish. Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, writes each thought and they flow out of decades of his tried and true field-testing in multiple settings from rural to inner city. He welcomes your comments below.