Responding to Disappointment

  • June 10, 2018
Sunday 10

Matthew 1:18-25

To find examples of wise, godly reactions to disappointment, you’re more likely to turn to Psalms than to Matthew. But the very first chapter in the New Testament tells the story of an upright man’s reaction to painful and disheartening news.

Joseph—Jesus’ earthly father—was a righteous person. A godly man wants a wife who shares his desire to honor and obey the Lord, and Scripture indicates that Mary was exactly that sort of woman (Luke 1:45-55). So imagine how stunned Joseph must have been when Mary returned from a long visit with her relative Elizabeth and told him that she was pregnant. Moreover, she was claiming no man had touched her.

No matter how Joseph looked at the situation, it appeared grim. And yet Matthew 1:20 says that he “considered”—in other words, he sought a wise, righteous response. God entered Joseph’s life in a dramatic way to confirm Mary’s story and put a stop to his plans for a quiet annulment.

The Lord turned Joseph’s mourning into great purpose. Mary had told the truth—strange and startling though it was. The couple would bear the intense public censure of a too-soon pregnancy, but Joseph stopped thinking about what others would say. God had sacred work for him: to raise the Messiah, alongside a faithful woman.

Followers of Christ should seek a godly response to disappointments they face. Since the Lord always has a plan, the wisest reaction is to anticipate the good He can do and await His timing. God certainly blessed Joseph for his willingness to seek God’s kingdom first (Matt. 6:33).

Bible in One Year: Job 39-42

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18 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.

19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.

20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

23 BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, GOD WITH US."

24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife,

25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord."

46 And Mary said: My soul exalts the Lord,

47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

48 For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.

49 For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name.

50 AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM.

51 He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.

52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones, And has exalted those who were humble.

53 HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; And sent away the rich empty-handed.

54 He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy,

55 As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and his descendants forever."

20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

1 Do you know the time the mountain goats give birth? Do you observe the calving of the deer?

2 Can you count the months they fulfill, Or do you know the time they give birth?

3 They kneel down, they bring forth their young, They get rid of their labor pains.

4 Their offspring become strong, they grow up in the open field; They leave and do not return to them.

5 Who sent out the wild donkey free? And who loosed the bonds of the swift donkey,

6 To whom I gave the wilderness for a home And the salt land for his dwelling place?

7 He scorns the tumult of the city, The shoutings of the driver he does not hear.

8 He explores the mountains for his pasture And searches after every green thing.

9 Will the wild ox consent to serve you, Or will he spend the night at your manger?

10 Can you bind the wild ox in a furrow with ropes, Or will he harrow the valleys after you?

11 Will you trust him because his strength is great And leave your labor to him?

12 Will you have faith in him that he will return your grain And gather it from your threshing floor?

13 The ostriches' wings flap joyously With the pinion and plumage of love,

14 For she abandons her eggs to the earth And warms them in the dust,

15 And she forgets that a foot may crush them, Or that a wild beast may trample them.

16 She treats her young cruelly, as if they were not hers; Though her labor be in vain, she is unconcerned;

17 Because God has made her forget wisdom, And has not given her a share of understanding.

18 When she lifts herself on high, She laughs at the horse and his rider.

19 Do you give the horse his might? Do you clothe his neck with a mane?

20 Do you make him leap like the locust? His majestic snorting is terrible.

21 He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength; He goes out to meet the weapons.

22 He laughs at fear and is not dismayed; And he does not turn back from the sword.

23 The quiver rattles against him, The flashing spear and javelin.

24 With shaking and rage he races over the ground, And he does not stand still at the voice of the trumpet.

25 As often as the trumpet sounds he says, `Aha!' And he scents the battle from afar, And the thunder of the captains and the war cry.

26 Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars, Stretching his wings toward the south?

27 Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up And makes his nest on high?

28 On the cliff he dwells and lodges, Upon the rocky crag, an inaccessible place.

29 From there he spies out food; His eyes see it from afar.

30 His young ones also suck up blood; And where the slain are, there is he."

1 Then the LORD said to Job,

2 Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it."

3 Then Job answered the LORD and said,

4 Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth.

5 Once I have spoken, and I will not answer; Even twice, and I will add nothing more."

6 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm and said,

7 Now gird up your loins like a man; I will ask you, and you instruct Me.

8 Will you really annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?

9 Or do you have an arm like God, And can you thunder with a voice like His?

10 Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity, And clothe yourself with honor and majesty.

11 Pour out the overflowings of your anger, And look on everyone who is proud, and make him low.

12 Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him, And tread down the wicked where they stand.

13 Hide them in the dust together; Bind them in the hidden place.

14 Then I will also confess to you, That your own right hand can save you.

15 Behold now, Behemoth, which I made as well as you; He eats grass like an ox.

16 Behold now, his strength in his loins And his power in the muscles of his belly.

17 He bends his tail like a cedar; The sinews of his thighs are knit together.

18 His bones are tubes of bronze; His limbs are like bars of iron.

19 He is the first of the ways of God; Let his maker bring near his sword.

20 Surely the mountains bring him food, And all the beasts of the field play there.

21 Under the lotus plants he lies down, In the covert of the reeds and the marsh.

22 The lotus plants cover him with shade; The willows of the brook surround him.

23 If a river rages, he is not alarmed; He is confident, though the Jordan rushes to his mouth.

24 Can anyone capture him when he is on watch, With barbs can anyone pierce his nose?

1 Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook? Or press down his tongue with a cord?

2 Can you put a rope in his nose Or pierce his jaw with a hook?

3 Will he make many supplications to you, Or will he speak to you soft words?

4 Will he make a covenant with you? Will you take him for a servant forever?

5 Will you play with him as with a bird, Or will you bind him for your maidens?

6 Will the traders bargain over him? Will they divide him among the merchants?

7 Can you fill his skin with harpoons, Or his head with fishing spears?

8 Lay your hand on him; Remember the battle; you will not do it again!

9 Behold, your expectation is false; Will you be laid low even at the sight of him?

10 No one is so fierce that he dares to arouse him; Who then is he that can stand before Me?

11 Who has given to Me that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine.

12 I will not keep silence concerning his limbs, Or his mighty strength, or his orderly frame.

13 Who can strip off his outer armor? Who can come within his double mail?

14 Who can open the doors of his face? Around his teeth there is terror.

15 His strong scales are his pride, Shut up as with a tight seal.

16 One is so near to another That no air can come between them.

17 They are joined one to another; They clasp each other and cannot be separated.

18 His sneezes flash forth light, And his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.

19 Out of his mouth go burning torches; Sparks of fire leap forth.

20 Out of his nostrils smoke goes forth As from a boiling pot and burning rushes.

21 His breath kindles coals, And a flame goes forth from his mouth.

22 In his neck lodges strength, And dismay leaps before him.

23 The folds of his flesh are joined together, Firm on him and immovable.

24 His heart is as hard as a stone, Even as hard as a lower millstone.

25 When he raises himself up, the mighty fear; Because of the crashing they are bewildered.

26 The sword that reaches him cannot avail, Nor the spear, the dart or the javelin.

27 He regards iron as straw, Bronze as rotten wood.

28 The arrow cannot make him flee; Slingstones are turned into stubble for him.

29 Clubs are regarded as stubble; He laughs at the rattling of the javelin.

30 His underparts are like sharp potsherds; He spreads out like a threshing sledge on the mire.

31 He makes the depths boil like a pot; He makes the sea like a jar of ointment.

32 Behind him he makes a wake to shine; One would think the deep to be gray-haired.

33 Nothing on earth is like him, One made without fear.

34 He looks on everything that is high; He is king over all the sons of pride."

1 Then Job answered the LORD and said,

2 I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

3 Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know."

4 Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.'

5 I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You;

6 Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes."

7 It came about after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, that the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.

8 Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves, and My servant Job will pray for you. For I will accept him so that I may not do with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has."

9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job.

10 The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold.

11 Then all his brothers and all his sisters and all who had known him before came to him, and they ate bread with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversities that the LORD had brought on him. And each one gave him one piece of money, and each a ring of gold.

12 The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had 14,000 sheep and 6,000 camels and 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys.

13 He had seven sons and three daughters.

14 He named the first Jemimah, and the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch.

15 In all the land no women were found so fair as Job's daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers.

16 After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations.

17 And Job died, an old man and full of days.

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Publish Date October 22, 2018
God’s Blessing of Brokenness

God has a plan for each of us, but its fulfillment requires a broken spirit and dependence on Him.

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