God With Us

DAY 1 OF 3

God-With-Us in the midst of Pain

In Luke 1, we see the nativity story begin to unfold. Mary, a common teenager, is visited by the angel Gabriel. He tells Mary not to be afraid and relays a message from God saying that she will conceive and bear a son. He will be the long-awaited Savior, the Son of the Most High God, and his name will be Jesus.

Teenage Mary is confused. How can this be? I’m a virgin.

Gabriel explains God’s Spirit will make it possible, although, by human standards, it could never happen. Mary responds with faith-filled words, accepting the task she’s given.

It’s difficult for us to imagine the extent of pain Mary would experience due to Gabriel’s joyful message. On the one hand, the message contained great honor for Mary; she had found favor with God! Mary was chosen to bring the Savior into the world of all the people on earth.

On the other hand, becoming pregnant at this time in her life would bring shame upon herself and her family. Mary was betrothed to a man named Joseph, which meant they were legally bound in marriage, and they had not yet consummated their relationship. If the community found out she was pregnant, the news would cause an uproar, bringing shame upon Joseph, Mary, and their families. According to the law, she could even be stoned to death.

By nature, we assume the greatest joys of life come from our greatest pleasure. However, what we see here is an example of true joy growing from the soil of pain.


Is there a situation causing confusion or pain for me? How can I view my situation as an opportunity for joy and to experience God’s presence instead of devastation?


Lord, sometimes the way you do things seems backward to me. Open my heart to understand I can experience true joy, even when real-life circumstances are painful.

About this Plan

God With Us

How do we experience Emmanuel, God with us, beyond the Christmas season? In this 3-day plan, discover within the Christmas story a truth that will impact you beyond a celebration just once a year.

We would like to thank OneHope for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://www.lumoproject.com

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