Devotional Passage: Matthew 1:18-19
Tension is an important aspect of great stories. Think about the last suspenseful movie you saw. There were most likely moments of tension throughout the movie. It’s the moment when the hero is being chased. Will he get away? Or maybe the hero is trying to download secret documents from the bad guy’s computer, and we know the bad guy is just about to walk in the room! Tension. It creates suspense. It creates a sense of expectation. It makes us cringe with excitement.
Sometimes, though, tension can be a bad thing, especially when it comes to relationships. Take a moment and read Matthew 1:18-19. Today’s passage stops at verse 19 for a reason. It’s a cliffhanger in the story. A moment of great tension. What will Joseph do? But it’s more than this. Consider for a moment that Joseph isn’t some make-believe character. He was a real man. A good man. And suddenly, his relationship was full of tension.
There are three moments we need to focus on. The moment Joseph decides to divorce Mary. The moment the angel comes to him and encourages him NOT to divorce Mary (we’ll look at that moment tomorrow). And the moment he decides to heed the angel’s advice and move forward with the engagement. We need to focus on the first two moments. How much time passed between the first and second moments? How long did God allow Joseph to live in the painful, heartbroken tension of feeling like his true love had been unfaithful to him?
Tension. Like many uncomfortable realities, God uses tension to teach us. When God allows you to walk through a season of tension, His desire is that it would turn your heart to Him, compelling you to seek Him in prayer. After all, Joseph’s story worked out pretty well, didn’t it? We have to trust that God is always working for His glory and our good. And we have to accept that He knows best.
Joseph’s story is one full of tension and peace. But to find peace, we sometimes have to walk with God through moments of tension.
Think about this:
• What other moments of tension can you recall in the Christmas story?
• If you can learn to see moments of tension in your life as God providing you a chance to seek Him more passionately, how do you think this might change your relationship with God?