And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord. (Luke 1:45)
God’s Ways Are Often Shocking
Mary, the mother of Jesus, received with grace shocking news. The Son of God will be born through you. Name him Jesus. Uh, come again? She didn’t say that. Instead:
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[f] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38)
The Most Religious People Often Get This Wrong—A Humble Young Woman Got It Right
Right before Mary received this announcement, her cousin’s husband (Zechariah) received a miraculous announcement about a birth—of the prophet, John the Baptist. As is common in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible), the “tenured professionals” who were religiously trained were some of the worst at faith. The poor, the unlikely, and the rejected were the commonly elevated examples of trust in God.
I don’t know the questions going through Mary’s head, but surely I’m not too far off base to wonder if she thought any of these over nine months:
What if people think I’m crazy? Everyone will think Joseph and I had this baby out of marriage. Joseph’s going to leave me. What will my parents think? What will my friends say? Am I losing it—going “crazy?”
To the wild news she received, she believed in God. Praise was her response. It is one of the most incredible declarations of faith ever recorded.
Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat (Luke 1)
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
Even If You Have Doubts, Welcome
We know from many other places in Scripture that people who had moments of doubt were still considered faithful. Maybe Mary didn’t have doubt—Scriptures don’t tell us. However, others who did have doubts—but stayed the course—were not considered less. Abraham and Sarah are classic examples. Hebrews 11 gives us a shining picture of people who doubted quickly and often—yet ultimately trusted in God.
Do you feel down and out? Are you trampled? Does it seem hopeless? Talk to God (James 5:13). He loves you. The Lord delights in using stories like yours. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
The point of faith is not whether or not we have doubts; it’s about where we turn when we have them. Either way, God will work in the world. We need only wait for His salvation. The waiting is almost always tricky. While Mary was waiting, Luke says:
But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart (Luke 2:19)
Mary had to wait in uncertainty. So do we. Yet, it’s for a good reason.
And count the patience of our Lord as salvation… (2 Peter 3:15a)
Mary—what an example of faith! How is yours today? Will you join me in praying for more faith? Faith in the one who was brought low for us (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). Blessings in Christ this Christmas to you and yours,