Jesus--His First Appearance

by Charles Stanley

Romans 8:28

Some situations in the Bible may seem perplexing to us, but none of them were mere happenstance. God, who knows all things and sees the end from the beginning, was sovereignly working out all the details of His redemption plan.

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For example, it may strike us as strange that a government census inconveniently caused Mary the discomfort of having to travel in her ninth month of pregnancy. Caesar Augustus may have thought this census was his idea, but the reality is that he was being sovereignly overruled: God was moving this family to Bethlehem in fulfillment of a prophecy about the Messiah's birth. Centuries earlier, Micah wrote, "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity" (5:2).

Not only was the travel a hardship, but once Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem, the only accommodations they could find were rather unglamorous. A stable with a feeding trough for the baby's crib was hardly what we would think of as a setting fit for a King. But the Father had purpose in mind for that as well. He wanted the Lamb of God to be born in a lowly setting, alongside other lambs.

What difficult circumstances are you facing? Do you wonder why God would allow such trials? Rest assured, your heavenly Father sees all and has a good purpose beyond what our finite minds can grasp. Choose to trust Him, and rest in His promise to work everything for His children's good.

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Publisher: Thomas Nelson

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