I can only imagine how Mary felt being told she would conceive & give birth to a baby. Not only a baby, but the savior of the world. With her being a virgin, She must have been beyond overwhelmed by feelings of shock and an unknown future. Questions running through her mind like…. would anyone believe her & what would happen with her & Joseph. Even though she trusted the Lord , this could not have been anywhere near easy for her. Can you think of a life changing moment in your life where you got news that left you overwhelmed with fear? Fear of what people would think or fear of what would happen. Plus, all of the what if’s. We are human and even if we love & trust the Lord with everything we are, there are at least a few seconds if not hours that our minds are racing with fear or doubt in life changing circumstances. The prayer & goal is that we battle those moments by taking captive every thought and battle it with God’s promises to us. Still, before getting to that place, the enemy takes advantage of those moments by throwing the mindful attacks our way.
As I was reading in Luke 1 this Christmas season verses 36 -56 ( read below) really stood out to me. In Verse 36, The angel tells Mary about Elizabeth conceiving a son in her old age. First, let me say that I love Encouragement! I love encouragement because our God is the master encourager. It amazes me how God cares about every detail in our lives and how he goes to great lengths to encourage us. He always goes before us in all things. Yes, we will have trials. We are not promised a pain free life. In fact, God says we will have trouble in this life, but to take heart because he has overcome the world. Not only has he overcome the world, but he promises he will never leave us. One of the ways we can feel his presence through troubling times is through encouragement. The angel told Mary about Elizabeth’s miracle. This gave Mary confidence to visit Elizabeth. Elizabeth was able to affirm & comfort Mary immediately. Mary needed this and God knew it. God’s orchestration of Elizabeth & Mary conceiving around the same time was no coincidence. Mary ended up staying with Elizabeth for 3 months. Look how God provided for her. Just like God went before Mary and provided her with the encouragement from another friend at the perfect timing, God does that for us. He wants us to be encouraged! I can’t help but to think about these two women & how they were able to affirm each other in the lord. I think about how important encouragement is to give & to receive. I think about how important it is for me to be seeking the lord not only for my life but to be able to give support & godly council to other women in my life. I think about how crucial it is that I surround myself with prayer warrior women who are in the word so that I may receive truth & wisdom when those hard life changing seasons come in my life. Most of all this gives me so much comfort knowing that no matter how painful life may get, I can trust that God has already gone before me and truly does have it all under control. Things may get tough, but not only will JESUS be in the fire with me, but he will encourage me through it. Well, because he loves me and he knows that I need it & wants me to have it. My encouragement to you friend today is to make sure you never isolate yourself. It’s important to stay connected. The enemy does not want you to receive encouragement. Be like Mary and follow God’s leading. He will lead you straight into the encouragement you need.
Also, I can’t believe I found this picture. This is exactly what I pictured in my mind when reading these passages below. 😊
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid,Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth.41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.