detour-signEver had life all planned out?  Knew what you were going to do?  Had a schedule, had an agenda, had it all figured out?

And something happened that blew all of that out the water?

Ever had to take a major detour?  Yeah, most of all of us have at some point in our life.  That’s part of life.  Something that happens all the time.  It’s part of our human experience, something that we each go through.

It’s even something that Joseph and Mary went through.  There were some very unexpected detours that they had to take in Jesus’ early life.  Listen to what happens today in Matthew 2: 13-15:

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

We see that they were in Bethlehem, but they they had to flee to Egypt to escape Herrod.  We don’t really think about this, the chaos this would have caused to Joseph and Mary.  Joseph had a job waiting for him back home. They had a life planned out.  They were going to be faithful, they were going to follow God, but they knew what life would be about.

And now this.  Now they have to run away to Egypt. They were being faithful. They were doing it right. And life still made a detour.

Why?  Because God had a plan.  He was going to call Jesus back out of Ebphy, just as He called the Israelites out of Egypt.  God had an amazing plan for Jesus in this.

What may have looked like a detour to Joseph and Mary was part of God’s divine plan for Jesus.

Today, the detour you face may not be that.  It very well may be part of God’s divine plan for you.

You just have to trust.  God has a plan.  He knows what He is doing.  Even if we don’t know what He is doing.

These detours, they aren’t that.  They are something greater, something bigger.

Today, trust.  God will use your detours in amazing ways.  Ways you can’t even imagine.

Today, may we trust in the detours of our life.

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CS Lewis, in his great book The Screwtape Letters,  wrote these words:

“courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality.”

Courage is what is required to do that which is right, to do that which God desires, that which is that next step of faithfulness.  That is what God wants for us. That which God wants from us.

God wants us to take that next step.  God wants us to be faithful.  God wants us to be brave.  God wants us to have courage.

No matter what we are facing, no matter what is next, no matter what is going on, I promise you this.  God wants us to take that next step. God wants us to have courage.  In many ways, the story of Christmas is the story of courage.  It took great courage for Joseph to be faithful to God’s plan, to do what God wanted him to do, and to be obedient.  Listen to what he had to do, in Matthew 1: 19-25:

And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

courage4When all this happened, Joseph was tempted to walk away.  He was tempted to just get out, as simply and pain free as possible.  That’s what he was going to do.  But he didn’t.

Because God had other plans.

And Joseph followed.  He had courage.  He took that step.

And God did amazing things.

Today, have faith.  Have courage.  Believe.  Hope.  Trust.

And God will be faithful.  May we do the same.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.