ALL PART OF THE PLAN

by Michael Smith | Dec. 11, 2018

“And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.”

MATTHEW 2:23 ESV

Joseph and Mary’s young family of three had never really had a chance to put down roots. They were on a government-mandated road trip when their son, Jesus, was born. Then they had to flee a murderous dictator and live as refugees in a foreign land (Matt 2:13). Just when it was finally time to return to their home, a new dictator had arisen that made them question the return. Instead of going to Judea as they planned, they went to Galilee, to a city called Nazareth. And according to Matthew 2:23, this was just what God had planned. What seemed to Joseph and Mary like a series of false starts and wrong turns were, in fact, all according to what the prophets had predicted. The prophecy, however, wasn’t one that we would want for ourselves. “He will be despised and rejected,” said the prophet in Isaiah 53:3. Nazareth was just such a place, despised and rejected as nothing more than a frontier outpost and a garrison for Romans soldiers. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” asked the more educated Israelites (John 1:46). The answer, of course, is that God can bring good out of our most despised places. For us, it might not be a physical place, it might be a part of us that we just can’t imagine God redeeming.

Can anything good come from my past hurts or my current distress? God can use all of it.

When God was taking my wife and I through two miscarriages, it would have been hard for us to see how anything good could come from that. But, when our son was born on Christmas Day, we knew that the miscarriages were all part of God’s plan. The pain of losing those two children gave us a heart for those who lose a child before the baby is born. That experience also gave us a heart for adoption and the Lord blessed us with a beautiful baby girl from the other side of the world. None of that was part of our original plan when we imagined our family, but it was all part of God’s plan. Is there something in your life that you despise, something that you would say, “Can anything good come from that?” The answer is yes. The place that is despised and rejected is often the place where God works. We may not recognize it when we are walking through it, but we can trust that if we belong to Him, no matter what we are going through, it’s all part of His perfect plan. So, take a moment and reflect on your place of rejection, hurt, or sorrow, and then submit it to the Lord. Ask Him to make something good from your personal Nazareth.

Today’s Reading: Matthew 2:19-23 ESV

12 Comments

  1. Kevin Kraning

    This was awesome Michael! Thank you for sharing your own Nazareth.

    Reply
  2. Justin Trombley

    Thanks Michael! What a great reminder that HIS ways are much higher than ours.

    Reply
  3. Ray Tong

    So many rich learnings through the lives of Joseph and Mary and how to trust God through His faithfulness and sovereignty. Thanks, Michael!

    Reply
  4. Darla Beller

    What God allows He also redeems. It the most amazing thing about God. Even our times of rebellion and sin He redeems in the most miraculous of ways. It’s what gives me hope and helps me trust God when I hear about others who have been victims of someone else’s sin. God will redeem! He makes beauty from ashes. Thanks for sharing this! Nazareth has always seemed an odd detail in the plan to me.

    Reply
  5. Meni Hansen

    What a sobering reminder. Thank you writing this beautiful devotional today, exactly what He wanted.

    Reply
  6. Carolyn Schmitt

    Perfect for our lives today! A great reminder of the Soverignty of God in our lives each day!

    Reply
  7. Joy Newberry

    Thank you Michael for the reminder; “All things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Romans’ 8:28

    May your Christmas and New Year Be blessed

    Reply
  8. Robyn Yates

    Thanks for this, Michael. I needed to hear it today.

    Reply
  9. Willie Jackson

    Michael, as always, you nailed it. Thank you for sharing your testimony and hilighting the truth of Gods word…all of it!

    Reply
  10. Hank

    Michael… great word my friend. Beauty out of brokenness, victory out of defeat, conquering out of chaos!

    Reply
  11. Pierce McIntyre

    Encouraging words…

    Reply
  12. Tonya HUGGINS

    I am loving all these heartfelt devotionals that remind us of the season. God bless you all dor soing them qe need them now more than ever in this world. HOPE ALL HAVE A BLESSED ADVENT MONTH

    Reply

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All part of the Plan

BY: Michael Smith | Dec. 11, 2018

“And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.”

MATTHEW 2:23 ESV

Joseph and Mary’s young family of three had never really had a chance to put down roots. They were on a government-mandated road trip when their son, Jesus, was born. Then they had to flee a murderous dictator and live as refugees in a foreign land (Matt 2:13). Just when it was finally time to return to their home, a new dictator had arisen that made them question the return. Instead of going to Judea as they planned, they went to Galilee, to a city called Nazareth. And according to Matthew 2:23, this was just what God had planned. What seemed to Joseph and Mary like a series of false starts and wrong turns were, in fact, all according to what the prophets had predicted. The prophecy, however, wasn’t one that we would want for ourselves. “He will be despised and rejected,” said the prophet in Isaiah 53:3. Nazareth was just such a place, despised and rejected as nothing more than a frontier outpost and a garrison for Romans soldiers. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” asked the more educated Israelites (John 1:46). The answer, of course, is that God can bring good out of our most despised places. For us, it might not be a physical place, it might be a part of us that we just can’t imagine God redeeming. Can anything good come from my past hurts or my current distress? God can use all of it.

When God was taking my wife and I through two miscarriages, it would have been hard for us to see how anything good could come from that. But, when our son was born on Christmas Day, we knew that the miscarriages were all part of God’s plan. The pain of losing those two children gave us a heart for those who lose a child before the baby is born. That experience also gave us a heart for adoption and the Lord blessed us with a beautiful baby girl from the other side of the world. None of that was part of our original plan when we imagined our family, but it was all part of God’s plan. Is there something in your life that you despise, something that you would say, “Can anything good come from that?” The answer is yes. The place that is despised and rejected is often the place where God works. We may not recognize it when we are walking through it, but we can trust that if we belong to Him, no matter what we are going through, it’s all part of His perfect plan. So, take a moment and reflect on your place of rejection, hurt, or sorrow, and then submit it to the Lord. Ask Him to make something good from your personal Nazareth.

Today’s Reading: Matthew 2:19-23 ESV

12 Comments

  1. Kevin Kraning

    This was awesome Michael! Thank you for sharing your own Nazareth.

    Reply
  2. Justin Trombley

    Thanks Michael! What a great reminder that HIS ways are much higher than ours.

    Reply
  3. Ray Tong

    So many rich learnings through the lives of Joseph and Mary and how to trust God through His faithfulness and sovereignty. Thanks, Michael!

    Reply
  4. Darla Beller

    What God allows He also redeems. It the most amazing thing about God. Even our times of rebellion and sin He redeems in the most miraculous of ways. It’s what gives me hope and helps me trust God when I hear about others who have been victims of someone else’s sin. God will redeem! He makes beauty from ashes. Thanks for sharing this! Nazareth has always seemed an odd detail in the plan to me.

    Reply
  5. Meni Hansen

    What a sobering reminder. Thank you writing this beautiful devotional today, exactly what He wanted.

    Reply
  6. Carolyn Schmitt

    Perfect for our lives today! A great reminder of the Soverignty of God in our lives each day!

    Reply
  7. Joy Newberry

    Thank you Michael for the reminder; “All things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Romans’ 8:28

    May your Christmas and New Year Be blessed

    Reply
  8. Robyn Yates

    Thanks for this, Michael. I needed to hear it today.

    Reply
  9. Willie Jackson

    Michael, as always, you nailed it. Thank you for sharing your testimony and hilighting the truth of Gods word…all of it!

    Reply
  10. Hank

    Michael… great word my friend. Beauty out of brokenness, victory out of defeat, conquering out of chaos!

    Reply
  11. Pierce McIntyre

    Encouraging words…

    Reply
  12. Tonya HUGGINS

    I am loving all these heartfelt devotionals that remind us of the season. God bless you all dor soing them qe need them now more than ever in this world. HOPE ALL HAVE A BLESSED ADVENT MONTH

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NWA Christmas