The Guiding Hand

So many times we think our circumstances are out of control (especially when they’re tough), but they’re not!

To the person who’s committed their way to the Lord, and doing whatever possible to follow His leading, circumstances cannot thwart His plans!

Think of the Christmas story. Luke 2: “At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.” (Luke 2:1-7)

Joseph, a man engaged to Mary, had already learned the BIG news–Mary was pregnant via a miraculous move of the Holy Spirit, and he should not hesitate to take her as his wife! Here, now, the circumstances would get even tougher.

They would have to travel the 80 miles between Nazareth and Bethlehem–on a donkey–while Mary was far along in her pregnancy. This would be a hardship, no doubt. It would probably take about a week of riding on that donkey, Joseph walking alongside.

Yet…those circumstances, tough as they were, were EXACTLY what God intended!

Remember, the prophet had foretold: But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. 
Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past,
will come from you on my behalf.” (Micah 5:2)

Ceasar Augustus thought he was using his power and authority for his own purposes, but he wasn’t. Rather, God was using Ceasar Augustus for HIS purposes!

Joseph and Mary may have thought they were being pushed by Ceasar, but they weren’t! Rather, because they had committed their way to the Lord, they could rest knowing that He was working–even in their trial–to accomplish His purposes.

That is exciting to me!

That means that, even in my trials, if I’ve committed my way to the Lord, He is working. He is the Guiding Hand.

This Christmas, worship Him, but do more–trust His Guiding Hand, and rest in Him also!


Consider and Discuss:

Have you ever gone through a trial and, looking back, can see how God used it for His purposes?

How should that change your response for future trials?

Published by Pastor Dave Johnson

Follower of Jesus, Husband to Lori, Proud Father to 6 great kids, Co-Pastor of Kalamazoo Community Church. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan.

2 thoughts on “The Guiding Hand

    1. True, Jean! As the Proverbs say, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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