Joseph Chose to Offer Grace
By Rick Warren
“Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit. Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement quietly” (Matthew 1:18-19 GNT).
The Christmas story could have gone differently for Joseph. Think about it: God could have chosen to save Joseph a lot of confusion and pain by directly telling him about Baby Jesus. Instead, Joseph has to learn the news from Mary and possibly think his fiancée’s been unfaithful to him.
What is God doing here? He is testing Joseph’s character. He wants to see if Joseph will be compassionate, forgiving, and loving. And instead of trying to get even or even getting angry, Joseph chooses to offer grace and let the pain go.
Mary was struggling with fear at the first Christmas, and Joseph was struggling with anger. This happens today in marriage after marriage. Often, one spouse is dealing with fear and the other is dealing with anger at the same time. Joseph had every reason to be hurt and wounded, but he didn’t attack Mary in his hurt. He offered her grace.
The Bible says in Matthew 1:18-19, “Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit. Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement quietly” (GNT).
That’s a beautiful example of grace. Joseph doesn’t publicly embarrass her. He’s not trying to shame her. He just says, “Okay. We’re going to call off the wedding.” Joseph is put in a difficult situation, but he chooses to do what he thinks would honor God, not yet understanding that the Heavenly Father had a bigger plan for Joseph to be the earthly father of Jesus.
Who has hurt you deeply? Are you still hanging on to that hurt? If you are, that’s one of the reasons you’re not joyful. You cannot be resentful and joyful at the same time. You’ve lost your joy because you’ve kept your resentment.
You’re not going to change anything by holding on to your hurt. Don’t forgive because the other person deserves it. Forgive because it’s what God has done for you. Offer grace, and let the pain go.
Do you want to be bitter, or do you want to be blessed? When you choose to show grace and let it go after people hurt you, you get God’s blessing on your life.
For more Daily Hope with Rick Warren, please visit pastorrick.com!
Make prayer time the best time of your day with the brand-new 2022 Daily Hope Prayer Journal!
This easy-to-carry hardback journal with a soft-touch cover gives you the tools you need to establish a consistent daily prayer time. It’ll help you connect with the Lord and enjoy a vibrant prayer life as you unlock the keys to praying with passion and purpose.
Inside you’ll find 235 beautifully designed pages filled with:
• Practical encouragement for your prayer life from Pastor Rick
• Sections that guide you to pray for specific people and situations
• Space for writing out what God is showing you
• Encouraging Bible verses
• Gorgeous artwork and inspiring photos
Dive into this year’s theme, “Connecting with Jesus: The Source of Living Water,” and tap into God’s power and presence as you’re reminded how much God loves you and wants to be an active part of your life.
The all new 2022 Daily Hope Prayer Journal is our thanks for your gift to reach people around the world with the hope of Jesus. So ask for it when you give today!
And thanks to generous $100,000 Matching Grant, your year-end gift to Daily Hope will be DOUBLED to help bring the Good News of God’s love to every nation on earth.
All gifts will be doubled up to the full amount of the grant. Thank you for your generous support!
*The USA IRS code permits you to deduct the amount of your financial gift to Daily Hope that exceeds the fair market value of materials you received from Daily Hope.
This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
You can listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.