Luke 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
Lu 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

Mary was pregnant with a promise. She was carrying a promise within her.
When we see a woman in Mary's condition today we often say she is "expecting". She is waiting for due season.

Between conception and delivery there is a time of nurturing while the seed matures. This is true naturally and also spiritually.

Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.

I wonder today how many of us are carrying a promise that God has given us; a seed that has been planted in our heart. It may be a dream, vision, or a promise of healing. But it has been a long time and circumstances have not been favorable.
 
The Bible says in Galatians 6:9, And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
When is due season? WHEN WE REAP!

I think one of the hardest parts of Mary's pregnancy may have been on the road to Bethlehem when the promise was so near fulfillment.
Our text tells us that Joseph and Mary went up out of Galilee out of Nazareth to Bethlehem. To really consider this we need to know that the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem was about 120 miles. They would either have to walk or ride a donkey. It was not a trip we so often see pictured on a Christmas card. It was a rugged trip over bumpy and barren land that was uphill most of the way.

Remember our text said he went up to Bethlehem. According to history and maps that is exactly what it was; an uphill climb that could take maybe 1 1/2 to 2 weeks and Mary is great with child, maybe 8 1/2 months.
Some of you ladies can realize the problems with that.

Have you ever looked at the circumstances around you and said in your heart, "If I am really following God's will for my life, why are things in such a mess?"

Surely Mary must have had the opportunity to think this. So did Paul and Silas, the disciples crossing the lake, and Joshua on his way to Jericho.
 
The answer is the closer you get to your promise the harder the evil one works trying to get you to give up and have a miscarriage. He doesn't want your promise to come to term.

Let me encourage you. KEEP WALKING!

David wrote, "Yea, though I walk through the valley."

BETHLEHEM IS IN SIGHT!

In spite of the difficulty on the road to Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary were on their way to a God ordained destination.
Satan went to great lengths to stir up seemingly insermountable opposition to the delivery of the promise that Mary carried within her, but Satan's efforts never stopped the promise of God.
 
Has God placed a promise in your heart?
Are you expecting?
Has it seemed like a long time?
Has the road been difficult? Do you feel like you got off track somewhere?

Satan is trying to steal the Word of God from your heart. He is trying to prevent the spiritual birth within you of God's promise. He is trying to do this by destroying your expectation. He works through disappointment. Discouragement is a thief.

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
 
Psalm 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Habakkuk 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

If you don't let go of the promise, it will come to term.

Abraham and Sarah were pregnant with a promise. Abraham's trust in God's Word placed his faith over in the realm of the impossible, beyond carnal reasoning, and God called something into being that was not.

So let me encourage you today, don't let the enemy cause you to have a miscarriage. The answer is on the way.
God has given us many promises in His Word.

2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

I hope you go from here today pregnant with a promise, expecting God's Word to come forth.

Isaiah 55:10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

  PREGNANT

            WITH    A

                       PROMISE