Luke 2:4-5. 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) 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.
Isn't that right?
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 feel like God is sending a word of encouragement to someone today, or maybe to the church as a whole, or both, to hold on to the promise. It is going to come to birth.
I wonder how many of us are carrying a promise that God has given us; a seed that has been planted in our hearts. But it has been a long time, and circumstances have not been favorable.
Friend, the Bible says in Galatians 6:9 that if we don't grow weary and faint we will reap in due season.
When is due season? When you reap.
You know I think that 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 sent up out of Galilee out of Nazareth unto Bethlehem. The trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem was about 120 miles. They would either have to walk or ride on a donkey.
It was not the 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. Our text said he went up to Bethlehem. According to history and maps, 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. I am sure Paul & Silas in prison, the disciples crossing the sea in the storm, and Joshua on the way to Jericho all thought the same thing.
The reason is, the closer you get to your promise the harder the evil one works 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 insurmountable 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 have gotten 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's trying to do this by destroying your expectation. He works through disappointment and discouragement: these are thieves.
The Bible says in Isaiah 40:31, But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall walk and not be weary and they shall run and not faint.
Psalms 27:14. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, he shall strengthen thine heart: wait I say on the Lord.
Psalms 37:7 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him.
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'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, and Abraham received the blessing.