An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife.” (Matt. 1:20)

WEDDINGS EVOKE A VARIETY OF EMOTIONS for brides and grooms. In Joseph’s case, news of a baby and a bout of fear dampened the festivities. What, specifically, generated the fear? His conversation with the angel? Knowing the identity of the baby’s father? Potential town gossip? Too many unknowns?

When the angel instructed Joseph to continue with the wedding plans, that directive challenged Joseph’s faith. For Joseph to fulfill his commitment to Mary, he needed guidance from his heavenly Father along with a reminder not to be afraid.

God challenges our faith in similar fashion. Although we may not fully understand the task God asks us to undertake, He prompts us to trust Him through the process. Still, because of unknowns or the enormity of the mission, fear often rears its ugly head. Fear shakes our confidence in Christ’s abilities to guide us to the finish line.

Surrendering to fear results in missed opportunities. Pushing beyond fear produces completed assignments, strengthens our faith, and draws us closer to Christ. Joseph experienced this close connection firsthand when he became the babe’s earthly father.

Have you missed opportunities because of fear? When fear gets in your way, remember Joseph’s response. He didn’t know what would happen next, yet he obeyed God by fulfilling his commitment to Mary and heeding the directive, “Do not be afraid.”

Do not fear the commitments God asks you to fulfill.

Jill Printzenhoff is a science teacher and avid reader. She enjoys kayaking, fishing, bike riding, hiking, and vacationing with her husband and their two daughters.

© 2017 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.