Joseph Gave Up His Dreams

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.
Matthew 1:18-19 (NLT)

Ah, the sweet Christmas story.

Since we know it by heart, let’s take a different view. Let’s consider Joseph, Mary’s fiancé, a good man.

By merging several Bible translations we learn that Joseph was righteous, noble, just, and followed Jewish law. Indeed, he was a good man. Before Mary’s big announcement, Joseph dreamed of their happy life together in a cozy home with many children under foot. Joseph would succeed as a carpenter and support his family well.

Then Mary became pregnant and Joseph’s dream imploded.

Can you imagine? Joseph was probably angry and confused and grieving the loss of what could have been. This wasn’t supposed to happen to him! His solution was to erase the problem. Even though he loved Mary, surely he could find another wife and fulfill his dreams for a family – a normal life on the traditional path.

We know that in a dream that night, an angel told Joseph to marry Mary and name her son Jesus. The message was undeniably from God, so he obeyed. Joseph, the righteous and noble Jew, watched his dream die as he accepted the shame and disgrace of Mary’s unexpected pregnancy. He sacrificed his reputation along with Mary. Can you imagine the village rumors?

Joseph sacrificed his dream and trusted God’s difficult plan.  

Has your life gone according to plan?
If not, can you let go of the dream and trust that God has a better plan?

#SeedsOfScripture #JesusIsComing #Christmas #thedreamlife #Advent


  1. Marilyn Nutter on December 17, 2019 at 6:16 AM

    Thanks Cathy. This is the second time this week- and it’s only Tuesday- that I’ve heard this theme. Giving up our plans and dreams and trusting what God has in mind can be difficult. I often think about the “other Joseph” in Genesis. His life didn’t go according to his plans “but God” (another thought: but God) had different ideas. On the surface they many not appear to be better or even painless, but have a greater purpose. It is in trusting and living His plans that we grow spiritually and know God on a deeper level–that is the “better” part.

    • Cathy Chung on December 17, 2019 at 7:27 AM

      Yes, ‘but God’. He laughs when we have our life all plotted out. I love your connection with the other Joseph. Can you imagine his initial thoughts? How long did it take him to recognize God’s hand? At least our Christmas Joseph had a clear message from God in his dream. My trust has only been tested in small ways. I pray I would have strong enough roots to follow Him into the deep.

  2. J.D. Wininger on December 17, 2019 at 6:47 AM

    I cannot honestly say I’ve ever looked at Joseph’s story from this angle before Ms. Cathy. More, I’ve always considered him merciful in thinking to send Mary away. After all, that was better than a potential stoning to death, or dragged through town as an adulteress, or some other fate. Yes, he put his dreams aside and said “Yes” to God, but I look forward to understanding why. As a man, I am wont to think because he chose to do the noble thing, the faithful thing, the kind and loving thing. Bottom line, he accepted a different plan than his own by putting others first. Now that’s an example we can all learn from. Thanks for expanding my understanding ma’am. God’s blessings and Merry CHRISTmas.

  3. CathyChung on December 17, 2019 at 7:54 AM

    J.D. I’m certain Joseph was a good man and did the noble thing. After all, he was going to divorce her quietly, we can presume so as not to get her killed. He certainly was a man of faith to recognize the directive from God in his dream and take on Mary’s condition openly. These are real people who struggle with real situations. That encourages me.
    I love your Merry CHRISTmas greetings! Jesus is Coming!

    • Brad Simon on December 22, 2019 at 2:09 PM

      What a great reminder this Christmas season. Often our plans for our life fail. But God does have a better plan. How often do we miss His plan for us because we are not listening to Him and only focused on ourselves.

  4. Lila Diller on December 22, 2019 at 9:40 PM

    I never thought about Joseph also having his reputation tarnished. Thanks for this new pespective.

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