How Did Mary Show Faith the First Christmas?

Mary’s mouth gaped. The angel had vanished as quickly as he’d appeared leaving Mary’s mind whirling with awe and questions. God had chosen her—a nobody—to be the mother of His Son! Who could she tell? Who would believe her? Would Joseph? The angel said her cousin Elizabeth also carried a miracle child. And her husband was a priest. She would visit Elizabeth and Zechariah.

Elizabeth’s welcome astonished Mary.

In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!’” (Luke 1:42-45 NIV).

Mary’s hope soared; she didn’t even have to explain! Would the Lord prepare Joseph as He had Elizabeth?

Three months passed, and Mary returned home. There was no delicate way to say, “Joseph, I am pregnant. But it’s not how it looks. I am carrying God’s son.” She rested her hand on her stomach and smiled. God would make a way.

God’s Mysterious Ways

Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us that God’s ways are not like our ways—they’re better. That includes His timing. I tend to forget that. But Mary didn’t. While Mary surely hoped God would prepare Joseph as He had Elizabeth—no one enjoys being rejected or misjudged—she fully trusted Him.

And God trusted Mary to walk through pain and hardship with Him.

Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us that God’s ways are not like our ways—they’re better. That includes His timing. I tend to forget that. #FirstChristmas, #RefreshingFaith Share on X

Joseph and Mary’s betrothal was a formal covenant relationship that could only be broken by death or divorce. The Bible doesn’t say how Joseph learned of Mary’s pregnancy, but he believed she’d been unfaithful. According to the law, adultery couldn’t be overlooked.

Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly” (Matthew 1:19 NIV).

While Joseph considered what to do, God sent an angel to Joseph.

‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ … When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife” (Matt. 1:20-21, 24 NIV).

Mary Trusted God

Mary inspires me in many ways, but I want to focus on one aspect—her faith. She didn’t have to convince Joseph of her innocence or figure out the virgin birth. It didn’t matter if the inn was full and she didn’t have a midwife. Even King Herod’s murderous rampage couldn’t overshadow the wonder of God’s promise: Jesus would “save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21 NIV).

Has a loss or misunderstanding darkened your thoughts this Christmas season? Every year contains both pain and joy. May we follow Mary’s example and let the light of God’s promise chase the shadows away. For Immanuel has come. God is with us (Matt. 1:23).

Blessed is she who has believed” (Luke 1:45 NIV).

Has a loss or misunderstanding darkened your thoughts this #Christmas season? Let the light of God’s promise chase the shadows away. #Faith Share on X

Click here to comment. Learn more about Mary and Joseph in Little Women, Big God.


Photo by Davies Designs Studio on Unsplash

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InspireMeMonday, #InstaEncouraements, #TellHisStory and here #Recharge Wednesday, #Grace&Truth,

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  1. PaulaShort

    Debbie, such a fantastic post. I love your insights and encouragement within. This was such a blessing to me today. Blessings and Merry Christmas.
    Visiting today from Inspire Me Monday #1 & 2.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Paula! I enjoy pondering the Christmas story from the different points of view.

  2. Joanne Viola

    Debbie, this is a beautiful and encouraging post. It is amazing to look at these familiar stories through fresh eyes. There was no easy way for Mary to break the news to Joseph. How amazing for our God to break the news to Joseph through an angel. May we, like Mary, trust God in the assurance He is faithful and all He does is good. May you and yours have a blessed Christmas!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Joanne. May you and your family enjoy your celebration of Immanuel.

  3. J.D. Wininger

    Some great points to consider Ms. Debbie. Thank you so much ma’am; and Merry CHRISTmas friends.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, J.D. May you and yours have a blessed Christmas!

  4. Earle Finley

    Merry Christmas Larry, Debbie and family,


    Earle and Sara Finley

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Earle and Sara. Merry Christmas to you both and to your families.

  5. Ann J Musico

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder. I need that same unwavering faith and trust in the face of what looks so bad in the natural.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Ann. Mary challenges and inspires me!

  6. Nancy E. Head

    We had a discussion at Bible study this week about Mary. Was she stalwart in her faith or did she feel fear when she realized Joseph didn’t believe her? Did she believe God would convince Him to understand the situation? Did she fear the retribution of the community–even for a short time?

    We can only speculate on the answers. But her faith in submitting to God’s will no matter what is inspiration for sure.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Nancy, I like thinking of all that too. Because she was human I’m sure she felt all kinds of emotions and was full of questions. But unlike Zechariah, she didn’t doubt God. She lived by her faith not by her fears. Her song of praise in Luke 1:46-55 totally amazes to me. I believe her trust was in God not in Joseph. If Joseph abandoned her, God’s plan would still be fulfilled. What an example for us in unsteady times.

  7. Lisa Blair

    This is so true, Debbie, “Every year contains both pain and joy.” Yet, “Blessed is she who has believed” (Luke 1:45 NIV). I appreciate this, “God allows situations that test our faith so we will experience Him in fresh ways.”

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Lisa. God bless!

  8. Geoff Watson

    Mary lived by faith, and while she undoubtedly had concerns, questions and even fears, faith was central in her life.

    This is gold Debbie. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Geoff. Mary certainly inspires me.

  9. Annie Yorty

    Mary’s faith is certainly commendable and inspiring to me. Thank you for this encouragement, Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Annie, Mary inspires me. Thanks for dropping by.

  10. Lisa notes

    Mary’s faith will forever be an inspiration to all of us who long to willingly hear the Lord’s word and follow him. Merry Christmas to you, Debbie!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Lisa. Merry Christmas to you too!

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