We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Brandon Krech.


Bible Reading:

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Isaiah 7:14

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us).”

Matthew 1:22-23


When we look at the prophecy fulfilled in these scriptures and think about what it is about the virgin birth that brings joy, there are so many little things that you can get joy from that just take a different perspective. 700 plus years transpired between the prophet Isaiah and Jesus’ life. That means the Israelites waited listening to stories generation after generation for the prophecies to be fulfilled. Today we struggle to wait more than 2 days for something to be shipped to us. 


Let’s look at joy in this prophecy from Isaiah 7:14, starting with God loving us so much he sent a child to redeem us for our sins. Joy, in the fact that God was sent to walk among us so that death and resurrection could happen so that we may join him in heaven with our salvation through Christ. Joy, in Mary’s obedience to God, being faithful and accepting the seed and bearing a child unwed and untouched by man. Joy, in Joseph, being an honorable man and respecting Mary so much that he did not put her out in shame or ask for her to be persecuted for her pregnancy. Joy, in Mary’s family accepting her with a child, unwed (Luke 1:39-45). Joy, that in an age where women had little to no rights, Joseph treated Mary with compassion.


Joy, that Jesus had parents that were picked because of their hearts for others. We can see fruit of the Spirit all over Mary and Joseph Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” How many of these things can you see in Joseph and Mary? It is no wonder God chose them.


Think of their situation, this is old Jewish society, where the act of unwed birth could have got you, according to Levitical law, put to death or burned with fire (Leviticus 20:10/Leviticus 21:9). Mary accepted with a joy filled heart, to be obedient to God to carry Emmanuel which is translated from Hebrew meaning God with us. Scripture tells us that God sees the nature of our hearts so if she only in her head accepted but, in her heart, had doubts, the miracle would not have been so.  (Jeremiah 17:10/Matthew 5:8/etc.).


God is a loving God and would not have forced Mary to accept this child if her heart was not joyful and pure. Think of the fears that would have or could have pushed her to say no. She could have lost everything, including her life. She did not think about that aspect, or at least the bible does not indicate that she had anything but joy and acceptance for taking this baby of God’s. I can remember when my wife first got pregnant, the fears that ran through my head, the doubts, and we were planning it, to think of just being asked by God to conceive a child would have undoubtedly been a point of failure for me.


I thank God for the joy in the moment of our lives. How many of us will or would completely give it all for our heavenly Father like Mary and Joseph? To put our lives on the line, to stand against persecution. We often struggle to step up and pray with a stranger when God directs us, yet Mary found joy in the Lord and accepted a baby, a baby! For me I can look over my life and see many failed moments when our Father called on me and I let the natural world and my mind prevent me from obeying, but I know I do not have to ponder and worry about the opportunities missed, just apologize and ask for forgiveness. We can rejoice in the mercy of God, we can rejoice that He loves us so much, we can rejoice in His patience, we can rejoice in his grace, we can rejoice for those that led the way and set the examples for us to follow, we can rejoice for the Word which he sent us, and we can rejoice for Mary fulfilled the prophecy!



Father, I thank you for the joy that was in the heart of Mary when she accepted and fulfilled the prophecy that Isaiah got from you centuries prior. I thank you for helping me find joy in the little things in life, that the joy of the Lord is my strength, that your joy is present this holiday season as we get closer to celebrating the birth of our Lord. That we find joy in all areas of our lives, in our work, in our homes, in our families, in our solitude for we know Lord you made it possible, and that no matter what twists and turns the world has set before us you will make our ways straight if we keep our eyes on You, if we keep joy in our heart, and rejoice in all that you have given us, Amen!



Take some time to reflect on these questions:

  • How do you define joy?
  • What brings you joy? 

Next time God asks you to do something, think of Mary, and just say to yourself, she carried a baby, had to raise the savior, and ask yourself, “Can I handle this task my Father has asked of me?”  For the creator of the world has chosen you to help, has asked you to step up and be a blessing for others. If you have never felt the presence of God, find joy in His word, open your bible, ask God to guide and inspire you and help you find joy within it.  

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