Joseph is a good example of how we at times need assurance from God and at times need guidance from God. Joseph had planned to quietly divorce Mary, so she would not be publicly disgraced and be at risk of public stoning. He did not believe Mary at first, but did not want to harm her. In America when we have a big decision to make we like to say “let me sleep on it” as in give me some time to make a good decision. Well Joseph literally slept on it. He went to sleep and the angel spoke to him in his dream to tell him that the child Mary was going to have actually was from God and to not be afraid to take Mary as his wife.
There are times we can face a big decision or have confusion. During those times it helps to slow down long enough to hear God’s calm voice of guidance. Take time to pray and meditate on God’s word. God is speaking all of the time. It might be through friends, through life circumstances, or through prayer. He may even speak to us in a dramatic fashion if we don’t listen to His first messages and He wants to get our attention like He did with Joseph.
When the angel spoke to Joseph in the dream, the angel gave Joseph assurance about God’s will by saying the child was from the Holy Spirit and to not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. There are times we need assurance that we are in God’s will. The angel also gave Joseph instruction regarding God’s plan. The angel told him, “you are to name him Jesus because He will save His people from their sins.” Joseph had his first instructions as to what he needed to do. As we read later in Matthew’s account, Joseph followed directions by naming the baby Jesus. When we ask for guidance, it will come with directions. The follow through is what we need to ask God for strength to do sometimes.