Being saturated with scriptures reinforces our ability to trust wholly in the promises of God.
How do you react when you receive life-changing news? Mary was young and in an exciting time of her life. She was engaged, awaiting marriage. Then, her whole life took a sharp turn. Luke 1:31-34 tells the story, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
In one instant everything she had envisioned for her future changed. She was beginning a new phase of her journey in uncharted waters. She only asked one questions, but can you imagine all of the other thoughts going through her mind?
How is this physically possible? What would Joseph think? What would her family and society think? How would this change the course she envisioned for herself? Would she be stoned for this?
Reading this alone stirs my emotions. Putting myself in Mary’s place I can begin to feel anxiety, stress, and fear creeping in. Yet, Mary’s initial response was the complete opposite. Her response was beautiful, full of peace and trust. Verse 38, “And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’” In the moment of the biggest, most life-changing news she could have gotten, Mary chose to submit to the will of God, to trust in His promises, to trust in His character, and to find peace in the Angel’s proclamation, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” (verse 37)
How did she respond with such poise, grace, and maturity? How was she not stressing? How was she not consumed with the cares and concerns associated with the fact that her life was going to look totally different? The answer is simple. Her mind and thoughts were consumed with scripture and truth. Mary knew God. He was her Savior (verse 47). James 4:7-8 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” In that moment, Mary chose to submit herself fully to her Savior. She chose to draw near to God and to trust in His promises.
The next words that we hear from Mary are words of a song of praise. In Luke 1:46-55 we are given further depth into how Mary could react to such life-altering news the way she did.
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
We learn a lot from young Mary as to how to respond to life-altering news if you are living in the Word of God. In her response, she referenced many Old Testament scriptures which tells us that her mind was consumed with the Word of God. In this we see that being saturated with scriptures reinforces our ability to trust wholly in the promises of God.
Mary’s response to God’s promises and plans was first and foremost praise (verses 46-47). Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” She was able to rejoice in God and His plans for her because she knew that God was on her side, and He would be with her as she walked through the fire. She knew that her Savior would not let the flames consume her.
Then, Mary looked at what God has done (verses 48-55). Psalm 126:3 “The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” She chose to remember all of the ways in which God had upheld the humble, shown relentless mercy, and filled the hungry with good things. When we stop to remember the victories that God has given us we and when we take time to recall how He is loving and good to His promises, our next steps become more confident.
Next, she looked at the result of His promises. Deuteronomy 7:9 tells us, “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” Then in Psalm 145:13 we read, “The LORD always keeps his promises; He is gracious in all He does.” Mary knew that God is THE One and Only God. She knew that He was good to ALL of His promises. No matter how unrealistic or impossible her situation was by worldly standards, her God could and would do anything that He willed for His glory and her good.
Finally, she looked at the character of God. She proclaimed His mercies. She proclaimed His identity. She proclaimed His strength. She proclaimed His sovereignty over all things. When she could have easily become overwhelmed by this life-changing news, she chose not to focus on herself and her situation which changed so quickly, but instead she turned her thoughts to the character of her unchanging God. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Mary proclaimed the gifts of God and the blessing of His unchanging character, and found strength to stand in an impossible situation.
When your mind becomes so consumed with scripture that you begin to grasp how unfathomable and incomprehensibly big God is, then no promise He makes seems outlandish. There is no promise of His that cannot supersede our expectations.
Look at the promises of God and His plans for you as a gift that He will complete. Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” God Himself will complete His plans for your life. Romans 8:18 says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Even in life-changing news, trust in God’s character and power.
Know that His glory will be revealed.