Session 11

Walk by faith, not by sight

From A Celebration of Advent: A 25-Day Devotional

When Caesar Augustus decided to take a census, the timing couldn’t have been worse for Joseph and Mary. They weren’t yet married, and Mary was due any day. 

Bethlehem is immortalized to us now, but imagine what the journey meant for Joseph and Mary. There are many things a heavily pregnant woman wants to do, and none of them start with walking 70 miles to your soon-to-be in-laws’ house.

They would be exhausted and embarrassed. They would feel others’ stares and have their fears confirmed when they’re told, “There’s no room for you in the inn.”

But what Caesar meant for tax collection, God used to fulfill His Word. In making the long, dirty, and difficult journey, Mary and Joseph fulfilled Micah’s promise that Israel’s ruler would come from Bethlehem. 

“We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.” - 2 Corinthians 5:6-7

The road to Bethlehem was part of Joseph and Mary’s faith journey. It’s the place where they learned to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Our faith saves us, but it’s also what helps us keep going, day in and day out.  

Like Joseph and Mary, all of us will face moments when the road seems too long and the cost too high. Faith is believing God’s sight is better than ours. It’s trusting that all things — even a long, arduous journey — are for His glory and our good. 

  • Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, the verses just before this mention of walking by faith. What do hard times have the power to give us?
  • Hebrews 11:1 says, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” What are you hoping for in the coming year? What step of faith is God asking you to take? 

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