During this week of Christmas, let's offer a little praise to Mary. She did something wonderful that should be heralded-and yet it is something within the reach of any one of us: She believed what God told her. As her cousin Elizabeth said of her:
"Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord" (Luke 1:45).
Now what was spoken to Mary from the Lord was a very particular word-that she would be the mother of the Messiah (Luke 1:31), and that particular word was not spoken to you or me. But that should not blind us to the fact that God has spoken to you and me certain things that belong to all of us as believers. And you and I are as able as Mary to "believe that there [will] be a fulfillment of what was spoken to [us] from the Lord."
I note that the first thing Mary was required to believe, according to the text, was not that she would conceive Jesus, but that she had found favor with God (verse 30). That might seem neither here nor there to you, but it is indeed a word that must be believed. If she had chosen not to believe that-if in the hours after the angel's apparition, she had started to doubt and second-guess what she heard-who knows what would have happened? Do you believe that you are favored (Read Ephesians 1)?
For here is an astounding thing: Even in the case of Sarah, Abraham's wife, we learn that it was by faith that Sarah was enabled to conceive!
"By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past age, since she considered him faithful who had promised" (Hebrews 11:11).
Imagine what kind of faith could be so strong that it could catalyze a biological conception! That is what the text says. And all that Sarah did was "consider him faithful." Mary, too.
Do you "consider him faithful"? Do you read your Bible and take to heart every promise God made to you, and "consider him faithful" to be able to do it for you? List everything in the Bible that seems like a promise-and tell God you believe it.