“But when he had considered this”
“This” refers to Joseph’s contemplation to put Mary away quietly. Joseph was a righteous man and wanted to please God will all his heart. He was put in a situation where he had a choice to make. He just was not sure what the right choice was. Should he 1) do what God’s law requires if some woman were caught in adultery in the betrothal period, 2) divorce her quietly, regaining his social honor or 3) keep Mary as his wife and lose all favor with society? Often times following Christ means that we lose favor with the world. Let us consider what little information Joseph had to make his decision. Here were the facts. 1) Mary was pregnant. 2) He knew he was not the father. 3) Mary claimed that the baby was conceived of the HS. 4) Both Mary and Joseph were people of good reputation in the fear of the Lord. 5) Joseph had a decision to make.
How often in life, as believers, are we in situations where God has given us little information yet requires great faith? In fact, could we not measure a man’s faith by his knowledge of the situation? For instance, by following God in this situation, Joseph displayed great faith because he lacked sight or information. He did not, until some period of time, receive the dream from the angel telling him to “not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.” And even then, all his instructions were to “not be afraid because (finally a reason not to be afraid) the child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” Immediately his suspicion of Mary’s innocence was put to rest. An angle had visited him! But think of all of the information the angel could have shared with Joseph that would have been very helpful for him to know such as, 1) will Mary be stoned? 2) Where will we live? 3) How will I support my new family? 4) How will God provide? 5) where will we be in a year? And a dozen other questions!
If God would have given Joseph all the answers, certainly his trepidation would have decreased but his faith would have done the same. To the degree that you have information about the future is the degree that your faith is tested. Much information requires little faith. Little information requires much prayer. You see, it is not faith if we have all the answers. God gets the glory when His people trust in Him with very limited information. Do you find yourself in a situation that requires much faith? Then glory be to God! Trust in the Lord and in due time He will provide the answers to your questions.
Another question to consider is, how does this reality of faith apply to the gospel? The information we have is this. Rom 10:13 “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” This is a wonderful promise that we must trust in to have our sins forgiven and be ushered into heaven one day. God requires us to then trust Him with our lives and do and go wherever He tells us. We have no other information than this. We do not know where we shall live, what we shall do, or even with what sort of death we shall glorify our savior. This requires great faith but it is a faith in which God supplies