Though different from Mary’s situation (fortunately!), I recently had the opportunity to experience the comfort and joy that comes through confirmation.
You know how it goes, right? You have some very specific requests that you bring before God. These are things important to you. These are things where you really need to know which direction He wants you to take. Perhaps you adopt the approach of David in Psalm 5, where he writes, “In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.” You come into His presence, you talk to Him about what’s going on and what you really need from Him, and then you wait to see how He is going to respond. Sometimes He gets back to you right away, and sometimes He doesn’t. Sometimes it’s what you want to hear, and sometimes it isn’t.
I know, of course, that in Mary’s situation it wasn’t about her praying and God answering (and thus confirming). I know it was about God promising and then confirming to reassure her that she had heard right and that the plan really was the plan. But we do know from Scripture that God loves us, cares about us, actively guides us and answers prayer. We have chapter and verse on that. We have promises we can sink our teeth into. It is ultimately true that our prayers are always a response to His promises. Whether He approaches us with a promise, or we approach Him as a result of a promise, comfort and joy comes when He provides confirmation.
For me, I was looking for guidance. As I sat in my office and prayed, I was open to whatever direction He wanted me to go. I just wanted it to be clear. And clarity was what I got! Within about 20 minutes He provided me with the confirmation I was looking for. Then about a week or so later He gave me more confirmation. Then a few days later He gave me even more! Within about two weeks He had provided me with three very solid and easily identifiable confirmations to my request that afternoon. You know what? I was filled with both comfort and joy.
An encouragement this text gives us is to rest assured that God will confirm His plans and desires for us. The challenge, I suppose, is to be on the lookout for it and to let it have its intended effect (especially when we get confirmation that points to a direction we were hoping to avoid).
In Mary’s case, and in mine, the confirmation was good news. May it be so for you this day as well.