Looking at Luke 1, I find it interesting that we have one person being blessed by a removal of shame, and another one being blessed with what would (at least initially) have been considered shame.
Elizabeth was considered barren. Women who couldn’t bear children dealt with ridicule and disgrace (see Hannah in 1 Samuel). Zechariah and Elizabeth were considered righteous in God’s eyes (Luke 1:6), yet she had no children.
God saw them, however, and in His time He gave Elizabeth that which would remove her public disgrace. And they rejoiced!
Mary was a young woman who was pledged to be married. To have a child at this time would bring disgrace to her and her husband. A typical man would have divorced her, or even had her stoned for adultery. Mary, though, rejoiced in God, full knowing what this would bring her. Joseph, an honorable man, was going to divorce her quietly so that she would live. But when an angel of the Lord confirmed her story, he chose to stay with her (See Matthew 1).
One’s grace removed, another received disgrace… Yet all of it was for the glory of God!
Sometimes we are called to do things for the Lord that will make us look good. Sometimes we will be ridiculed. Zechariah and Elizabeth stayed faithful through a lifetime of disgrace even though they did nothing wrong, and God blessed them in His time. Mary was disgraced publicly, at least at the time, although she did nothing wrong, and God blessed her as well.
Sometimes God removes a lifetime of shame — and in most cases sin. When He does this He can use it for His glory. Sometimes living faithfully in this midst of trial is what we are called to do to bring Him glory. And sometimes we will be persecuted for our faith, and our faithfulness through the battle will bring Him glory.
Our call is to be like Mary,
“I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. ”Luke 1:38, NLT