Zechariah and Elizabeth were a couple in the Bible who lived their lives in service to God. They were barren and could not have any children, and this was not because they didn’t deserve to have children. They lived righteously. God made them barren so that He could display His work through them. God didn’t put them through this trail as a punishment. They were not rejected by Him, they were part of God’s perfect plan to be used for good. They had prayed for children for a long time. Then, one day the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah and said the words he had been longing to hear – he was going to have a son! They spent years and years praying for a child, and by the time God answered their prayers, their hope began to run cold. They had a hard time believing the news when Gabriel appeared to them. Even serious spiritual leaders like Zechariah struggle with keeping their hope alive. Here are a few lessons we can learn as we stand firm in our hope.
- God has a good plan for your life. His plans are to bring us good and Himself glory. Romans 8:28 tells us “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
- God wants to show us His work. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” He wants to show us His plans for us!
- If we ask, God will increase our faith. Even spiritual giants like Zechariah needed to call out to God when their faith is strained.
- God always answers our prayers. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it is no, and sometimes it is “wait.” When God tells you to wait, don’t think of it as denial. Think of it as God preparing you for what is to come. With God, all things are possible.
- God’s timing is perfect. We want things now, but God has the big picture in mind. We can only see what is in front of us. His ways are much higher than our own. Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us this.
Do you have prayers that you feel have been unanswered by God? Have you lost hope for those things you prayed about? God told Zecharaih and Sarah to wait, and he eventually said yes. He may be telling you to wait. Whatever the case, never give up hope because God has a plan for your life, He wants to show you it, He will increase our faith if we ask, He always answers our prayers, and His timing is perfect.