By Carolyn Dale Newell
“But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”
Luke 1:20 NKJV
Do you ever find it difficult to believe God will fulfill His promises? Do you struggle to trust Him to provide when the bank account is empty? Have you stopped believing He will heal?
You are not alone. Even Zacharias, a devout priest, could not believe the words of Gabriel concerning the promised birth of John the Baptist.
Zacharias and Elizabeth had longed for a child. They are the New Testament Abraham and Sarah.
Gabriel appeared before Zacharias as he performed his priestly duties in the temple. He told Zacharias his prayers would be answered with the birth of a son, but not just any child. He was the forerunner for the Messiah.
Zacharias wanted proof. He doubted Gabriel’s news. They were old, and Elizabeth was well past her childbearing years. The angel reminded the priest he was Gabriel, the archangel. He had been sent by God to bring these glad tidings, but Zacharias responded in unbelief. Gabriel informed Zacharias he would be mute because of his disbelief. Doubt was silenced, not likely what Zacharias had in mind as proof.
Mary received a visit from the same angel. She responded in faith, not in doubt. Gabriel told Mary she would give birth to the Son of God. Such astonishing news, but she believed and rejoiced.
Both Zacharias and Mary were fearful at the sight of an angel. Gabriel encouraged both of them not to fear.
Mary’s question was one of curiosity. How could she give birth as a virgin?
A wise old priest failed to trust the promise from God, but a young teenage girl’s faith encompassed much more.
Gabriel revealed Elizabeth’s news to Mary, because they were kin. Mary journeyed to the house of Elizabeth and Zacharias. Imagine the dinner table talk between faithful Mary and Elizabeth. Two women, in the same family, were selected by God to give birth to special little boys.
Zacharias’ speech did not return until after the child was born, and it was time to name him. Obviously, Zacharias had communicated Gabriel’s message to his wife, because she knew to name the baby John.
Without a doubt, doubt dies hard. Like poison ivy, it continues to come back. We are children of God residing in bodies of flesh. Bodies prone to disease. Bodies prone to injury. Bodies prone to sin, and bodies prone to doubt.
In a promise-breaking world, doubt comes naturally, yet, God has never broken a promise. His timing may not match ours, but God always breaks through. Silence doubt before doubt silences you.
Doubt mutes our testimonies. It is an affront to God, our heavenly Father. The inability to believe hinders us from encouraging others. Stand firm on the truth in Luke 1:37: “For with God nothing will be impossible.”
Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Read Luke 1:5-45.
HIKING THE TRAIL
Shun every thought of doubt as soon as it enters your mind. Avoid people who cannot believe, and surround yourself with those who believe all things are possible with God.
Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.