how can I be sure?

Luke 1

Do you ever wonder if God will really come through for you?

Zechariah must have. He and his wife spent decades praying and asking God for a child… but got no response.

One day an angel shows up, frightens Zechariah to death, and gives him the best news he’s ever had: he’s going to be a father!

You’d think that after decades of desperately longing for a child, Zechariah would respond like he had just won the lottery. But something holds him back. Something causes him to respond instead with a question:

“How can I be sure of this?”

Now, when I ask that question, angelic visitation is usually pretty high on my list of ways God can prove himself to me.

Why did Zechariah respond this way?

Did the years of unanswered prayers discourage him so much that he was afraid to hope? Had the disappointment caused him to doubt that God really cared for him? Did the promise that his son would be a prophet just seem too good to be true?

Contrast this with Mary’s response, mere verses later, when an angel shows up and tells her something even more improbable. She, a virgin, is going to give birth to the Messiah. What’s her question?

“How will this be?”

Her question assumes that God will do it. She doesn’t understand how it can happen. She wants to know more. But she believes.

What’s your response when God doesn’t meet your expectations?

Do you allow unanswered prayers and unfulfilled dreams to keep you from seeing the goodness and faithfulness of God? Would not even an angelic visitation be enough to convince you?

Or do you continue to look to God and trust Him even as you cry “God, I don’t understand!”

Today's Blogger: Tom Warsaw

Tomorrow's Text: Luke 10:1-20:47