Have you ever received a word from God? Not just the words received when you read and study the Bible. I mean a specific, just-for-you, kind of word from God.
I have. I'll share a little about that later on. For now, let's take a look at a story in the Bible of someone that had a bit of a problem believing what God had to say.
Luke begins his account of the birth of Jesus Christ with the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth. Elizabeth was a relative of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her husband Zechariah was a priest. They had no children in their old age, because Elizabeth had been infertile their entire marriage.
One day, the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah while he was burning incense in the temple of the Lord. Gabriel came with great news: Elizabeth would become pregnant with a son, a son that would be a joy to them and a great leader for God.
So what do you think Zechariah said? "Oh messenger of the Lord, thank you for this great prophesy. Praise God for His favor!"
Not exactly. His lines read a little more like this:
"How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years."
Zechariah doubted the word of God. Instead of rejoicing in the message from God, he wallowed in disbelief. Even though we know the story ends well, with John being born to Elizabeth and becoming all Gabriel had promised he would, I have to think Zechariah regretted his response of doubt. And God gave him plenty of time to reflect and repent. For nine months, God struck Zechariah's tongue, making him mute until the birth of John.
Have you ever doubted God? I sure have. But I distinctly remember a time that I truly believed God's word to me. At that time I had suffered two miscarriages, and had already adopted my Christian. I had always wondered if I would have another biological child, even though we were planning to adopt again.
While reading the Bible one day, I read a scripture where God told Joseph (of the Old Testament) that He would give him a child from his own body. Suddenly, in my mind the words in my Bible looked like they were lifting off the page. I knew God was clearly speaking those words to me. That day I knew I would have another child from my own body.
I believed God. And a few years later, my little Jada was born on the eve of my birthday. What a sweet birthday gift she was.
I haven't always believed God with such conviction. But, oh the joy I experience when I do!
This Christmas holiday, let's commit to believing God. Let's believe His holy word -- the Bible. Let's believe His personal words to us. Let's believe Him when everyone around us rolls their eyes at our "foolish" faith. If we can believe that God came to earth as a little baby in a manger, surely we can believe Him for smaller miracles in our own lives.
After all, He's never broken a promise yet.
Before you go, I've posted a song by Martha Munizzi, "I Believe God". May it encourage you to always believe.