Christmas Devotional | Day 3
December 3, 2017
Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017 | Our Doubt and God’s Faithfulness
We are often slow to believe, but God always keeps His promises.
And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this [that my wife will have a child]? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
Have you ever prayed for something for a long time, possibly even years, only to be surprised when the prayer was answered? Maybe the answer didn’t come in the way you expected, or perhaps it didn’t come as quickly as you had hoped, but for whatever reason, God’s answer left you scratching your head.
When Zechariah received the news that his wife would bear a son in her old age, the son for whom the couple had prayed for years, he doubted God. Despite the fact that the news was delivered by an angel from heaven, Zechariah wanted further confirmation. He was slow to believe.
Before we look down our noses at Zechariah, we have to remember how slow we are to believe. We question God’s Word because it doesn’t fit our own expectations or the world’s wisdom. We trust in our own strength instead of the power of the gospel. How soon we forget that the God who speaks to us in His Word is perfectly wise and all-powerful. Gratefully, He is also merciful.
Zechariah’s punishment was, in a sense, fitting. Right as God was breaking His silence with Israel, He closed Zechariah’s mouth.
When the angel told Zechariah that his wife was going to have a child, Zechariah doubted God. God punished Zechariah by taking away his ability to speak. We are reminded that we should always believe God’s Word, even when it seems impossible. God gave Elizabeth a child, just as He had promised. He can do all things, and He is faithful.
Name some teachings in Scripture that you have doubted in the past. What has helped you grow in your faith in God’s Word?
For Kids: What do we mean when we say that God is faithful? Is there anything in the Bible that you find difficult to believe? (Give your kids an example of how the Lord has strengthened your faith in His promises.)
Ask God to strengthen your faith so that you might rely on His faithfulness and rest in His promises.
For Further Reading
For more about why we can trust and delight in God’s Word, read Psalm 19 and 2 Timothy 3:14–17.
“. . . you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Practical Response – Pray for the Unreached
Take time this week to pray for those around the world who are unreached with the gospel. Unreached peoples and places are those among whom Christ is largely unknown and the church is relatively insufficient to make Christ known in its broader population without outside help. Pray for believers to be sent to proclaim the gospel where it is not now known. To find out more about unreached peoples and places, visit the following websites:
Devotional credit: Radical, Inc.
To Us a Son is Given: Christmas Devotional 2017
The end goal of this devotional is for you and your family to listen to Scripture and rejoice in the God who sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, for the salvation of sinners like us. What better way to spend the Christmas season?
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