Archive for April 12th, 2008

From Doubt to Praise

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Luke 1:67-80 (ESV-text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Melody Merida):

There are many spiritual gifts that God chooses to bestow. The one gift that I have always wanted to have is the gift of prophecy — I’ve even been envious of those who have been given this gift. It seems as though my spiritual gifts are boring when compared with something exciting like prophecy. When I read Zechariah’s prophecy about his son I am again stirred by the remarkable nature of this gift.

Let’s face it; Zechariah’s prophecy is nothing short of incredible! After so many years of ancient prophecies predicting the arrival of the Messiah, Zechariah was proclaiming that the Messiah would come in his lifetime. Even more remarkable — his very own son would be called upon to prepare the way for him. How cool is that?!

But didn’t we just read a couple of days ago about Zechariah doubting the words of the angel of God? Didn’t we see this man being made mute because he didn’t believe what God told him would happen? Now here we are a few months later and Zechariah is praising God and prophesying about the Messiah to come who will “shine on those living in darkness.” This same man who doubted the promise of God is now the father of John the Baptist, the prophet who went before Jesus and prepared the way for Him. Can God really use someone like this, who was so full of doubt?

We can see throughout the Bible that many of the people God used to accomplish great things started as doubters. God continued to be patient with people like Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Gideon, and Zechariah.

I think that honest doubt is not such a bad starting point as long as we don’t stay there. That is the key to the story of Zechariah — he gave up the doubt and replaced it with praise for God. The first words out of his mouth when his speech was restored were, “Praise be to the Lord.” He chose to move away from doubt to belief. It was only then that God could work through him with the incredible prophecy.

Thought for the day: Full of doubt? Dare to be like Zechariah, and replace the doubt with praise. Then stand back and see what God can do through you.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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