“In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years.
Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1:5-17
By Osasu Ehiorobo
The Bible tells us that both Zechariah and Elizabeth were Godly people and righteous in God’s eyes. They obeyed and feared the Lord but in all these characteristics, they had no child. It was a terrible hardship to have no children; they must have suffered painfully. Until God intervened, this had also happened to the parents of Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Samson, and Samuel. That’s quite a list—these are some of the most famous people in Israel’s history!
On a day that Zechariah least expected, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the sanctuary. The angel assured him that God had answered his prayers: his wife will bear a child and they should call him John. John (meaning “YAHWEH has been gracious”) would have the spirit and power of Elijah and would prepare the coming of the Lord.
Brethren, your present hardship does not mean life will always be difficult. The fact that God has not responded to your prayer request does not mean He has abandoned you and your household. At the appointed time God will make His will be done in our lives. As long as we keep our faith strong and do God’s work, He will not let us down.
Do not be discouraged. God sends good, surprising things to those who wait and pray. Never underestimate what God can do at any time of His choosing. God will decide both the ‘what’ and the ‘when’ of everything.
Father, forgive us for doubting your power when the going gets tough. No matter what we are going through, help us to follow Your will and gain victory. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.