Trusting God's goodness

In Luke 1, we read the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth.  They had been barren for years when an angel appeared to Zechariah in his old age and told him he was going to have a son.  Zechariah's first response was fear at the angel's presence, but then he responded with doubt after the message was delivered by exclaiming, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”  He is old, but his wife is really old, and Zechariah didn't believe the angel's words. Then angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news."  The angel was saying, "Really Zechariah?  You were terrified of me just a minute ago and now you are going to question what I am telling you?  Then the angel sentenced him to silence for the next nine months.  He couldn't speak, probably couldn't hear, and was left alone with his thoughts for the duration.  
          Zechariah’s doubt arose out of the past hurt he had experienced. He doubted that God was capable of providing a son because he was focused on and bitter over the past years of disappointment. Zechariah thought his past trumped the promises of the almighty, all-powerful God.  We do that sometimes.  We think God has forgotten us or can't have a plan for us because of all the things we have messed up in the past. God silenced Zechariah to teach him to trust in God's love and goodness.
          When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son and on the eighth day, her neighbors and relatives came together to circumcise and name the child.  They wanted to name him after his father, but Elizabeth said, "No! He is to be called John."  They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who has that name." Then they made signs to Zechariah, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.”  Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God.   
The purpose of God’s discipline in your life is that you overflow with God's joy in a way that makes you burst out in praise. Some of you are being disciplined, but the older I get, the more I believe and know that God’s love and tenderness is seen in his discipline of us.  Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Learn to trust in the goodness of God. That trust will enable you to surrender to Him, to trust Him with your problems, and to pray boldly for all those he sets before you.
In Him,
Pastor Boyd

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