Dealing with Disappointment
(Supplemented from Week One of ‘Hope is Coming’ message, preached Sunday 4 Dec, 2016)
Reading: Luke 1 v 8 - 22
Our reading this morning takes us back a little chronologically, but I want to talk briefly today about dealing with disappointment.
As I was preparing the message that shaped today’s devotional I really prayed for fresh insight into why Gabriel would render Zechariah unable to speak.
Was God being cruel, meting out punishment for Zechariah’s unbelief or, was there something more? I believe there was.
I believe God was being kind to Zechariah. You see, God was making a promise to Zechariah in an area of his life that caused him and his wife incredible disappointment. He and Elizabeth no longer believed having a child was possible. I believe he and his wife no longer prayed for a child and had stopped doing so for many years. So when Gabriel arrives with the promise of a son, Zechariah weighs this against his pain and disappointment together with his and Elizabeth’s obvious physical realities and concludes that having children is not possible. God then closes his mouth. Why?
As I say, God was being kind.
When it comes to receiving fresh words and promises from God often the older you get, the more convincing you need. And shutting up his mouth would not so much be a sign of punishment, but a sign that what God said was true. Rendering him speechless whilst a tad inconvenient would have given Zechariah enough confidence to believe what God was saying was true. We can tell he had enough confidence - the story tells us that Jesus was the only baby conceived by the Holy Spirit!
Are you open to receiving fresh revelation from God’s word about your hurt or disappointment? It’s hard to do because you feel let down by life and even by God. But this story is not only a reminder to us that God still answers the prayers we no longer pray but He is able to breathe fresh life into the dry and disappointed places in our lives.
‘Dear God, this is a big prayer, but I invite you to breath fresh life into the dry and disappointed places in my life. I want to trust in you again. Please heal my hurt and with your word in my heart move my feet forward into the life you have for me to live, Amen.’