When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God's eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord's commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.
— Luke 1:5-7 NLT
Sometimes, when things aren't going as well as we hope, we are tempted to give up on our righteous commitments to God. "What's the use?" we might ask ourselves, and also think "It surely doesn't seem to be paying off for me!" God gives us Zechariah and Elizabeth as examples for us. They remind us not to give up on God in our discouragement, impatience, and frustration. As Luke begins his good news about Jesus, we find two old and faithful followers of God. They were righteous in God's eyes. Unfortunately, however, their fervent desire to have a child had not been granted by God. Still, they honored God because it was the right thing to do. Then, their faithfulness provided the beginning of our salvation story. So, the next time we find ourselves discouraged and ready to give up because our prayers seem unanswered, let's remember this old couple. Let's celebrate their joyous surprise. Let's always remember their example showing us that our faithful wait on God opens the door for us to share in his glorious grace.
Holy and righteous God, my Abba Father, forgive me for the times that I have let discouragement and impatience cause me to stumble and even give up for a time. I do believe that you are at work in my life, and I want to use my life to serve you and help others find Jesus. Please give me the strength to live before you righteously as Zechariah and Elizabeth did. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Philippians 2:13
- Matthew 6:31-33
- Ephesians 2:1-10
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Thursday, January 3, 2019
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.