“While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.” Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.” Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.” Luke 1:11-20
Zechariah was dumb-struck, quite literally, by what he saw and heard. Being a priest, he was in the holy place of the temple offering the incense offering when Gabriel, one of God’s archangel (leading angels) showed up and announced that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would give birth to the Messiah’s forerunner, John. That’s exciting news EXCEPT they felt too old to have kids!
The angel told Zechariah that his son ( we know him as John the Baptist) would bring Israel hope, would be celebrated, would be a Nazarite (the no wine thing) and would be filled with the Holy Spirit. He would bring hope to Israel and would lead the way for Jesus to appear.
Though Zechariah struggled to believe what Gabriel said – thus he was stricken dumb (unable to talk), until John was born. He however, conveyed this news to Elizabeth his wife, who soon became pregnant.
John was Jesus’ cousin and indeed, was the Forerunner to His ministry. You see a very clear picture of this in John chapter 1.
Zechariah and Elizabeth became a big part of the story of the birth of our Messiah. They were considered faithful even though Zechariah initially struggled to believe.
Your own struggle to believe does not condemn you, it simply makes you human! As with Zechariah, Elizabeth and John, God is always eager to do the impossible. In fact, he’s the God of impossibilities and doing what is impossible what’s the most logical for Him! This helps us to believe the next time and it shows off Who God really is!
Don’t be discouraged when you struggle to believe-be encouraged because our struggle is what God does His best work!
Think about it!