Scripture Reading: Luke 1:64 (New International Version)
“Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God.”
Thought for the day:
A few years ago at Oasis Community Church, we heard how one lady had lived her whole life as a Christian without ever truly accepting Jesus as her personal Saviour. Everyone around her assumed that she ‘knew the Lord’ but the truth was very different. She had been challenged one evening and was asked about having an assurance of salvation. Clearly, she had no such assurance and over the next few weeks, God began to speak to her in a new way. When she spoke aloud the words in a prayer accepting Jesus as her personal Saviour and declaring her acknowledgement of sin, she was instantly set free and knew the assurance of sins forgiven and a certainty of the Saviour’s love. Her face beamed with joy and her life is forever changed from that moment on.
Our verse today gives an encouragement to us all to rejoice in the fulfilment of God’s promises. Zechariah was struck dumb by the angel as a result of his disbelief in what God was going to do. It’s easy to think of these months as a punishment. However, I want to stress that even though we may think this way about what God is doing, His grace and love never left Zechariah. God’s promise was still in his life and God was waiting for the time when He would be able to release blessing into Zechariah’s life. I like to think that God could hardly contain Himself and was eager to bring release to Zechariah. The Scripture tells us that ‘immediately his tongue was set free’. God didn’t delay in keeping the agreement. He saw this day in advance and promised to set Zechariah free. As soon as John’s name was given, God freed Zechariah. We know from previous studies that God keeps His promises. He is a God of Covenants. He never breaks His Word. One final thing to consider today: do you see what Zechariah did as soon as he could speak? He praised God. Even though he may have considered the past 9 months to have been punishment, he totally understood the purpose for it. If we truly understand God’s promises and His plan for our lives, we too can cope with the tough times and can praise Him in everything. Let us not complain about difficulties or tough circumstances, but instead stand on God’s Word and declare “I will bless the LORD at all time. His praise will continually be in my mouth.”
Prayer and Application:
Have you known tough times when it’s difficult to praise God? Just for a few moments, don’t pray for anything or anyone, just praise God for who He is.