Session 4

The surprising benefit of being honest about your doubts

From A Celebration of Advent: A 25-Day Devotional

Have you ever wanted to believe God would make something happen, but the circumstances overwhelmingly pointed to “no”?

If that’s you, you’re not alone. When it came to parenthood, all signs pointed to “no” for Zechariah and Elizabeth. Their prayers for a child had resulted in old age and empty arms. So when an angel showed up to tell Zechariah that Elizabeth was going to give birth, he understandably had some questions (Luke 1:18). 

“ ... the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord.’” - Luke 1:13-15

Zechariah was bold enough to let the Lord know he had doubts, but he wanted to believe. So Zechariah confessed his doubt, and God used it to grow his faith.

Imagine this — Zechariah sat in silence as he watched his wife’s belly grow for nine miraculous months of pregnancy, and the only person he could talk to about it was God. How much closer must Zechariah and God have been at the end of Elizabeth’s pregnancy?

God doesn’t call us to be certain but to act faithfully in the face of uncertainty. That’s what Zechariah and Elizabeth did when it came time to name their baby. God told them his name was John, so that’s what they went with (Luke 1:59-63). 

Zechariah and Elizabeth were faithful to listen to God, confess their doubts, and when it came time to act in obedience, they did.

  • What does Zechariah’s life show you about God’s patience and love for us, even in our doubt?
  • Have you ever doubted God then saw Him at work in your situation? 
  • Is there an area in your life where you doubt God now? Have you told Him? 

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