God is good. That familiar mantra is easy to say but sometimes hard to believe. When life becomes more chore than joy, we can convince ourselves that nothing good will ever happen. But God never stops working for our good.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
In spite of this promise, during those times when we seem to experience more disappointment than blessing, it’s easy to lose sight of hope and begin to doubt that God will ever come through.
Zechariah understood that. He was so used to not having the desire of his heart (a child), that he had a difficult time believing it when he got the news it would happen. An angel appeared to him and said, “Your prayer has been heard.” Great and joyful words, but Zechariah could only doubt. “How can I be sure?” was his response to the angel.
He had given up hope. He and his wife were well past child-bearing years, and he’d grown so accustomed to the disappointment, he no longer expected good news.
Haven’t we done the same? I can remember times when I’ve actually been wary of good news because I was afraid something bad would follow on its heels. There have been times when I, like Zechariah, was unable to trust God’s promise.
It doesn’t have to be that way. In Matthew 7, Jesus reminds us that if we know how to give good gifts to our children, God knows even better how to give good gifts to us. The message from both the Old and New Testaments is the same. God has good planned for us.
The key to living on this side of hope is to remember that in spite of what life looks like right now, God is at work. Your prayer has been heard, and the good is on its way.
*Zechariah’s story can be found in Luke: 1:5-25, 57-80.