Trusting God’s Promises
A backup devotional by Sharon Musgrove
“And blessed [spiritually fortunate and favored by God] is she who believed and confidently trusted that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her [by the angel sent] from the Lord.” –Luke 1:45 (AMP)
In our western culture, we are bombarded with promises that come from seemingly trustworthy sources yet fall flat on delivery.
A roommate says he will take out the trash, yet there it accumulates. A boss swears your input is valuable but does nothing to implement those ideas. A spouse betrays with infidelity. Some of these disappointments are easy to overlook, but others are deeply heartbreaking. When people fall short of their word how can we remain steadfast?
The Bible’s Gospel of Luke tells the stories of two individuals who have contrasting responses promises. The first account is that of an aging priest called Zechariah who was described as being a devout keeper of God’s commands. Both Zechariah and his wife were considered blameless, upstanding members of the Jewish community (Luke 1:6). Scripture says that this couple prayed for children but remained barren into old age.
It’s reasonable to think that Zechariah and Elizabeth had lived a lifetime disappointed without children, and maybe they believed that God had passed them by. Zechariah especially, a man committed to a career of intercession between man and God, might have felt resentful. Perhaps he was angry that his decades of prayer had gone unanswered.
I know those feelings, maybe they are familiar to you too. I’ve prayed for more than a decade for physical healing over chronic pain. Amid those pleas, I have seen countless others receive healing, wondering if somehow God had deliberately left me behind. Those negative thoughts about God dimmed my faith.
Zechariah responded to God’s messenger with disgruntled disbelief when, after all, the old man’s prayers were being answered. Let’s read what he said to God in Luke 1:18 (AMP): “How will I be certain of this? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in age.”
Had this priest lost his trust in God’s promises? Where was his faith in God?
As it turns out, Zechariah’s desires for a son were aligned with God’s plan for the world. They just were not on the same timeline. What if the same is true for you and me? What if we are casting judgement solely on mismatched timing?
The second story, in contrast to this first, is that of a young girl who also finds herself in dialogue with God’s messenger over a miraculous conception. I guarantee this virgin, probably still somewhat a child herself, had not been praying for the directive she was being given! The news of pregnancy was something an unmarried maiden would rather not hear!
But Mary’s heart had not been scarred in the same way Zechariah’s had. She was anticipating her impending marriage and probably excited about what was ahead. This girl’s prayers were likely more directed by her future than by her past. Mary’s response, unlike Zechariah’s, is full of belief and trust. Let’s read what Mary said in Luke 1:34 (AMP): “How will this be, since I am a virgin and have no intimacy with any man?”
She wanted to know, not if it were true, but how it was true.
God has proven He is faithful to His word. He comes through on His promises. Zechariah’s heart was weary with years of waiting on prayer, yet God responded to him with favor. Mary’s heart was still malleable, thus she responded wholeheartedly to the Lord’s call on her future. One needed a reminder of God’s goodness while the other was anticipating it.
We too will be blessed when we hold to the word of God as true. Sometimes we just need a reminder that God’s timeline is better than our own. We can remain steadfast in faith despite the disappointments of the world because our story is still being written. The fulfillment is coming!
Let’s Pray: Father God, we bow before your perfection, humble to your wisdom. We don’t see like You see, therefore aim to stay reliant on You. Thank you for Your steadfast love and infinite grace. Help us to remain confident in Your promises. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Sharon Musgrove is a self-proclaimed sociologist. The opportunities opened to her, over the years, have led her on a fascinating journey observing human behavior.
She has a diverse background in business, fitness, and health industries. This background led her to a unique position writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both programs primarily served women in the homeless community.
Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She’s been privileged to participate in Leadership camps for maturing young women. These annual camps have a mission of encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young Maasai girls.
Identifying personally with the brokenness of the women she’s served, Sharon sees all people as needing more encouragement regardless of cultural or socioeconomic status. Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.
In her leisure time, Sharon enjoys her garden, health food, travel, and a good story. She and her husband, Jeff, divide their time between Oregon and Hawaii. They have two grown children. Currently, Sharon is encouraging others via her inspirational blog, but prefers sharing face to face. Additionally, she is studying Christian fiction writing.
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