We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Lindsey Strickler.
5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,[a] of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
8 Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But 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. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”
Today we’re going to be doing a FAITH + FITNESS Workout. We publish these twice a month and they are designed to help strengthen you body, mind, and spirit.
What is one problem in your life right now that you would give anything for someone to come and take away? Is there pain in your life that you are begging someone to heal or fix? How would you feel if someone walked up to you and said, “I promise you, the end is coming. A Savior is going to save you from the brokenness you currently have in your life.” Now, how would you feel if you placed all your hope in that promise, and the Savior did not come that day. You wake up the next morning, the reminder of your problem, or pain, is weighing you down, and you think, “It’s okay. My Savior is coming. Hopefully today is the day.”
There are situations in our lives right now that we want fixed this side of Heaven; situations that we might do anything to have go away. The Jews in Jesus’ time felt the exact same way.
For thousands of years they had been in and out of exile, being ruled by other nations, being enslaved by other nations, living in times of abundance, in times of uncertainty, in times close to God and also in times far from God. From almost the beginning of their existence as a people, God had promised them a King, a Savior.
Click here to read the rest of the FAITH + FITNESS Workout.
Heavenly Father, you know the situations in my life that I wish would change this side of heaven. Please help me surrender those to you and keep a heavenly perspective on them. Don’t let my human emotions rob me of a steadying joy found in you. Please forgive me for how I’ve chosen to stay in feelings of despair over trusting you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
After completing the workout, spend time journaling and reflecting on the following questions:
- What was the workout like for you? Did God reveal anything to you while you did it?
- Are you currently facing a situation you would give anything to be saved from? How is it affecting your view of Jesus?
- In what ways were you challenged by in today’s message?
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