We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Jacob Reed.
“Then his father, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy: “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and redeemed his people. He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago. Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us. He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant— the covenant he swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham. We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live. “And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.”
Luke 1:67-80 (NLT)
Joy! Remember how it felt when you were a child and your parents would tell you something like, “We are going to your favorite restaurant!” “Get dressed to go swimming!” “We are taking a trip somewhere awesome!” Or when all signs pointed to you getting that gift you really wanted for Christmas?
God’s promises and prophecies throughout history bring joy to those who hear them and see them fulfilled. Joy can come not just in the fulfillment, but in hearing the promise and catching a glimpse of what’s to come.
Imagine how Abraham felt when he received his promise from God of a promised land! Or Isaiah’s joy at seeing a glimpse from Heaven of the coming Savior.
This first chapter of Luke is a perfect example of joy in simply receiving the promise. Here, Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, hears two powerful promises from God and proclaims them out loud. The first promise is that the Savior has been sent. The second promise is that his little son would be called a prophet of the Most High and prepare the way for the Lord.
Zachariah had heard a promise from God, confirmed by His word. He had every reason to believe. So do we!
We have now seen and understand how God has fulfilled his promises. He is still making these promises and fulfilling them.
What is the great promise we have received that we have not yet seen come to pass? That Jesus is going to return! May we all find joy in that promise. And may we all prepare the way for Him. How? The same way John the Baptist did- “Tell the people how to find salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.”
For Israel, who waited on the promise, Jesus was not what they expected, but was exactly what they needed. He didn’t overthrow the government, but instead gave them true freedom. For us in our world today we CAN have joy. A great promise has been fulfilled and another has been made!
So, as children, when we heard those promises from our parents we could be excited just in the anticipation of what was to come. And now, we can have JOY because of what God, who is better at keeping his promises, has told us is coming. For him, a promise made is a promise fulfilled.
Father, thank you for keeping your promises. For the Joy of knowing you are faithful. Thank you for giving us hope in the midst of all chaos. In your name I pray, amen.
Write out 2 promises God has fulfilled in your life. Write out 2 promises He has made that you are hopeful to see in the future.
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