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When God says something good about you, you should believe it. That seems obvious. And yet so many of us struggle to truly receive God’s gifts and blessings because something in our spirit stops us from believing them.

Perhaps you have no trouble believing that God has a good plan for others, but, deep inside, you don’t know if you can trust God to be good to you.

Or maybe you can confidently assert that God loves others just the way they are, but you feel a profound dissatisfaction about your own identity and find it hard to believe that God made you this way.

This passage can help us to accept God’s truths. When God told Abram he would have a child, despite his old age, Abram initially believes this news (Gen. 15:6).

It’s only later that the doubts come. But not only does Zechariah question this possibility since he is old, he demands a guarantee, a sign perhaps: ‘How can I be sure of this?’ (v18).

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I always imagine Gabriel’s hands on his hips and his eyebrows raised as he responds to Zechariah with a ‘Do you know who I am?’ vibe (v19).

Zechariah would be silent until the baby is born (vv20–22). It’s an inconvenience, for sure, but it’s also the sign he was looking for.

When he speaks again to name the child, the first words out of Zechariah’s mouth are to praise God (vv63–64).

It’s better to believe God the first time when He says something good to us. But if we struggle, there is still grace there, and God can work in the silence of our hearts till finally we believe – and respond in praise.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Loving God, even when it seems unlikely, help me to believe Your words about me. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Do a search of God’s promises and blessings in the Bible, write them out, and say them to yourself, asking God to help you believe them.

Scripture To Consider:
Gen. 15:1–6; Ps. 139:1–16; Mark 9:17–27; Rom. 8:31–39

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.