This post is based on the Grace Commentary for Luke 1:5-7.
Do you ever feel that God has passed you by? Forgotten about you? Failed in His promises? Given you great plans and then left you out to dry?
Do you ever feel like your prayers never get past the roof? That most of the time when you pray, if answers come at all, they are exactly the opposite of what you prayed?
It may surprise you to learn that this is NORMAL. It seems most preachers and Christians are saying the exact opposite. We often hear others say, “You want to see God at work in your life? Just pray! You want to get a job, have a better marriage, get healed, see all your problems go away? Just become a Christian, start praying, and watch the blessings fall like rain!”
Yeah…not for most of us. Not for most people in Scripture either. Randomly read a Psalm or a Prophet to see what I mean.
And some of these teachers will say, “It’s because of a lack of faith, or sin in your life!” To this, I say…Maybe…but probably not. Take every person in the Hall of Faith (Heb 11) who waited, and prayed, and DID NOT receive what was looked for.
And take Zacharias and Elizabeth in Luke 1:5-7. The text is adamantly clear that they were blameless before God. They walked in all His commandments and ordinances (v. 6). And yet, it seemed that they were under God’s curse. They had no children. In Jewish culture, that meant God had cursed them. Imagine the rumors that must have been spread about some “secret sin” in Elizabeth’s youth.
And now, though they had doubtless served God and prayed to him for decades, they were at the age where having a child was impossible (v. 7).
But God had something in store for them. Something greater than they had ever imagined. Something beyond their wildest dreams and boldest prayers.
I think sometimes that is what God has for each of us. We pray, and God says “No.” Why? Because to get what we were praying for is to settle for second best.
So are you praying for something, desperately waiting for God to act? By all means, keep praying. But be open to the possibility that God is waiting until the answer to your prayer is shattered at your feet, so that He can give you something better than you ever imagined.