At once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God. —Luke 1:64

In Luke 1, the angel Gabriel told Zacharias that he and Elizabeth would have a son. Shocked, Zacharias said, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years” (v. 18). Gabriel responded, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God” (v. 19). In other words, Gabriel said, “Don’t you know who I am? And more importantly, don’t you know who I serve? I serve the Most High God. Nothing is too hard for God.”

The same thing is true for you and me. What problem are you facing right now that is too impossible for God to solve? Don’t you know who we serve? We serve the living God. Nothing is impossible with Him! Zacharias forgot that, so he asked the angel to give him a sign. Gabriel said, “You shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time” (v. 20). Never forget this: unbelief is a sign of ingratitude. Whenever we doubt God’s ability to intervene in our present situation, it is because we have forgotten His intervention in our past situations. Thanking God for the past gives us courage for the present and for the future.

God fulfilled His promise to Zacharias. “After these days Elizabeth his wife became pregnant” (v. 24). Then notice what happened: “She gave birth to a son. … And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zacharias, after his father. But his mother answered and said, ‘No indeed; but he shall be called John’” (vv. 57, 59-60). Zacharias was obedient to what Gabriel had said. “At once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God” (v. 64).

I want to share two principles from this passage that I think apply to all of us today.

Principle number one: Our timetable is not always God’s timetable. Zacharias and Elizabeth were eager for a son. Israel was eager for a Savior. But only at the right time did God bring both the messenger and the Messiah. Sometimes we get frustrated because we pray about something, and heaven is silent. We wonder, “Does God not care? Is He not listening?” Sometimes God’s silence is because He is saying no. But other times the silence is simply God’s way of telling us to wait for the right time.

Principle number two: Our problems are opportunities to experience God’s power. Problems in our lives are not just opportunities for us to be transformed into the image of Christ, but they are also opportunities for us to move forward in our faith in God. That’s the value of problems. We don’t choose them, but they have a way of driving us forward in our faith. Our problems are opportunities in disguise for God to demonstrate His faithfulness and power to act on our behalf.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Touched by an Angel” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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