Scripture: Luke 1:68-79
As she walks us through Zechariah’s prophecy, Heather Hoyt teaches that this moment comes on the heels of 400 years of discouragement for the people of Israel, who wonder, “Will Messiah ever come? Will we ever see the deliverance of the Lord from our oppressors?” They doubted that He would ever come for them.
The root of doubt and disbelief is fear, the currency of the enemy. Heather admonishes that the enemy’s purpose in using fear against God’s people is to silence them, to get the Church to shut her mouth. Conversely, when the Spirit of God fills His people—even in the darkest of seasons—the world is perplexed, wondering how God’s people can be filled with encouragement, power, peace, and confidence, speaking words of life like rivers of living water!
If this season has been discouraging to you, remember that there was a people group, a whole nation, with whom you can identify: the children of Israel longing for Messiah. But rather than lose hope, rejoice! Emmanuel has come for you. Emmanuel is with you.
Question: Have you been discouraged lately? Have you been able to vulnerably talk with the Lord about this discouragement, as well as with someone you trust?
Family Chat: Take turns sharing about things you're thankful for. Make a game of it, seeing who can "out-thank" the rest! (Of course, emphasize that in this game, everyone wins when thankfulness, encouragement, and joy are the inevitable outcome!)
Take Action: Spend time today rejoicing, thanking God for His goodness, and welcoming more of His presence in your daily life. Create a “thankful list” and make it as long as you possibly can! Thank the Lord throughout the day today for the things you wrote down. And keep going until JOY hits your heart, and even after that!