December 03, 2014

Beyond Expectations

Luke 1:11-19

“He will be a joy and delight to you … for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.”
—Luke 1:14-15


Art had been struggling with cancer for years. He knew God could answer his prayers and heal him completely, but he didn’t expect it any longer. Art had grown accustomed to this kind of life, and he found peace in the assurance that God was with him, and that a day would come when he would be healed in heaven and no longer struggle with cancer.

Zechariah may likewise have reached a point when he no longer expected God to answer his and Elizabeth’s prayers for a child. He probably also had grown accustomed to his life as it was. As a faithful believer, he would simply have trusted that God’s plans were good, and that the day would come when all would be well.

God can give comfort that helps people endure difficult times. But when Jesus breaks into our lives, God does not merely give comfort; he begins the work of reversing disappointment.

Zechariah’s situation turned to one of great joy. Not only would he and his wife have a son, but this child would play a vital role in God’s plans to bring the Messiah, the Savior!

As we can see in this episode of Zechariah’s life, God proved that he is capable of addressing people’s deepest disappointments and turning them into joy that goes beyond expectations.

Thank you, Lord, for comforting us when our disappointments are great, and for acting in surprising ways to bring joy and delight into our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Bill Sytsma

Bill Sytsma is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min). He is the author of the book Follow the Leader and is serving as the pastor of New Life Christian Reformed Church in Highland, Indiana. He and his wife, Staci, have hosted support groups for families built through adoption. He and Staci are the proud parents of three active boys: Luke, Isaac, and Nico.

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