Luke 1:57-64 (NLT)
57 When it was time for Elizabeth’s baby to be born, she gave birth to a son. 58 And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her. 59 When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father. 60 But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!” 61 “What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that name.” 62 So they used gestures to ask the baby’s father what he wanted to name him. 63 He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Instantly Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God.
This is the story of the birth of John the Baptist. Zachariah his father was a priest serving in the temple. One day as he entered the most holy portion of the temple an angel appeared to him. This angel told him his wife would give birth to a boy and his name would be John. As strong as his faith was to serve in the temple, it wasn’t strong enough to believe the angel. John questioned the angel and said how could this be so, my wife and I are too old….something so similar to what Abraham said. For his unbelief he was told he would be unable to speak until John was born. In the verses above we find John born and Zechariah finally being able to say John’s name.
Webster’s dictionary defines faith as a firm belief and trust in something for which there is no proof. Faith towards God is a belief of strong conviction that God can be completely trusted. Trust is about what the future holds. If you see a chair and you trust the durability of the chair you believe you can sit down safe and securely in it. Now I have some friends who don’t like to fly, but occasionally they must get on an airplane and have to belief both in the mechanics of the planes and the in pilot. If they could not muster up the faith necessary they would find themselves standing in the airport as the plane leaves them behind. Many of us think we have complete faith when we might not. I remember asking my wife once, “Do you completely trust God?” I knew I was going to say more, but I wanted to see what her first response was. Her answer was, “Yes, I trust God.” Ok, now what if God told you that your daughter must die in order to fulfill a plan. What if he said she was going to die slowly from a disease so others could see her faith in Him? My wife quickly responded, “I don’t think I would want to trust God in that case.” But that is what faith is about, we must trust completely in all cases. We believe God without doubt, even though we know there may be hardships, and painful things to come our way. We have to believe God knows what is right and holy for the sake of everyone and not just a few. Jesus had faith in His Father as He prayed He might not have to suffer on the cross and have God turn His back on Him as He took on the sins of the world. But Jesus trusted God and while his request was not given, God gave Jesus the strength to endure the hardships. Many men died under the flogging of a Roman soldier, Jesus did not. Many died trying to carry the weight of the cross up a hill after their sever beating, but Jesus did not. Many gave into the temptations and ridicule as they hung on the cross, but Jesus did not. God had strengthened Jesus to endure the hardships up until the end. It fulfilled a plan put in motion ages before Christ arrived. How strong is your faith in God? Do you trust Him unconditionally?