|“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel…”|
What do you do when you get good news? Maybe you hear about someone you’ve been praying for who has received word that their body has been healed. Perhaps you had a great hope or desire in your heart and God has brought it to past. Maybe you received a promotion at work. It’s possible that someone you’ve loved for a very long time has either accepted your proposal of marriage or presented you with that proposal and you said, “Yes!”
Whatever good news that you’ve received, how did you react? Did you consider yourself “lucky” to have obtained whatever the good news indicated? Did you congratulate yourself that you have finally earned the recognition you deserved? Did you take a step back, catch your breath, and feel unworthy, hardly able to believe your good fortune?
Or did you do what the priest, Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, did when his beautiful and long-awaited son was born to his wife Elizabeth—she who was considered barren had now given birth, just as an angel had promised.
Here’s the first part of Zechariah’s song of praise and thanksgiving to God. For you see, that’s how he celebrated this magnificent event in his life on the occasion of the birth of his son: he praised God. We find his prayer/song in Luke 1:68-75:
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”
We can learn from Zechariah. When we receive good news during this Season of Advent, and at any other time during the year, we can stop and praise God for His blessing poured into our lives. For God is the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).
Let us begin this very day by thanking God for a new day of life. It is certainly true that every breath we take and every beat of our hearts is a precious gift from God. He truly loves us with His everlasting love.
Maybe you’ve stumbled upon this blog post today and you are someone who doesn’t believe in God. You think that all this Christian stuff is foolishness. Let me simply say to you that if you will seek God, you will surely find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13).
If you find God, you will find a treasure more precious than gold, more valuable than the most expensive diamond. You will find a life filled with peace and joy and blessing. Even in the midst of the darkest moments of your life, you will never be alone again. God will always be with you. He will always love you. He will always care for you.
I invite you to give Him a try. If you sense a tugging at your heart, that is the Holy Spirit. He wants to show you what God has already done for you. You see, there are no perfect people in God’s Kingdom—just sinners saved by His grace. And, you, my dear reader, can be one of them.