Tag Archives: Christmas

Throwback Thursday: Silencing Doubt

 

SILENCING DOUBT

By Carolyn Dale Newell

But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”

Luke 1:20 NKJV

Do you ever find it difficult to believe God will fulfill His promises? Do you struggle to trust Him to provide when the bank account is empty? Have you stopped believing He will heal?

You are not alone. Even Zacharias, a devout priest, could not believe the words of Gabriel concerning the promised birth of John the Baptist.

Zacharias and Elizabeth had longed for a child. They are the New Testament Abraham and Sarah.

Gabriel appeared before Zacharias as he performed his priestly duties in the temple. He told Zacharias his prayers would be answered with the birth of a son, but not just any child. He was the forerunner for the Messiah.

Zacharias wanted proof. He doubted Gabriel’s news. They were old, and Elizabeth was well past her childbearing years. The angel reminded the priest he was Gabriel, the archangel. He had been sent by God to bring these glad tidings, but Zacharias responded in unbelief. Gabriel informed Zacharias he would be mute because of his disbelief. Doubt was silenced, not likely what Zacharias had in mind as proof.

Mary received a visit from the same angel. She responded in faith, not in doubt. Gabriel told Mary she would give birth to the Son of God. Such astonishing news, but she believed and rejoiced.

Both Zacharias and Mary were fearful at the sight of an angel. Gabriel encouraged both of them not to fear.

Mary’s question was one of curiosity. How could she give birth as a virgin?

A wise old priest failed to trust the promise from God, but a young teenage girl’s faith encompassed much more.

Gabriel revealed Elizabeth’s news to Mary, because they were kin. Mary journeyed to the house of Elizabeth and Zacharias. Imagine the dinner table talk between faithful Mary and Elizabeth. Two women, in the same family, were selected by God to give birth to special little boys.

Zacharias’ speech did not return until after the child was born, and it was time to name him. Obviously, Zacharias had communicated Gabriel’s message to his wife, because she knew to name the baby John.

Without a doubt, doubt dies hard. Like poison ivy, it continues to come back. We are children of God residing in bodies of flesh. Bodies prone to disease. Bodies prone to injury. Bodies prone to sin, and bodies prone to doubt.

In a promise-breaking world, doubt comes naturally, yet, God has never broken a promise. His timing may not match ours, but God always breaks through. Silence doubt before doubt silences you.

Doubt mutes our testimonies. It is an affront to God, our heavenly Father. The inability to believe hinders us from encouraging others. Stand firm on the truth in Luke 1:37: “For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Luke 1:5-45.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Shun every thought of doubt as soon as it enters your mind. Avoid people who cannot believe, and surround yourself with those who believe all things are possible with God.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Throwback Thursday: The Grinch Who Tried to Steal Christmas

THE GRINCH WHO TRIED TO STEAL CHRISTMAS

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
Matt. 2:13 (NKJV)

He was much worse than the Grinch. He wasn’t green, and he didn’t have a dog named Max. He didn’t dress up like Santa to steal the Christmas gifts, decorations and roast beef from the folks of Whoville. He was an angry king who would stop at nothing to protect his title, even to the point of killing all the male children up to the age of two years. All of this was done in an attempt to kill the young Child, Jesus.

As always, God intervened, and Joseph was warned in a dream to take Mary and Jesus, and flee to Egypt. Our Savior, Jesus, was…saved. His life was spared so that one day, He could give it up on a cross in order to save us.

This is a perfect picture of God’s providence at work, and it is at work in the life of every believer. Christian, you are safe and secure in the hands of God. “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day” (John 6:39).

Friend, are you insecure about your salvation? Perhaps, you know without a doubt that you are not saved. This Baby that was born in a manger came into this world for one reason – to pay the sin debt for all who will believe. He was virgin born. He was fully God and fully Man. When you wholeheartedly trust Him, He will save you. That is the real gift of Christmas.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for coming to earth only to die for my sins. Forgive me, and cleanse me from all my sin. Help me to live for You and not myself. I trust You as my Savior, Lord, and soon coming King. Amen.

DIG DEEPER
Read rom. 3:23, Rom. 6:23, John 10:28, 1 John 1:9.

HIKING THE TRAIL
Make sure you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If so, praise Him for His birth and His death on the cross. Tell others about Jesus!

Copyright 2014 Carolyn Dale Newell.