Tonight's message at Buckhead Church was one of utmost hope. Andy Stanley shared with us the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth, a couple who had hoped and prayed for a child but reminaed barren. After many, many years, the angel Gabriel visited Zechariah and told him that God was going to bless them with a son. "But the angel said to him: 'Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.'" (Luke 1: 13) Their son John would go on to become John the Baptist, and the rest is history.
What an amazing reminder of how difficult and frustrating it can be when we pray for years, and it seems like God either isn't listening or doesn't hear us. Sometimes, all we need is to know that He hears us. And believe me, He surely does. Not only does he hear our prayers, but He plans out every single detail of our lives according to His perfect plan for our lives. Sometimes things take MUCH longer than we anticipate, and we start to grow restless, weary, and lose hope. All I can say is to hang in there friends. God is hard at work and will bless us according to His will and perfect timing. Trust me, I have sat, hoped, prayed, and waited for years for certain things to happen. And guess what, some of them finally have happened for me. I know it's not because of anything I did, but it is because of God's faithfulness and promises to us. "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." (Ecclesiastes 3: 11)
As we get busy and sometimes stressed out with countless holiday parties, work events, and presents to buy, let the Christmas season serve as a reminder that God always keeps His promises. Even when we think God doesn't hear us and/or doesn't care about us, our faith and hope are not in vain.