Keep on Keeping On

by Marilyn Ehle

Christmas“…there was a priest named Zechariah…he was serving as a priest before God…an angel of the Lord appeared…” Luke 1:5-11

We only hear about him at Christmas, but Zechariah should be a yearlong model for us. He was a man who loved God. He was a man who prayed. And he was a man who struggled with doubt.

When we are discouraged, when we live with the confusion of unanswered prayer, when we feel God is distant, it is easy to remove ourselves from the fellowship of other Christians, to neglect the rituals of the church and put the Bible to one side. And yet Zechariah whose deepest heart longing was unsatisfied, continued his spiritual duties. How he must have wondered if the God he prayed to in the temple was really a trustworthy God. We know that he doubted God’s promise even when delivered by the angel Gabriel.

During the months of his wife’s pregnancy, Zechariah’s prayers were silent ones. He could only commune with his Heavenly Father in the stillness of his heart, but I believe his long years of faithful service—even when he couldn’t hear God speaking or see God working—provided strength during those silent months.

Be careful to “keep on keeping on” during the days when God’s presence seems to have disappeared, when the Bible seems to contain promises only for others. Gathering with fellow Christians—many who are experiencing your own doubts—can be encouraging. Participating with your friends at the table of communion will provide spiritual sustenance. God will, in his good time, speak again.

God, give me courage to keep on when I don’t hear your voice or when I seem to be making no “progress” in my faith. Teach me again that you are near.

How has practicing the essentials of the Christian faith helped you during dark times?

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3 Responses to Keep on Keeping On

  1. Stephen Bernard says:

    Thank you for this devotional. There may be lot of people of Zachariah’s mind set. I would like to confess I was one of them until recently. But God is kind to those of His children, who have unbelief in Him, as they are growing in faith. I should have had a strong faith in Him, without any doubt in circumstances beyond my control, since He had appeared to me and healed me from my Palsy, as He had done to a paralytic in Capernaum. Now I know, God is a God, invincible and Almighty beyond every imagination and He loves to live with His Children through His Son Jesus!. We wish you a Joyous and blessed Christmas.

  2. EZRA Joshua says:

    To God be the glory! I’m the bible study coordinator in my church and in many circumstances, people tell me about how encouraged they are when i councel them in time of distress. E.g at the end of an exam/test in school, some may be worried of their performances and i although what i wrote is not worth what they might have written but i often tell them of the power of Jesus which is not limited.
    However, this year in march i started ICAN/ATS after praying earnestly for it and i was assured of succeeding in it. I wrote ATS1 And made all the papers. In september, i prayed to God for the exam as usual,but these time around i had two…

  3. Douglas R. Dawson says:

    Thank you, so much I to have periods of doubts,and at Christmas I suffer from depression,this devotion reminds me that my salvation is not base on feeling,but only on Christ Jesus,and in Him my faith lays. amen praise and glory to the Father.

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