No word of God will ever fail
Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.
- Luke 1:36-37
These words were spoken to Mary, the mother of Jesus, by the angel Gabriel. The angel has just told her that she’s going to become pregnant, to carry God’s Messiah, and to do all of this before she even gets married. The Holy Spirit will come on her and the child will have God himself as his father.
This is incredible, fantastic, unbelievable news. Mary struggles to understand it and believe it. She asks the angel for more of an explanation. And today’s passage is an essential part of what she hears.
The angel wants Mary to believe that “no word from God will ever fail.” In order to convince her, he tells her Elizabeth’s story.
Mary wouldn’t have known that her relative Elizabeth was even pregnant. Earlier in Luke we read that Elizabeth struggled to get pregnant and that, when she found out she was pregnant, she went into seclusion. In order to give Mary faith and courage, the angel shared Elizabeth’s secret story with her.
Have you ever considered this possibility: God’s faithfulness to you may be used to bolster someone else’s faith? The work God does in you is not just for you. The Lord’s faithfulness to us has ripple effects beyond the bounds of our own lives.
For us to become a people of deep faith, we need to attend carefully to the stories of God’s faithfulness in the lives of the people around us. This is one of many reasons why it’s so important to connect with fellow believers in a church and small group. And for us to become a community that trusts God enough to take significant risks to advance his kingdom, we have to share our stories with each other.
What’s the latest faith-giving story that you’ve heard? What’s the latest faith-giving story that you’ve shared?
From the archives // previously published 12.7.2016