Advent 2 – How can I be sure – the story of Zechariah in Luke 1:5

Series: Advent 2019

December 08, 2019
Langdon Palmer

Ever wish your own average life could be more like what you see in the bible – where people saw miracles and signs, and God spoke, and it was clear which way was the right way to go ? Join us as we walk with Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist towards Christmas Eve.

Episode Notes

How will I know?
Zechariah’s Journey from Mistrust to Conviction1

“You can’t outwit fate by standing on the sidelines placing little side bets about the outcome of life. Either you wade in and risk everything you have to play the game or you don’t play at all. And if you don’t play you can’t win.” –  Judith McNaught

Do one thing every day that scares you.   –  Eleanor Roosevelt

Rob Burkhart writes “Zechariah was not ready to trust his future or his hopes and dreams to anyone, not even an angel. His situation crystallizes the questions everyone asks:

How will I know that this is so?
How can I be sure?
Whom can I trust?

 Our answer to the question, “How can I be sure?” sets the course of our lives. Will we be open and adventurous or fearful and defensive? It depends on trust. Not trusting the too-good-to-be-true infomercial saves money, aggravation, and disappointment. Not trusting the old rickety ladder prevents broken bones and medical bills. It’s prudent. But in its extreme forms, distrust creates disastrous results. Relationships are ruined by suspicion and jealousy. One’s decision-making ability is paralyzed by fear, skepticism, and misgivings. This deep distrust no longer protects. It becomes a personalized prison. Trust is a conundrum. Our simultaneous need for trust and safety requires a fine-tuned balance.  This struggle with trust is not new. The problem isn’t our need for trust. It’s what we choose to trust. What are we putting our trust in?  Should we trust people? Trusting relationships enrich our lives financially, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. We achieve more, experience greater joy, and discover the wonders of life together when we trust. But the fact that we can’t trust human nature is part of the solid facts about the way this world works.   Eons of experience prove the predictability of nature and that people aren’t predictable. So instead, some put their trust in money, some in power, some in possessions, some in idols and heroes. Some people trust only themselves. They pour their energy and concertation into their careers, their physiques, their academic credentials. But…”

“What they trust is fragile, what they rely on is a spider’s web.
They lean on the web, but it gives way; the cling to it, but it does not hold.”
 Job 8:14-15

What can we learn from Zechariah?

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
 (Proverbs 3:5-6)

“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
  (Joshua 1:9)

Content Copyright Belongs to Langdon Palmer