From Father Andrew Bahhi – The Faith of Zechariah
When we go to church after a long week, facing challenges in our life, we seek comfort, peace and rest in our mind, heart, body and thoughts. And we also seek forgiveness from the Almighty one to wash our hearts, receive His spiritual food – His body and blood – and we can charge our mind. So, we can go through the new week strong, facing our life without any fear. This is what the church is about.
And so, the church prepares readings, and we can see the feasts, memorials and all the things that enable us to grow spiritually. This week is about the annunciation of Zechariah, who had as a son John the Baptist.
Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were old people and yet they did not have any kids. If any family, husband and wife, did not have kids, it was considered a curse at the time. Every family was hoping for a prophet, priest, or the Messiah himself. So, Elizabeth said, finally God took my shame from the people. And Zechariah also felt shame among his fellow priests.
The Bible said they were righteous and blameless people. This is the key to their life. They did not have kids, but they did not lose hope. Similarly, when we don’t get something our faith goes through struggles and we have challenges in life. And the biggest challenge we have is TIME. If you pray, pray, pray and do not receive something, you begin to question yourself – “God does not want me.” Or you would come with a host of excuses to explain what is not happening.
When you pray, don’t give up, because God has a beautiful and perfect plan in your life. Zechariah received his prayers at a very old age.
When the Angel appeared to him to say “Zechariah, don’t be afraid, because your prayer has been answered.” – you will call him John. In Syriac, it means “God has mercy.”
So, I want to say a lot of time we pray and we pray, to the point that we forget what we are praying for, because it was a long time and no answer. But let me tell you something, God will never ever turn His face from you. As long as you pray for something according to His will.
There is no greater man than John the Baptist among all the people. So, when you wait, God is not saying no to you, he is preparing something more significant.
If you have been praying a long time, the Bible is encouraging you to not stop praying. Have faith in yourself. He will not answer because you deserve it; He will answer you because HE is GOOD. This is what the Bible says. But all we need is to have a strong faith in Him, and remember He is the Father.
And because we are His children.
All that you are going through, it will wash away like water. Be patient, be faithful, be righteous, and you will receive your answer and greater than what you expected. This is the story of the strong faith that will never fail.
Learn more in Father Andrew’s sermon video here.
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