“Blessed she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord (Luke 1:45).”
Though the Bible does not speak to Elizabeth’s struggle to give birth, we know her wait was a long one. It was Zechariah who said, “For I am an old man and my wife is well advanced in years.” Although Elizabeth and Sarah shared the same disappointment, they did not show the same response. We are told that Elizabeth and her husband were righteous before God, walking in all His commandments… (Luke 1:6).”
Zechariah and Elizabeth remained faithful, they did not allow barrenness to steal their joy. When they least expected it, God’s promise came to pass. Elizabeth would bear a son, a son who would bring joy to her life, and to the lives of many others. Oh the wonder of the promises of God! How they keep us from discouragement, as we believe and trust in God to bring the impossible to pass. It was Elizabeth who encouraged Mary with these words, “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord (Luke 1:45).”
Believing and standing on the promises of God keep us from discouragement.
In Kay Arthur’s book, “As Silver Refined”, Kay highlights five strategies of the enemy. They are easy to identify and remember because they all begin with the letter “D”. She aptly titles these devices used by the enemy, The Five Deadly D’s: Disappointment, Discouragement, Dejection, Despair, and Demoralization.
Kay explains further:
Together these five Deadly D’s form a downward spiral of deepening defeats and disorder. They are part of a devastating plunge that’s triggered when we respond wrongly to the disappointments that God in His loving sovereignty allows in our lives. Disappointment comes when our expectations aren’t met. We become unhappy. When we don’t conquer that disappointment in God’s way, than we spin downward into discouragement, we are without courage. We want to give up. We want to quit because we’re disheartened. We’re ready to run rather than deal with the situation. Depression then sets in its’ first degree – dejection – a lowness of spirit, a feeling of spiritual and emotional fatigue. If not reversed this dejection takes us down even further, plunging us into despair and finally into utter demoralization. At this stage of descent, hope is entirely abandoned and is replaced by apathy and numbness. Fear becomes overwhelming and paralyzing and can degenerate further into disorder and reckless action that is heedless of consequences…these are the tactics that Satan is using to defeat so many of God’s children today.
Don’t allow the enemy to steal the joy, to steal your wonder and awe of God. Helen Keller wrote,
“Once I knew only darkness and stillness – my life was without past or future – but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living.”
Let Elizabeth’s words lift your heart this Christmas. She was a great mentor to Mary and she can be for you too. Take time to read her story and enjoy the Holy Spirit filled moments that she shared with Mary. Imagine Mary’s state of mind upon her visit to Elizabeth. Hearing Elizabeth’s account and seeing her pregnant must have been a wonderful encouragement to Mary. Through Elizabeth, God gave Mary a personal confirmation that His word to her was indeed true! This encouragement led Mary to burst out with a song of praise.
May you burst out in your own song of praise this Christmas as you consider His promises to you!