I discovered a nifty little trick with BibleGateway, today. Wanna see?
That link, there, will take you to today’s LifeJournal reading. Not only so, but it’ll show you the day’s reading in three parallel translations: the English Standard Version, the New International Version, and the New American Standard. You can choose whatever translations you like to compare side by side, and it’s really pretty interesting. I tried out the Contemporary English Version, too. Interesting, but a little weird.
Trust in the Unfailing.
“For no word from God will ever fail.”
Zechariah and Mary have similar, yet fundamentally different responses to the angel’s birth announcement. Upon hearing that his wife, Elizabeth, is to bear a son in her old age, Zechariah disbelievingly responds, “Why should I believe you?” He is so focused on his apparent reality that he is unable to see that God is bigger than circumstances or “common sense.” Mary, however, responds simply by saying, “How will God do what He promises?” From the angel’s positive response, we can infer that it wasn’t disbelief prompting Mary’s curiosity, but rather faithful acceptance and wonder. Gabriel explains some of God’s plan and reiterates what Mary already knows:
“…no word from God will ever fail.”
For the believer, for me, this verse is so loaded with implication. It implies that God is sovereign, that His plans are final, and that He is eternal in victory. It means, quite frankly, that God’s will is absolute and that my life is what He intends it to be in all my joy, my suffering, my wealth, and poverty. I don’t know this is what I’m meant to take from this lesson, but I do know that the angel is telling Mary—and all of us—that God is powerful enough to keep His promises whatever our circumstances. Can I be satisfied with that when I’m at my lowest? Can I believe in this aspect of God’s nature even when the Enemy uses my outward circumstances to suggest the Father has abandoned me?
You asked me once if I would love You…even if You never healed by body, never healed my family, never allowed me to finish school or do what I love for a living. With all my heart, God, I want my answer to be, “Yes,” always. Help me to trust in Your unfailing nature, to remember that You’ve promised to redeem my suffering, and that You are always good, whatever I experience.