Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Strengthened Through Singing

Episode Resources

Learn more about the Bible study: Elizabeth: Dealing with Disappointment.

Watch Nancy teach this series.

Leslie Basham: In the Bible Elizabeth faced discouragement and challenges, but she recognized something important. Here’s Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: It’s not really Elizabeth’s story. She certainly didn’t view it that way. It was His story—and isn’t that true for us?

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Adorned, for January 17, 2019.

Can you recall a time when God used a friend to strengthen your faith during hard times? Today Nancy’s going to talk about two women who became a source of encouragement to each other in the midst of perplexing circumstances. She’s continuing in the series, “A Portrait of Elizabeth.”

Nancy: Well, I don’t know about you, but I have so enjoyed just discovering more about the life of Elizabeth over these past several days. And I have to tell you, we only had a four-day spot on the calendar where we could air this, so I had way too much content. I had to keep cutting stuff out, and cutting stuff out, and cutting stuff out. Maybe you’re thinking, I’d love to know more about Elizabeth. Well, you can. There’s good news.

Our team has produced the second in a series of Women of the Bible studies. The first one was Abigail—many of you used that study—and now this one, Elizabeth: Dealing with Disappointment, is available. It’s a chance for you over six weeks, or six sessions, to go deeper in studying her life, memorizing Scripture, answering questions, discussion questions. You can do this with a friend or a small group. You can do it by yourself. But it will allow you to keep meditating on this wonderful passage of Scripture, Luke chapter 1, and exploring more about this woman’s life.

Disappointment isn’t the only thing about her life. We talked about that earlier this week. But also we’ve seen how she was an older woman who invested in the life of the younger woman, Mary. Even as Henrietta Mears—which was the original owner of this hat and a servant of the Lord that I never knew—passed it on to my friend, Vonette Bright, who served the Lord with Bill Bright in Campus Crusade for Christ for decades. And when Vonette went home to be with the Lord—she’d been such an impact in my life—her family said to me, “We’d like for you to have one of Henrietta Mears’ hats that Vonette had in her home.”

So it’s a picture to me of these two women who passed on the promises of God, encouragement from the Word of God, from one generation to the next. When I started Revive Our Hearts, I was a much younger woman, and I still had some of those older women in my life. But now most of those older women have passed off the scene, and I’m the older woman. I’m constantly asking, “How can I be investing as Elizabeth did, as Henrietta Mears did, as Vonette Bright did, as my mother has for many years? How can I be investing in the lives of younger women and encouraging them to believe God even as Elizabeth encouraged Mary that way.”

Now, that study on Elizabeth: Dealing with Disappointment is available through our ministry. We’d be glad to send you a copy as our way of saying “thank you” when you make a gift of any amount to help support the ministry of Revive Our Hearts. You can give us a call at 1–800–569–5959 and let us know that you would like to make a gift and that you’d like a copy of the Elizabeth study. You can go online to ReviveOurHearts.com, and you can make your gift there and order that study.

I’m hoping that thousands of women will say, “We want to know more about Elizabeth’s life. We want to be Elizabeths in our generation,” and this study will help you do that.

Now, we come today to the last day in this series, and thinking back to what preceded Elizabeth’s era—the previous 400 years. There had been no song, no word from the Lord, only a deafening silence and profound darkness as God’s people were waiting, waiting, waiting, longing, longing, longing for God to fulfill His promises, found in the last chapter of the Old Testament, that He would send the Messiah.

“When would He come?”

“Would He come?”

Can you imagine if for 400 years we didn’t have any gospel witness at all—how dark would things be? But God’s people, the remnant of faithful, believing people, hung tenaciously in hope, against hope, to the promises of God.

So, now we come to Luke chapter 1. There’s been this deafening silence—no music, no song, no joy—just darkness over the land for those 400 years. But in Luke chapter 1, we have three of the greatest poems—call them songs—that you will find anywhere, for sure anywhere in the New Testament. We have Mary’s Song (the “Magnificat”). We have Elizabeth’s song (the “Beatitude” it’s called in church history) and then Zechariah’s song that we’ll look at a little bit today—(the “Benedictus”).

The coming of Christ into the world brought joy. There was singing again. There was music again. It inspired an outburst of poetry and music and expression. The difference between the end of Malachi, the end of the Old Testament, and Luke chapter 1, is like night and day because it was the difference between night and day.

We have songs of joy erupting from God’s people, songs of faith, songs that testify to the character of God, the ways of God, and the plan of God. And the first two songs of this new era of grace for which creation had been longing—the first two songs of this new era were sung by two mothers who had never expected to be mothers at this season of life.

Mary, the young teenage girl, wasn’t ready to be a mother. She wasn’t married yet. This Son was going to be God’s Son. I mean, nothing had ever happened like that or ever would happen again.

Elizabeth—have you heard in this series that she was old? (laughter) She was barren. She was past child-bearing years. She never expected to be a mother.

These two women who were unexpectedly expectant mothers sang these first two songs, these first two poems in this new era of grace.

At first I thought I would just say it in my own words, but I think it’s so beautifully expressed by one of my favorite commentators from the 1900s. His name is G. Campbell Morgan. A couple of paragraphs here where he talks about comparing Elizabeth’s and Mary’s songs, in light of the old covenant that was now transitioning to the new covenant. This was the hinge of human history here. He says:

Elizabeth, the daughter of the old economy, [remember, she’s the old woman, the daughter of the priestly family] was the first singer of the new economy. Hers was the first song of the Gospel; the first song of the new age that was breaking. It was the last poetic voice of the old economy, and it greeted the new; the voice of a daughter of the priestly line, [that’s Elizabeth and her voice] singing of the advent of Him [the coming of Him] for whom the old had looked and sighed and sobbed and waited, of Him whose coming meant the fulfillment of the past, and God’s march forward in human history to the accomplishment of the end.

Now, that’s a great, big, long sentence, but he’s saying this woman who was a product of this old, long-time, priestly line; she sings this first song of the gospel in anticipation of the One who is coming to fulfill all of God’s old covenant promises and to bring God’s plan, His redemptive story, to earth.

He goes on to say:

From Elizabeth we have the first song of the new era; and from Mary, strangely and beautifully crossing hands as it were, we have the last song of the old. I would call Mary’s the swan song of the old dispensation. I would call Elisabeth’s the birth song of the new.

Now, of course, they had no way of knowing all of this, but as we meditate on these psalms, these songs, that you find in Luke chapter 1, this is what you see. And what we see is that Elizabeth’s praise, her song, her joy was contagious, and it encouraged Mary to be a woman of praise and faith. Elizabeth’s faith strengthened Mary’s faith.

So as we continue in Luke chapter 1, we come to verse 46, where Mary sings this song, what we call the “Magnificat.” Taken from verse 46:

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation” (vv. 46–50).

I won’t read the whole song, because our focus is mostly on Elizabeth, but this song of praise that’s inspired in Mary’s heart is because of having heard Elizabeth’s song of praise that we talked about yesterday.

Well, verse 56 says to us, Luke 1, verse 56,

And Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and returned to her home.

What do you suppose they talked about during those three months? Multiple decades separated them. What in the world did they have in common? I mean, do you ever feel as an older woman that you don’t know what to talk about with these young teenage girls? Or do you feel as a teenage girl, you look at somebody my age, and you think, She’s ancient! What in the world would I ever talk about with her?

For three months they were together. And remember that Zechariah, Elizabeth’s husband, couldn’t talk, maybe couldn’t hear, so he wasn’t much help in the conversation. What did these two women talk about?

In the story that God was writing in their lives, both of their sons, the ones they were carrying in their wombs, would be rejected and would die. Elizabeth’s son would be beheaded by Herod, and Mary’s Son would be crucified by an angry mob.

So what did these women, going into a difficult future, what did they do during these three months? They strengthened and comforted and encouraged each other.

It’s such a picture of the importance of fellowship with like-minded believers, those who have a genuine relationship with God, and how we can stir up for one another joy and the work that God is doing in our hearts. It strengthens our faith as we have these kinds of relationships and conversations. Get around people who have a fresh work of God going on in their hearts, and you will find that your own heart is stirred, no matter what kind of situation you may be going through.

There are just people that when they text me or email or call, they bless me. They encourage me. They encourage me to believe God. My precious husband is this way. I know we’re talking about women’s friendships here, but what a sweet encourager he is. Even when there are things that are difficult or not going as we would script or unknowns, he’s so good to encourage my heart in the Lord.

  • You can do that in your marriage.
  • You can do that with your children.
  • You can do that with your grandchildren.
  • You can do it with your small group.
  • You can do it with your pastor’s wife.
  • You can do it with your mom, with your sisters, your daughters.


Encouraging one another, spurring on one another to love and good deeds.

As we said a moment ago, Zechariah and Elizabeth lived and served in the hinge of human history, that point when the old covenant was being done away with and the new covenant was being inaugurated. All that the priesthood represented—remember, Zechariah and Elizabeth were both descended from a long line of priests—pointed to Jesus. Now that He was here on earth, as soon as He went to the cross as the sacrificial Lamb of God, their work would be finished.

They fulfilled all that God intended that office, that era, to fulfill. Unlike the leaders of the priests in their day, who were going through the motions and thought this was about them, Zechariah and Elizabeth represent the true believing remnant who fulfilled what God put them here to do. Then they disappear off the scene because the One who was coming is greater than they. It’s not about them. It’s about Him.

God used Zechariah and Elizabeth and their son John—”God remembers,” “the oath of God,” and “the grace of God,” that’s what their names meant—to link from the old to the new. To this point, “God had spoken to His people at various times and in various ways through the prophets,” Hebrews 1 tells us, “but now God was going to speak through His Son.”

And they were thrilled for this. This is what they had lived for. This is what they had longed for. They didn’t hang on to the old. They knew that the Law could not save anyone. They knew those Old Testament sacrifices and incense and all those burnt offerings, they knew that couldn’t save anyone because no one could keep the Law.

The blood of sheep and goats poured out on the altar in the temple, those were not sufficient to save. People placed their faith in the promises of God in anticipation of the Lamb of God who would come and give His life in the place of sinners.

So when those animals were sacrificed in that old economy, they put their hands on those animals and said, “The animal is dying in my place,” but it wasn’t the animal that saved them. It wasn’t the animal’s blood. It was in anticipation of the shed blood of Jesus.

So Zechariah and Elizabeth eagerly embraced the new work that God was doing in bringing salvation into the world.

Well, verse 57 of Luke 1 tells us,

Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her (vv. 57–58).

Now, you remember that back in verse 25, when she found out she was going to have a child, she said, “Thus the Lord looked on me, to take away my shame [my reproach] among people.” She had felt that scorn, that reproach, that humiliation of what others thought in those past years when she had been barren. Those who knew her had assumed that her childlessness was an evidence of God’s disapproval. They had reproached her. But when they saw His great mercy and grace in her life, and this child was born, they no longer reproached her. What did they do? They rejoiced with her.

Verse 59, “And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child."

This was according to the Law of God that on the eighth day this baby boy should be circumcised and named. They’re still faithfully obeying the Word of God, even though nothing had been heard from God for 400 years. They’re still clinging to God’s Word and His Truth.

And verse 59 goes on to say, at this naming,

They would have called him Zechariah after his father. [That’s what the crowd assumed would be the case.] But his mother answered. [Why is she answering? Because Zechariah can’t talk. Right? His mother answered, “I think Zechariah’s a wonderful name!” No! That’s not what she said. She said,] “No; he shall be called John.” [Honoring the Word of the Lord to her husband.]

And they said to her, “None of your relatives are called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” [The grace of God.] And they all wondered.

Some of your translations say, “They were all astonished,” or “They were all amazed.”

We had a baby dedication in our church last Sunday. The pastor will often ask the parents who are bringing their child to be dedicated, “Why did you pick this or that name?” A lot of parents have these amazing, profound answers as to where they got this name, or sometimes it sounds like this Greek or Hebrew word but it has special meaning, so they’ll tell the meaning. But in this case, last Sunday, the couple just said their baby was named Natalie, and they just said, “There’s no special reason. We just liked the name.” (laughter)

And that’s okay, too. But in this case, the reason for the name was clear: God had said, “This is to be the child’s name.”

So Elizabeth is gracious, but she’s bold. She’s still obedient to the revealed will of God and not driven by the approval of others or what they would think about this choice of names. You’ve all seen what it’s like when somebody names their baby something that everybody goes, “What?!! You named him what?” (laughter) She probably got some of that, but she trusted what God had said. And what a precious name—John, the grace of God. Truly God had been gracious.

Verse 64, Luke 1,

Immediately Zechariah’s mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. [First words out of his mouth—not “What an amazing child!” but “What an amazing God.”] And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him (vv. 64–66).

And now after nine months of silence, the power of speech restored to Zechariah. Verse 67,

And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit [there you see it again—all through this chapter—the role of the Holy Spirit] and prophesied, saying, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old (vv. 67–70).

I won’t read the whole song of Zechariah, but I want to encourage you to read it because it’s a powerful description of how this child would prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah, the coming of the Savior into the world,

. . . to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child [John, who would later be known as John the Baptist] grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel (vv. 79–80).

Jesus said to His followers in Luke chapter, 7, “I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John” (v. 28).

John was a great man, but he wasn’t the greatest. The Son of God overshadowed the birth of John.

We don’t know how long Zechariah and Elizabeth lived after the birth of their son. Remember, did we see in Luke that they were old? (laughter) Tradition has it that Zechariah died shortly after John was born, and Elizabeth did not live much longer herself. We don’t know that. We don’t know how old John was when they died, but we do know that his mother made an indelible mark on his life, and likely his dad’s faith and story as well.

She made a mark on his life:

  • In the way that he sought the Lord.
  • In the way that John obeyed the Lord’s commandments.
  • In the way that he loved holiness.
  • In the way that he served the Lord even when it was costly.
  • In the way that he was courageous and bold in proclaiming the truth of God as a prophet of God.
  • In his faith, his zeal, his sensitivity to the leading of the Spirit.
  • In the way he sought only God’s approval and was not bound by the fear of man.

These are all characteristics we’ve seen of his mother Elizabeth. She may not have had a lot of years with him, but she made a mark on his life.

Elizabeth had years, decades of faithful, obedient living with nothing really noteworthy or newsworthy happening in her life. By the time she enters the scene, when we see her in the Scripture, she’s already an old lady. But there’s nothing said about all of her life before that, nothing to really write home about. And, in fact, during those years she experienced disappointment, unfulfilled longings and reproach as a barren, childless woman.

Then there’s this one miracle moment. She has this child—supernaturally given to her and Zechariah—and then she disappears from the scene. We don’t hear anything else about Elizabeth anywhere in the Scripture. Her story ends just as the new covenant story is beginning to unfold.

Now, we know that however long she lived, after childbirth there came this season of child rearing. Her kid was certainly different than other kids, and her life was certainly different than the lives of her peers because her peers probably all had children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren while she’s rocking this two-month-old to sleep. So her life didn’t fit in with the story of everybody else’s story around her.

But this is where we’re reminded that you can trust God to write your story. He’s the One writing it. God found in Zechariah and Elizabeth and Mary and a few others in that era—those who were walking with Him by faith, when they couldn’t see God’s footprints for where He was leading, those who were willing to swim upstream, to believe God. There was a small band of believers in that day, true believers, and they were no match, humanly speaking, for the widespread corruption and craziness of the world around them.

But God chose them. God called them. God visited them. God used them as instruments through whom He prepared the way for His Son’s arrival on earth. And in each case, including Elizabeth, they all knew that this was not their story. This was His story. God’s story.

And they were content to play whatever part—little, big, short or long—whatever part God had for them, they were content to play.

Elizabeth wasn’t the center of this story. It’s not really Elizabeth’s story. She certainly didn’t view it that way. It was His story—and isn’t that true for us?

God’s not going to use us in the exact way He used Elizabeth or Mary, for those one-time births of John the Baptist or Jesus the Messiah, but He’s writing a story for us. He’s written a story for us. He has ways, and He wants to use you.

We say, “Our lives are so small and so frail and so insignificant against the backdrop of everything going on in our world, what could it matter if we walk with God, if we believe God, if we take Him at His Word, if we refuse to give in to the corruption of our world but say we’re going to steadfastly walk with God and follow Him and obey Him in our world no matter what the cost? What happens if we believe God?”

You say, “Nobody is going to know my name. Nobody is going to know how I was faithfully obeying God in this and this that God’s called me to.”

You know what? Nobody needs to know. Nobody needs to know my name. They need to know Jesus’ name.

God used Elizabeth to be a piece of a puzzle of a picture that was being painted that was leading to Christ being seen and known and worshipped and loved and Him exercising His right to save and rule in this world. And God wants to use your life. He wants to use my life in ways that doesn’t matter whether they’re significant or not. They matter because He matters and because He is worthy of our worship and our praise and our loyalty and our faith.

Whether anybody sees it or praises it, we sing. We sing gospel songs. We sing the song of the redeemed. We sing the songs of joy that are the fruit to this side of the cross of believing Christ, of walking with Him and saying, “All His promises are true. God has not forgotten. God keeps His Word. And the Lord has been gracious to us.”

So with Elizabeth and Mary and Zechariah and a few others in these early chapters of Luke, we sing, we praise, we’re joyful, and we’re part of the story that God is writing in this world. And that’s enough, isn’t it? What could be greater?

Thank You, Lord, that You bring seasons into our lives. Thank You for times of disappointment. Thank You for times of loss. Thank You for times of barrenness, times of not understanding, times of feeling alone or lonely or reproached. And thank You that in all of this You do remember, and You do keep Your promises, and You are gracious.

Thank You that this side of Calvary, this side of Christ being here on earth, we look back, and we celebrate the coming of Christ to this earth. We celebrate the fact that You, Jesus, are very much alive today, and You are at work in this world. You are redeeming and renewing and making all things new. You are transforming lives, and You are working by the power of Your Holy Spirit, and You are working to make this whole world new.

And we say, “Lord, we are Your servants. May it be to us according to Your Word. Have us. Use us. Fill us with Your Spirit. Do whatever You want to in and through us for Your glory and for the sake of Your kingdom.”

Use us as women in each others’ lives to encourage and to bless and to inspire faith. Help us to look around and to know who needs to be encouraged, who needs that baton of faith passed on to them. Help us as older women to love those younger women around us, and help younger women to look to the older women and to say, “I need encouragement.”

Oh Lord, I pray that the lessons from Elizabeth’s life would go with us, and that You would raise up an army of Elizabeths and Marys and Zechariahs in our day who would trust You and walk with You. And may Christ be magnified through each of our lives. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Leslie: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has been showing you why you can take comfort in knowing that God is the author of your story.

This short series on Elizabeth has really challenged me to trust God with His plan for my life, and now I’m ready to dig deeper into the new study on Elizabeth. Let me remind you how you can get a copy of a new Bible study called, Elizabeth: Dealing with Disappointment.

Nancy mentioned it earlier in the program, and we’d like to send you this booklet when you support Revive Our Hearts with a gift of any amount. Just visit ReviveOurHearts.com to make your donation, or call us at 1–800–569–5959. Be sure to ask for the Elizabeth study.

As we approach the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision in the United States, do you ever feel like there’s nothing you can do to help save lives from abortion? Tomorrow we’ll hear from a teenager who discovered she could get involved. Hear how she engaged her peers on the sanctity of life, tomorrow, on Revive Our Hearts.

After today’s teaching, Nancy talked with our audience about this series and how they’ve dealt with disappointments in their lives. Let’s listen to their thoughts.

Joyce: As you said, we know nothing about Elizabeth’s life up until her old age, except in verse 6. It says, “She kept the commandments, and she walked diligently with the Lord.” So, in summary, that says a whole lifetime.

Nancy: Yes, it does. Absolutely. When she comes to old age, that’s what can be said of her, in summarizing and reviewing her life. Exactly. Thank you, Joyce.

Jean: I appreciated what you had said in the beginning about barrenness. I had thirteen kids, and I don’t think of barrenness. I mean, skip over that. (laughing) But at this point in my life, my husband just retired, and my youngest is twelve. I home schooled all thirteen of them. I’m on the last two.

I feel kind of out of step. Like, I know what ruts are. I love ruts. You know just where you’re going. Yet I feel out of step on what the next things should look like, what life holds. And we all have different seasons, but embracing that and being exuberant and confident in God, not in what you always do and what is familiar, but being confident in God and not in what your schedule looks like or what you think the future looks like. So I’ve appreciated that. I feel really encouraged.

Nancy: I love that, and I think Elizabeth had kind of the opposite problem. She’d been childless all those years, and then in her—did we say she was old? (laughter) In her old age, she’s now got a baby, a toddler, a little one. That’s a change! She’d learned how to do childlessness, and God had a new season for her.

I learned how to do singleness for fifty-seven years.

A rut’s not always a bad thing. It’s a habit pattern. There’s things that you learn to be faithful about.

And then marriage is a new, amazing, wonderful season in my life, but a lot of adjustments, a lot of trusting the Lord in new ways.

So Proverbs 31 says of this woman of virtue, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” She smiles at the future because she knows—not that she’s up for it or that she’s strong or that she’s great or that she’s got it figured out. But she knows that God is doing a new work, God is doing a new thing, and she embraces that.

So, yes, the ability to look to the future with whatever changes it may involve. I actually have some ideas for your life. I’m glad you shared that. (laughter)

Jean: And what you’ve said, too, in the past, whatever causes you to trust God more, to look again and not just do what you’ve always done. To look again and to stay stirred up in your heart is always a better thing.

Nancy: Yes. Thank you, Jean. I love that.

Woman: I would say a reminder of, God’s faithfulness is not dependent on my circumstances. I’m just constantly being reminded of that.

And the other thing—we didn’t necessarily talk about contentment—but the world keeps saying, “Don’t be content with what you have.” Sometimes I feel bad for being content. Like, I’m forty-eight, single, never married. There’s been times of longing and desire, and, for the most part, by God’s grace, I’ve had contentment. Sometimes I think, Is there something wrong with me that I’m content in this area? So that just kind of came up.

My coworker—he’s a pastor—said he’s a bachelor till the rapture. I don’t know if that’s necessarily true for me, but just this idea of contentment.

And also, you were saying as well: How do we bless one another as sisters? Like, really, with the words of our mouths, bless one another, remind one another of who God is and of who we are in Him and whose we are. We can never hear that enough. We can call each other out, but what does it look like to call one another up to who we are, who God says we are as His daughters? We need to be reminded of that. I know I do.

Nancy: Yes.

Woman: As you reminded us, there’s more than one form of barrenness. My two sons have given me twelve lovely children, grandchildren, but I can have no contact with them. And this is a great sorrow. But as God has withheld, as you mentioned about Elizabeth, as God has withheld the blessing of relationships with my grandchildren, you’ve encouraged me to believe that God has a purpose in that, and that there may be a time when it will be the right time. So thank you. God is still at work as long as I remain faithful.

Nancy: Yes. He can see the whole story, the whole picture. We can’t. We just see this little slice of it, this little moment of it. God uses these hard things—and every woman in this room could tell . . . You have your hard things, and if you don’t, you will. God uses those to sanctify and to bring glory to Himself and to help make the story more spectacular when, like the son is born, when John is born, when Jesus is born, the fact that it came through, that these births came through impossibly difficult and painful situations, in Elizabeth’s case, gives God the glory. No one else can take credit for it.

It puts the spotlight on the power and the faithfulness of God who keeps His promises and who remembers. He doesn’t forget. In whatever season of life you’re in, He doesn’t forget. He remembers. He’s the God of the oath, the God who makes and keeps promises, and the God who is gracious.

Those names—Zechariah, Elizabeth, and John—I hope you’ll remember them because that’s what we need to counsel our hearts with in those moments: God remembers. God keeps His promises. God is gracious.

And, really, that’s enough to get us through—if we’ll let it—to get us through just about anything you could imagine this side of heaven, right? Hard as it may be, as filled as our eyes are with tears in the midst of that.

Woman: And speaking about it being His story, when you talked about Elizabeth and what she could have felt when she first visited with Mary. Mary’s young, she’s old, but I loved that Elizabeth knew who it was all about and not herself. I loved that you pointed that out because it’s never about us. And even 2,000 years ago, it’s never been about us. It’s always about Him.

Nancy: Yes. And yet, beautifully, God cares about us, and we magnify the Lord, and He blesses us. So our greatest joy and fulfillment in time and eternity comes from not claiming or demanding that for ourselves, but giving Him the attention and giving Him the glory. Daniel talks about those who shine like stars in the firmament. There will be rewards. There will be joys. There will be unending joy for us, not because we sought it. We sought to bless Him, to lift Him up, and yet He’s the Servant who comes and washes the feet of the servants and blesses them and brings joy to us

So it’s not a way of losing. It’s a way of ultimately gaining. We seek His gain, and He works endlessly and tirelessly and eternally for our joy and delight. How sweet is that?!

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants you to trust God to write your story. The program is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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