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Luke 1:6-7 (NET)
6. They were both righteous in the sight of God, following all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. 7. But they did not have a child because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both very old.

A believer’s way of handling situations must always reflect the mind of Christ. It is common in our times to think that people experiencing certain difficulties must have attracted it somehow; attributing people’s misfortunes to unknown secret sins. “Maybe she aborted a lot that’s why she’s having difficulty with having babies”. Even people experiencing the difficulty sometimes display this attitude. “Who have I offended?” they wonder, “Is God punishing me for a past sin?”

This was what the friends of Job tried to do to Job, they kept insisting that Job accepts that he is being punished for a sin he had committed (Job 22:25). This is a wrong attitude. Our text today clearly shows a couple who were both righteous in the sight of God and blameless, and yet they were without children because the wife was barren. People who often believe that every evil that happens is a result of their sin will also believe that every good that happens is a result of their righteousness. Both attitudes are wrong. There is a better attitude.

We live in a fallen world and also have an adversary, the devil, whose aim is to kill, steal and destroy. (Of course, when you cooperate with the devil through sin and disobedience, you can be afflicted and hence be partly responsible for your affliction). However, though Zacharias and Elizabeth were barren they didn’t remain so; God’s power made the difference (Luke 1:36-37). Job was afflicted but didn’t stay so; God’s mercy turned it around (Job 42:10). So your attitude in affliction should be “…but there is a God in heaven”. Be like Jesus, when asked about the blind man in John 9:1-7, “who sinned…?” He affirmed not who sinned but the power of God.

Bible says, “Is any afflicted? Let him pray” (James 5:13). Pray in affliction; affirm God’s power in troubles. He will turn it around for good.

—Ikechukwu Mpama
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