In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” (Luke 1:39-45)
God makes promises to us. Have you noticed that they are not always fulfilled immediately? There is often a gestation period. During that time our primary focus should be to hold on the promise with faith and hope. Elizabeth commended Mary for believing in the promise of God when what was promised seemed preposterous. Never had a virgin given birth to a child.
The Apostle Paul, who endured many hardships in his ministry, wrote this advice to the Church at Rome:
Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. (Romans 12:11-12)
Paul rejoice while he was in prison. How was he able to do so? He held on to his hope and persevered in prayer. He even sung praises to God when all seemed lost. Perhaps he and Mary had something in common that made them believe in the fulfillment of God’s promises. They must have an understanding of the overall purpose and plan of God. God had acted in the past on behalf of Israel and He would continue to do so.
Mary replied to Elizabeth this way:
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever. (Luke 1:54-55)
Has God helped us in the past? Do we see a continuity in His saving acts in our lives and in the lives of others. Perhaps if we pray for an understanding of His overall plan and purpose for us we will be better able what He made be doing in us in the moment. God is faithful. His Son was faithful to the plan of the Father because He understood the requirement of salvation. Our hope is that the faithful One will lead us in the way that leads to everlasting life.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)