When you have prayed, fasted, worshiped, obeyed, and called on the Lord in every way you know how, and the answer still doesn’t come, what do you do?
If you are like me, you cry and complain and look for someone to listen to your struggles and hopefully share a word that will make you feel better. And when that doesn’t help, you begin to doubt yourself and wonder what you’ve done wrong or how you missed Him.
Will He Find Faith? ~ Women Who Persevere
It’s hard not to just give up in despair. Today as I was deep in prayer on this subject, I thought about the Parable of the Persistent Widow.
“And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”Luke 18:1, ESV
I love that we get the reason for the parable in the first sentence–that we should “always pray and not lose heart.”
Keep coming to Jesus.
“He said, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, “Give me justice against my adversary.”‘”Luke 18:2-3
Jesus shared this story with His disciples and used a widow as His main character. A widow in those days represented the poorest and most vulnerable of society, because without a husband, she had no one to care for her needs or seek justice on her behalf.
Not only that, but she is dealing with both an adversary and an unworthy judge who doesn’t fear God nor care about others. We aren’t told anything regarding her foe or how she had been wronged, but only that she sought justice against her adversary.
We too have an adversary.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”1 Peter 5:8
Sometimes we blame the devil for every problem we face, when many of our troubles are the result of our own choices. But sometimes we do the opposite: We blame ourselves for every problem and fail to see the enemy behind the scenes wreaking havoc.
We must be watchful for the work of the enemy in our lives, seeking the Father to come to our aid and work on our behalf.
Thank God, we have a better Judge than the one in this story.
“‘For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, “Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down with her continual coming!”‘”Luke 18:4-5
I love it! She refused to give up or give in. She would not lose heart. She continued to cry out for justice against her adversary because she believed.
Don’t give up!
Sometimes, we get so weary and tired of the battle that we are tempted to throw our hands up and just say, “You win, Devil.”
But Jesus told this parable so we would not lose heart!
“‘And the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.'”Luke 18:6-7
If a judge who doesn’t love God or people will give in to faith and persistence, how much more will a loving God give His children justice against our enemy?
You may feel that you have been crying out day and night already. You might read this and think, “Well, God has obviously forgotten about me because I’m still waiting for an answer.”
Listen. God is the Righteous Judge. And what may seem slow in coming to us is right on time with Him. What looks like a “no” to our requests is always God working for our good, even when we can’t see it and don’t feel it (Romans 8:28).
What seems to be failure and darkness and despair all around us is just the clouds obscuring the brightness of the sun. He is still here. He is with us. And He is working on our behalf (Romans 8:34).
“‘Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?'”Luke 18:8
That’s the real question.
Jesus told this parable in the context of a discussion with His disciples about His second coming. It was a warning to them that in the last days many would be going on with life as if they had nothing to fear, living for themselves without a care in the world.
He reminded them as He had taught them before that “whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will keep it” (17:33).
Have faith in God.
Jesus was teaching us to keep our focus on Him, even unto death, even when things look bad, even when the answers don’t come. We live for Him and we pray and we don’t give up.
Even in the face of suffering and unanswered questions, we don’t lose heart. Because the adversary is real, and he’s relentless. But he’s not victorious.
We are victorious (1 John 5:4). We are redeemed (Galatians 3:13). We are the overcomers (1 John 4:4). We are seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6), co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), and promised an eternity that far outweighs the troubles and trials of this world (2 Corinthians 4:17).
We just have to believe it.
“Resist him [the devil], standing firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”1 Peter 5:9-11
Yes ma’am. You just keep crying out to Jesus. He will find faith on this earth.