Welcome back to our series on perseverance. If you have missed any of the earlier posts, you can find them listed at the end of this post.
Keep on prayin’ on!
Some things don’t come easy.
Do you remember the parable that Jesus told about the poor widow, begging the unjust judge for legal protection from her opponent? The story is found in Luke 18:1-8.
Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge *said; 7 now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
This poor woman kept coming to that nasty judge, bothering him, asking persistently. He finally gave in just to get her off of his back. Jesus makes the point that if an unjust judge will answer persistence, how much more will God bring justice to His children who cry out to him.
This widow was in a difficult and seemingly hopeless situation. She had two choices: she could give up or she could persevere and keep asking for justice. She shows a persistent faith that keeps coming, keeps asking even in the face of a difficult, discouraging, unjust, unfair situation. What can we learn from this widow?
What can we learn about prayer here?
To ask persistently demonstrates an intensity of need or desire, as well as faith to keep asking. Persistent faith keeps asking, keeps coming, despite prolonged difficulty. Persevering faith does not give in or give up, but keeps asking, believing that God will answer. Perseverance is a choice, and persistent prayer builds spiritual strength.
Persist until you come to that peaceful position of a resting trust that God will answer. Until that peace comes persist. God hears us the first time we pray, and according to Isaiah, He answers before we call. Everyone of us has things in our lives that call us to pray with perseverance. Sometimes there is a gap between the asking and the answer that God intentionally uses to strengthen our faith and challenge us to pray with grit.
“It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”
Persistence brings greater faith as we act on faith to persevere and keep asking. Persistence in prayer and perseverance carry us forward and are necessary in difficult circumstances because it is easy to become discouraged, give up or turn back.