Luke 18: 1-8 - Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart saying: "There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, 'Get justice for me from my adversary.'
And he would not for a while, but afterward he said within himself, 'Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.'"
Then the Lord said, "Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily, nevertheless,when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"
Jesus challenges our modern traditions. He asks, "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" His question is a warning to Christians who would limit the power of God at the end of the age. Jesus is calling us to resist the downward pull of our traditions; He is asking us individually, "Will I find faith in you?
Jesus associates faith with "day and night" prayer (Luke 18:7). He is not asking, "Will I find correct doctrines in you?" The Lord's question does not so much concern itself with our head as with our heart. What we believe is important, but how we believe is vital in securing the help of God.
Indeed, procuring the SUPERNATURAL HELP OF GOD is exactly the point of Jesus' parable in Luke 18. His intent was to show that "at all times" we "ought to pray and not to lose heart" (verse 1). To illustrate the quality of faith He seeks, He followed His admonition with a parable about a certain widow who petitioned a hardened judge for "legal protection" (verse 3). Although the judge was initially unwilling, yet by her "continually coming" (verse 5) she gained what was legally hers.
Jesus concluded by asking, if an unrighteous judge will respond to a widow's persistence, "will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?" Jesus said, "I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly" (verses 7-8).
DESPERATION PRODUCES CHANGE
It is significant that Jesus compared His elect to a widow harassed by an enemy. The image is actually liberating, for we tend to conceptualize the heroes of the faith as David or Joshua types – individuals whose successes obscure their humble beginnings. But each of God's servants has, like the widow, a former life that is brimming with excuses and occasions to waver.
Look at the widow: She has legitimate reasons to quit, but instead she prevails. Indeed, she refuses to exempt herself from her high potential simply because of her low estate. She makes no apologies for her lack of finances, knowledge, or charm. Giving herself no reason to fail, she unashamedly plants her case before the judge where she pleads for and receives what is hers: legal protection from her opponent.
DESPARATION - GOD'S HAMMER
How did a common widow gain such strength of character? We can imagine that there must have been a time when, under the relentless pressure of her adversary, she became desperate, and desperation worked to her advantage. DESPARATION is God's hammer: it demolishes the stronghold of fear and shatters the chains of our excuses. When our desperation exceeds our fears, progress begins.
We can stay the course because of the enabling of the strength of the Lord in us! We are strengthened deep within so that we stand firm for the promises of the Lord for our life. We lean into the Lord with deep courage to believe for the impossible to be possible.
Hebrews 10:23 - "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is FAITHFUL;"
Once we have endured the fire and have received the passion, we must persevere. Jesus didn't quit at Gethsemane. He went all the way to crucifixion! Once we've sustained the fiery furnace we can't give up. We must set our heart like flint, ready to go all the way with God in what He is CALLING us to do (Gods PURPOSE for our life).
GOD HAS A GREAT DEAL FOR ME TO POSSESS. MY TAKING POSSESSION WILL REQUIRE GREAT FAITH AND PERSEVERANCE.
GOD IS CONTINUALLY PUTTING NEW CHALLENGES BEFORE ME TO DEVELOP MY FAITH AND PERSEVERANCE AT A DEEPER LEVEL.
I REFUSE TO BURY THE INVESTMENT GOD HAS MADE IN ME.
I PRESS TOWARDS THE MARK FOR THE PRIZE OF THE HIGH CALLING OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS.
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