I was challenged listening to the message from church on Sunday. In it, the pastor talked about faith and the perseverance of prayer. How the perseverance of prayer produces something.
He used a parable – a story – about a woman and a judge from Luke 18:1-8. In this story, there is a judge who is basically evil. He doesn’t care about God or people. He does what he wants with no respect towards anyone or anything. This woman, a widow, comes to him asking for justice and help from an enemy. In one version, she is asking for protection. He turns her away because he doesn’t care.
Yet, she keeps coming back. Again and again until this judge is fed up to the point that he helps her just to get rid of her. Not for fear of God or because of what people think, just because she is so persistent, he ends up helping her.
Then, Jesus, who is telling this story, turns to his disciples and explains… Do you see? Do you get it? It is important that you always pray, that you never give up. God WILL step in and help his people who are crying out for help. But… really… how much of that persistent kind of faith is left on Earth?
Oooh. Dagger. Right? Who of us has that persistent kind of faith?
The Pastor on Sunday went a littler farther with this when he mentioned how Jesus would sometimes say “Oh ye of little faith.” And how this might not make sense if you’re thinking the size of faith because Jesus also said if you have faith size of a mustard seed you can move mountains! But in this case, little is not describing the size but the duration of faith. Jesus was saying “You don’t have the faith that will endure until the breakthrough comes!”
This hit me hard. Do I have the faith that will endure until the breakthrough comes? How often do I pray for a day, a week, or a month and then give up? What if God is building endurance? What if God is waiting and growing something in me that is so necessary and I’m giving up before the time is right? God has a plan and a future for me. His thoughts towards me are of peace and a hope for the future. (Jeremiah 29:11). But am I trusting in His timing? Is my faith, the duration of my faith, large enough?
I’ve suffered with migraines for a long time. I’ve prayed for health for a long time. I’ve seen some major breakthroughs in my life in the past few months but not in the area of health. Does that mean God is not working? I don’t understand His plans, but I want my faith to be large enough to endure until the breakthrough. I will keep pushing on. I will keep praying.
I am thankful for the challenge presented by the pastor this past weekend. I am thankful for the push to stretch my faith and keep praying for things I’ve long been praying for. Breakthrough is coming. I don’t know when or how or how long my faith will endure but I will pray and keep praying and pray even that God will HELP my faith to endure until the breakthrough.
My friends, if you have been praying for a long time, I will encourage you to ask God to help your faith to endure as well. Let’s pray for our breakthroughs while we pray for our faith to endure in the meantime. God is working on us because He has a plan for us, a good plan. And he will continue to work on us and will never give up on us!