(Luke 18:6-8 NKJV) 6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
In my last article we discussed how perseverant prayer is inexorably tied to faith in the very last days. The passage above are Christ’s concluding comments on a parable He told, for the purpose of communicating that men ought always to pray and not lose heart. The parable reveals the persistence of this widow to move an unjust judge to action, when he did not fear God or man. The unjust judge gave her justice, for the widow wore him out.
It is in this context our Lord Jesus Christ speaks thusly in concluding the parable. His summation reveals…
- God will certainly answer us swiftly, but we must grasp that our understanding of time, cannot inform what we assume is a swift answer to God. This is because He is eternal and is not constrained by time (II Peter 3:8-11).
- Therefore, we must concentrate on praying persistently and in faith. This means holding to His exceeding and precious promises, regardless of how long it takes, or how difficult the circumstances are.
- Because of our Lord’s non rhetorical question “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth“, we must regard the possibility of losing heart, leaving off persistent prayer, and therefore our faith being little or nonexistent at His return.
As stated in the last blog, our problem with persistent faith, is that we face difficulties, which sneer at our belief in God’s promises. We also live in a fast-food world, where we have been trained, especially in the prosperity heresy, that faith means instantaneous answers to all prayer.
Thankfully, these errors and Christian cultural overlay are debunked by the parable we have been discussing. That being said, it does not mean we will automatically overcome our impatience, which can lead to unbelief, where we say we trust and believe God, but live looking for answers outside of waiting on the Lord to answer us speedily.
How do we persevere that when Christ returns, He finds faith in us? By acknowledging we are prone to impatience and disappointment.
LOSING HEART AND MISSING FAITH IS REAL RISK
(Luke 18:1) “Then He spoke this parable that men ought always to pray and not to lose heart”.
For Christians, Jesus’ question ought to unsettle us, especially when we consider I John 5:14-16, where we read…
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him”.
One would assume we have reason to always rejoice, being this passage is a guarantee, but the reality is that despair is often around the corner quickly, when our petition appears to be delayed. We can mitigate this despair by reminding ourselves that our timing does not line up with His time frame, but the reality is we need to go to the Lord in prayer again in the despair, asking again, not that He needs to be reminded, for He does not. We need to be reminded in our impatience that He is faithful to answer.
Let us be honest, our human nature is prone toward losing heart. The scriptures speak to this reality, and not as if it makes us bad people.
(Proverbs 13:12 NKJV) Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
(Psalms 27:13-14 NKJV) I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!
I think you will agree, sometimes it feels as if we are being kept from the tree of life, as we wait on God. The key to perseverant faith is to hold to His promise, rejoicing each time we go to Him to ask, seek and knock; no matter how long it takes in our time.
We must be careful, because we want to be faithful, but faith is not like little orphan Annie where she sings “When I’m stuck with a day that’s grey and lonely, I just stick out my chin and grin and say… the sun will come out tomorrow”. Sometimes the sun does not shine on us. Despite this reality, we must remember that the Sun of Righteousness has risen, with healing in His wings.
The reason for Jesus question in Luke 18, is that we face a very real antichrist system already. This system has been in place for a very long time and had grown in influence with each passing year. The authoritarianism of the Covid-19 years had advanced this system and its components, as never before seen. in addition to this, the word of God reveals that part of the antichrist doctrine and system is to cause the saints to lose heart.
(Daniel 7:25 NKJV) He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.
(Revelation 13:5-7 NKJV) And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them
We are in the precursor to the time described above, but regardless we are called to connect repeatedly in persistence and perseverance faith. When Jesus asks, “When the Son of Man comes again, will He find faith on earth?” This is not a rhetorical question, but one of real inquiry.
In order to avoid losing heart, we must learn to be content in any situation knowing He is with us and will supply our need through the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). In order to avoid losing heart, our prayers must be shot at the center of the target, His will.
In order to avoid losing heart, we must work to holding fast to the word of life in the midst of this crooked and perverse generation.