Finding Faith

1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, 2 saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. 3 There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ 4 For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’ ” 6 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? 8 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?” Luke 18:1–8 (NASB95)

This passage is referred to often in sermons and teachings on prayer. No good preacher can resist the parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge. As always, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

The widow, with no one else to turn to, sought protection under the law from a local secular administrative officer, not a lofty religious leader. Her persistence caused this unseemly man to finally relent and grant her request.

While it would not seem necessary to badger God with our needs, we are taught elsewhere to make our requests known to him.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

Of course, we shouldn’t treat God like some genie in a bottle, but with the requisite fear and trembling. Otherwise, we’ll never develop a perpetual resilient faith. Trusting in him requires some element of delay and suspense, requiring patient waiting and no loss of heart.

In the context of Christ’s return, we should understand that believers will have to endure more and more injustice in this world. Those who do not “fear God nor respect man” will by far outnumber those who do. As we sense more and more that we are being “put upon,” we’ll need to harken back to the Lord’s words here, and demonstrate our “faith” with fervent prayer “at all times.”

Jesus had been “holding court” with his disciples on his coming separation from them and his return. The point he was trying to make was, in the grand scheme of things, God will bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and he’ll do so quickly.

The big question, though, is if Jesus will find “faith on the earth” when he returns.

About Rick Reynolds

You'll find me in the far right hand corner of evangelical Christianity. Been studying the Word for nearly 45 years and counting.
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