Sunday, October 17, 2010

Stay the course

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Luke 18:1-8

TO CHEW ON: "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?" Luke 18:7

If you have been praying for a long time about something, this story with its invitation to persistent prayer is probably one you have clung to.

It drives home its lesson by contrast (as opposed to comparing things that are alike). The main figure in the story is an unprincipled judge — so different from God who is the very essence of all that is good and right.

The other character is a widow. But the person to whom the story applies — the Jesus-follower, the Christian — is a part of the church, Jesus' bride.

The widow brings her story of injustice to that judge over and over and over. That's us, praying about the same thing again and again.

Finally that judge, though he's a rogue, acts on the widow's behalf, not because of the legal rightness of her case, but because he's tired of her bugging him.

Jesus asks (rhetorically), if a secular judge with no standards responds to a woman with no status, even though it's for selfish reasons, how much more surely will God, the very essence of justice, respond to "His own elect" — His Bride — who are persistent?

When you get down to it, this is also a story about patience and trust in God's timing. God knows the right timing for things. I think of Bible characters who waited longer than they expected to:

- Saul for Samuel (1 Samuel 13:7-14).

- Joseph to get out of prison (Genesis 40:14-41:14).

- David to become king (1 Samuel 16:1,11-13 [David's age when Samuel anointed him king isn't given. There is speculation he was as young as 10] ; 2 Samuel 5:4).

In some cases the wait was just days, in others, years. But to the person praying and waiting, it no doubt seemed like the thing would never happen. Waiting for God's time paid off for Joseph and David, just as going ahead in impatience was tragic for Saul.

Let's let Jesus' story encourage us to keep praying while we wait.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to resist impatience and discouragement when I pray. I want to be persistent in prayer while I wait patiently on Your timing. Amen.

MORE: "My Deliverer Is Coming" - Rich Mullins

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...