Thursday, November 18

Don’t give up

Scripture: Job 8-10, Luke 18

Luke 18:7 Will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?  

Observation

In the parable of the unjust judge, Jesus contrasts the unjust judge with God.  The judge is hard-hearted and only moved to action by the widow’s persistence.  But God cares about his people and will respond quickly.  

Jesus describes us as those “who cry out to him day and night.”  And the point of the parable, Luke tells us in verse 1, is “to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”  We don’t have to pray to overcome some reluctance in God, like the unjust judge.  Instead, we cry out day and night because we know that God hears us, cares and will answer.   

Application

The phrase “cry out to Him day and night” stood out to me because I have a number of people that I’ve been praying for earnestly, people who are facing very difficult circumstances.  And this story encourages me to keep praying because God hears me.  Don’t give up.  He is not an unjust judge that resents my appeal, but a loving Father who welcomes it.  

Here is the tension in the story: the point is that we are to “always pray and not give up,” and the promise is that God “will not keep putting them off but will see that they get justice, and quickly.”  It would seem that persistence is unnecessary if you get an answer quickly.  But Jesus puts these two thoughts together, and we are to keep praying and not give up because God is willing and will answer quickly.  

Perhaps it has to do with God’s view of time and ours.  Some of the people I’m praying for are facing long-term hardship—cancer treatments, profound grief.  And some of the issues I’m praying for—EG, unity in God’s church—won’t be solved in a day.  But Jesus’ words indicate I should keep on praying, crying out day and night, because of my confidence in God’s goodness and care.  

So I will.

Prayer: Lord, today I will lift my heart’s cry to You—day and night—and won’t give up.  Not because I have to overcome Your reluctance, but because I trust Your goodness and care.  Thank You for hearing my prayers.  Help me to keep praying when the answers seem slow in coming to me.  Help us, Your people, to keep praying and not give up.