Luke 18:1-8 — Keeping the faith through times of trial

It would be easy from looking at just the first verse to think that Jesus’ point is simply that we should keep praying and not give up when God seems slow to answer.

This is most certainly true, but the type of prayer Jesus is talking about is very specific, and it hearkens back to what he was just talking about, the Last Days.  Days of trial, days of trouble.  And while Jesus promises that we will not be judged for our sins when he comes back, he makes no promises that we won’t go through trial and suffering.  And there will be times when we will suffer through great injustices.  This is particularly true of those who are Christians in the time of the Great Tribulation when Antichrist comes and reigns.

And it is these people that Jesus specifically is talking about.  The Bible makes it clear that those who are Christians will be persecuted, and it would be easy during that time to wonder where God is.  To wonder if he has abandoned us.  To wonder if he still cares.  To wonder if we will ever see justice for the all the persecution we endure.

So Jesus tells a story of a woman who suffered an injustice, and pleaded with a judge to give her justice.  But the judge for a long time refused to listen.  In the end, however, he got so tired because of the woman’s pleas, that he gave in and gave her the justice she asked for.

Jesus is not saying that God is unjust and has to be badgered into giving us justice.  In fact, he’s saying the exact opposite.  He’s saying, “If this unjust judge gave this woman justice because of her incessant pleas, how much more will God who is just give justice to those who are his own?”

You see another picture of this in Revelation 6:9-11.  These saints who were persecuted and killed for Jesus’ sake never found justice during their lifetimes on earth.  But God assured them that justice would soon come.

But it is hard to wait, especially when we are suffering.  And so Jesus asks of us,

However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?  (7)

Some of you may be saying, “Well, I’m not going to go through the Great Tribulation.  I’m going to be raptured before then, so I don’t have to worry about that.”

Honestly, I’m not so sure about that.  I think it’s very possible we will have to go through the Tribulation.  But even assuming that we don’t, how strong is your faith?

When you go through hard times, do you start questioning God and his justice?  Do you start asking, “God, where are you?  Do you still love me?  Do you still care?  Why are you letting me go through this?”

Or do you keep coming to God in faith, saying, “I believe in you.  Even through all I’m going through, I will not let you go.  I believe you will eventually bring me justice, if not in this life, then in the life to come.”

When Jesus sees you, does he see a faith that falters?  Or does he see an unshakeable faith?

So as the writer of Hebrews encourages us, let us strengthen our feeble arms and weak knees.  (Hebrews 12:12)  And let us never lose faith in the one who has proven himself to be faithful.

 

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About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: crossroad-web.com 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください: crossroad-web.com
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