Don't Lose Heart
Continuing on yesterday's theme, Luke records a parable of Jesus in chapter 18:1-8 about persistence in prayer. The first verse tells the point of the parable, "that they ought always to pray and not lose heart." Jesus tells a story to make sure His disciples, the elect as He calls them in verse 7, know they should always pray. Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, agrees by saying, "pray without ceasing." Prayer, communication with God, is vital to our spiritual health. We should keep an open ended conversation with God going during our day, staying in the spirit of prayer as we live each day.
Jesus adds an interesting phrase to the end of verse 1, "and not lose heart." Jesus is implying that to stop praying is a sign that we have started to lose heart, or hope, or faith. Jesus at the end of the parable in verse 8 asks a question, "when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" Jesus is saying to those who are following Him, pray, pray, pray; it is a sign of your faith in God and His promises. If you lose heart you are losing your faith, you stop praying because you think God doesn't care, or because He can't hear you, or because He is incapable of acting. Jesus and Paul implore us to pray, continually. How is your fasting and praying going? Don't lose heart!
In the parable, Jesus says a widow is continually coming to a judge crying out for justice against her adversary. All we know about the judge is that he neither feared God nor respected man. To me, this means the judge is neither bound by fear of judgement in upholding God's moral law, nor feared the reprisal of men in upholding civil law. The woman was at the mercy of lawless judge. Yet she continued to plead her case and didn't lose hope that justice would be served. See how much better off we are when we pray to the creator God!
Jehovah God is merciful, just, powerful, compassionate, holy, and willing to act. Romans 8:31-34 says, "...If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn?..." Don't lose heart! Jesus is interceding for us, he is our counsel at the right hand of the father, the righteous judge. I join with Jesus and Paul, Pray, pray, pray!