Sunday, January 20, 2013

Never Give Up

“When is this trial going to be over?”  “Why should I pray?”  “God’s not listening to me!”  “I can’t fight these issues anymore, it’s too much!”  “Where is God?”  As the problems mount upon us, we can quickly become terrified in the situation.  So, terrified we decide to waive the white flag of defeat!  Retreat!  Well, it’s easier to wave the white flag; instead of continuing to pray. Recently a young believer approached me with a question, “If I approach God’s throne again about an issue does it show a lack of faith?”  My response, “How badly do you want an answer?” 

 When we approach the Throne Room of God in prayer, we expect an answer.  It’s not a wrong expectation; we should expect God to answer because it’s a promise of His Word.  Yet, who hasn’t had the cricket noise experience during our prayer time?  We pray with urgency, faith and read the Word but God’s presence can’t be felt or His voice is silent.  It’s very alarming to us, why does God seem distant?  Why isn’t there any response? We can't give up praying because we don't see the answer.  Daniel prayed the first time, God heard his request. Yet, it wasn't answered right away because of war in the heavens. Daniel stayed persistent in his request until the answer came, so we must do the same. 

Daniel 10:12 says, “The he continued, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel.  Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before God, you words were heard, and I have come in response to them.”

     Is it easy to keep praying without any evidence of an answer?  No it’s not easy but that’s what faith is all about.  “We walk by faith and not by sight.”  Like Daniel, we will sometimes get delays in our answers to our prayers.  God's not ignoring you or your situation, He sees all.  Right now, you may feel abandoned, rejected, or alone but that's a lie from the devil. Don't stop praying! God hears every word we pray, I am confident of it because of this promise found in Psalm 34:15, "The EYES of the LORD are on the righteous and his EARS are attentive to their cry."  In other words, God is PRESENT! 
     Although you may not “feel” God is present because He feels distant or silent, it doesn’t mean God is ignoring your cry.  God is acquainted with all your way because He made you.  God knows when you sit, when you rise, your thoughts from afar. (Psalm 139:2-4) Besides all of this, He has every single hair of your hair numbered. (Luke 12:7)  He is aware of what’s going on right now!

“Cast your cares upon the Lord for HE CARES FOR YOU!” I Peter 5:7

So, keep seeking Him!  Don’t lose heart or get frustrated with requests yet to be answered.  If anything it’s time to dig your heels in the ground with a determined heart, I will touch the Lord!  Don’t give up!  Christ said not to give up!  “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should ALWAYS PRAY and NOT GIVE UP!  
     We must understand some important truths in this parable to gain insight to prayer.  First, “Christ is not likening God to an unrighteous judge.  The parable is on the ‘How much more variety.”  If a wicked man will sometimes do good, even if from bad motives, how much will God do right?” (Luke by Leon Morris) 
     Second, we need to understand the key characters of this parable: judge, widow, and the elect.  The judge doesn’t fear God or worried about the vengeance of God upon his life.  Also, he doesn’t care about the people he serves or what’s happening to his town.  Yet, he is only one with power to change or bring deliverance.  Next, we have the widow woman who is being oppressed by her enemy.  Why is this so important?  In Biblical times, if a woman didn’t have a husband she had no protection or voice in society.  Also, if she didn’t have a male child, she was considered cursed or looked down upon.  It’s not how God viewed the women or widows, so let me be clear on that.  Nevertheless, this widow needs relief from the oppression, so she seeks the only One in her town who could grant her request.  She doesn’t just ask once for her request but until her desire was granted.  She was going to wear him out!  The judge recognized her persistence to the point of her “bothering him” so he grants it.  Yet, Jesus teaches us an important principle about prayer from the elect: persistence pays off.  Our Heavenly Father loves us; we are His chosen ones who cry out day and night.  It’s only those who are diligent in prayer will see the rewards.  (Hebrews 11:6)  Our Father will not put off our request, He will answer us quickly.  Keep in mind; God’s timing isn’t like ours.  A delayed answer doesn’t mean God is absent or unaware of the situation; He is working behind the scenes to show His glory to all.