I’ve always been drawn to the story of the persistent widow in Luke 18. I like the gutsy way she keeps coming back to the Judge day after day until she wears him down and he finally relents and gives her justice.
Jesus says that even in the natural realm this kind of dogged persistence will succeed though the Judge “did not fear God, and did not respect man.” (Luke 18:2) Then he reminds his listeners that God isn’t like that unrighteous Judge. “Now shall not God bring about justice for His elect, who cry to Him day and night”? (Verse 7) Persistence will win out.
But Jesus ends the parable with a curious statement. He laments; “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Verse 8) Why does he say “faith” instead of “persistence”? Shouldn’t it be; “Will he find persistence on the earth?” Isn’t this whole thing about being persistent in prayer?
As I was reading this scripture for the umpteenth time the other day I suddenly saw something I had never seen before. In God’s eyes, persistence EQUALS faith. That realization was a big shot of encouragement to me. There are times when I feel that my faith for a particular issue falters but if I persist, God sees it as if I had all the faith in the world. I’m going to get what I’m after as long as I keep after it.
If you’ve been praying for something for a long time don’t stop. When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith in YOU?