How Much Persistence Do You Have When You Doubt?
Good Morning Friends,
Today we look at a parable about not losing heart and the faith to walk on water and the commitment of an Apostle to live boldly. How Much Persistence Do You Have When You Doubt?
Scripture: Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, “Grant me justice against my opponent.” For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.” ‘ And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?’
Luke 18:1-8 (NRSV)
Three months later we set sail on a ship that had wintered at the island, an Alexandrian ship with the Twin Brothers as its figurehead. We put in at Syracuse and stayed there for three days; then we weighed anchor and came to Rhegium. After one day there a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. There we found believers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. The believers from there, when they heard of us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage. When we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with the soldier who was guarding him He lived there for two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.
Acts 28:11-16, 30-31 (NRSV)
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’
Matthew 14:22-33 (NRSV)
Message: Today’s scriptures converges with an appeal for us, in the storms of life, to be persistent in prayer. Whether our task is walking on water or convincing a judge of just action or committing, with sacrifice, to a cause greater than ourselves, we are to be in continual prayer. The parable about the woman with no rights, and no one to defend her, facing some matter of great injustice sets the stage. And it is in such a situation that we might fail in earthly matters of justice but we must not shirk from a spiritual firmness to press on with faith when others grow faint. We are not to bow before injustice systems but work for a just resolution for the cause of Christ. We are to realize that Christ desires that just as much as we pray, we would work for justice in this world with persistence and faith that produces hope that does not disappoint. Friends, our attitude and mindset make a difference. There are physical obstacles to overcome that might be difficult to move but it is the mental hindrances that are perhaps even more important. We must believe before we can accomplish a task worthy of glorifying God.
Pray we realize that God not only sets the agenda but also the timing of events. Pray that when no one will speak for us that we must find the faith and the courage to speak for ourselves. Pray we realize that God is just but also exceedingly patient and merciful. Pray we defend the orphans and the widows. Pray we realize that the world is filled with people who neither fear God nor respect the rights of people. Pray we be an answer to prayer for others by living without emotional hindrances but with great purpose as advocates for God. Pray we not grow discouraged. Pray we have a spiritual contentment that empower our love to act in faith and a physical commitment to overcome the obstacles that challenge justice. Pray the Kingdom of God come to rule in our hearts on earth as it is in heaven.