Focus: Receiving justice through relationship
Matthew 20:25-28 (NKJV) But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
No matter how long you have waited to see the answers to your prayers—don’t give up. Have faith. God may be testing you to find out if you’re really sincere about what you are asking for.
There are different viewpoints on whether it’s necessary to be persistent in prayer. Some say we should take our burden to the Lord and leave it there. Some are of the opinion that when we continue to pray for the same things over and over, we aren’t showing respect to God—and we’re acting as though He didn’t hear us the first time.
The Bible has encouragement for us to press on in prayer:
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
1 Thessalonians 1:3 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 6:18 …praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…
1 Thessalonians 5:17 …pray without ceasing…
In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus shared an example of how we should always pray and not lose heart. He said, “There was in a certain city a judge who didn’t fear God and had a hard heart and was closed minded toward people. Now there was a widow in that city who came to the judge, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ The judge did nothing for a while; but eventually, the judge said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect people, because this widow keeps coming to me over and over—I will avenge her, otherwise—she will wear me out and continue to bother me.’ ”
(read more below)
Now, you can listen and/or read!
Then Jesus said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Jesus was saying that even an unjust judge will grow tired of hearing a person who has no one to help them and will give the person justice, if only to ‘save face’. But, God is not an unjust judge—He is the Holy and Righteous One. How much more will He hear the prayers of those who have the faith to continually ask until they receive the justice they need from God.
Many people ask for God’s help and when nothing happens right away—they use it as an excuse to get mad at Him. People with true faith—love God—whether He answers their prayers according to the way they think He should—or not. People who truly love God—trust God. People who know God, understand that He is both loving and just.
Psalm 37:1-6 says, “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.”
It’s important to not lose faith in the fact that God hears your cry for justice in the matters that concern you—but it’s equally important for you not to become so consumed by your problems that you are unable to delight yourself in Him. God will answer your prayers—but hopefully, He will answer your prayers not only because of your persistent nagging—but because He can’t refuse you—since you are the child who dearly loves Him and sits at His feet.
Declaration: I will find new strength by not spending more time reminding God of my desire for justice than I spend adoring Him for Who He is.
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee as of the date they were written and posted. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog. This material will be published as a book in 2014, by the grace of God. To subscribe to New Strength, select ‘follow’ in the upper left corner of this page.
For music selections that will help bring hope and encouragement during your recovery from depression and addiction, browse:http://www.youtube.com/user/NewStrengthMusic/videos?view=1&flow=grid