A pastor recently shared with me about a devastating prognosis for someone in his congregation. The doctors called for extensive surgery in his facial infrastructure that could radically alter the man's features. The family was reeling in despair. During a Saturday evening service where I was to speak, the man's daughter bolted out of the service during worship. The pain of reconciling worship with her deep disappointment seemed too much to bear.

Perhaps this is why Jesus told the parable of the judge who did not fear God, nor cared about people, and why he shared the story of the insistent widow (Luke 18). Simply put, Jesus was inviting us to contend when facing impossible situations. Luke said that Jesus told this story so that we "would always pray and not give up!" Our Lord already knew that God was just and good, but questioned whether he could find "faith" among us! Our natural tendencies when faced with trying issues include:

  1. Not praying at all.
  2. Giving up when the situation doesn't resolve itself like we would have hoped.
  3. Getting frustrated or even angry because we can't reconcile our faith with the present moment.

By the way, the daughter came back on Sunday morning, received a word from the Lord and has determined to pray, believe and let God lead! When life gets complicated, get simple. When life is frustrating, be forthright. When life is downright disappointing, hold on. If the widow could contend for a better future, how much more should the bride of Christ be willing to contend!

Be encouraged by Isaiah 54 as you pray this week!

"Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart." -Luke 18:1 (NKJV)

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By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor