You said it… as a child in the back seat on a long trip… ‘Are we there yet?’ Some trips try our childish patience. And we have no options.
Maybe, you have felt stuck in the back seat on the road to a place you do not want to go. If you have cancer, if you your relationships are failing or if there is no hope of getting justice… Jesus invites us to bring our vulnerability and injustice to a higher court. There is a world of difference between human justice and the courts of Heaven.
The main point is that God is much better than the calloused judges and power-brokers people are used to seeking help from. If we can persist until we get an answer from them, how different it is to bring our need to God who wants to hear it from us.
There is an idea presented here that God responds quickly and that Jesus’ return will come at a time when many people have lost their trust in God. If you have persisted in prayer and someone died instead of being healed, you might be tempted to lose faith in God.
If your marriage does not reconcile and your partner leaves you for another, you might want to think that Heaven cannot help.
The truth is that we give up easily. We may not want to bother a busy God with our problem. The matter is so pervasive that we question whether prayer has any influence or affect on outcomes.
And Jesus teaches in essence, ‘Hold on. This is an important thing and God wants you to come to Him with it. You know how to be stubborn with difficult situations and impossible people. How about sharing the tough stuff with a Father who actually cares?”
Jesus shows that God responds to prayer and listens to his children. He does not wind up the universe like a watch, as the deists of old argued. He does not merely send the universe ticking on its merry way and sit back to observe as an uninterested spectator; God relates to his creation. This is especially the case when our prayers cry out for justice and the righteous treatment of his children. In such cases, when God acts, his response will be swift and certain (v. 8).
If you ponder these things from eternity, life is too brief. Our cries of ‘How long’ and ‘Are we there yet’ will all be answered. Jesus invites us to pray with persistence. Though some answers take a lifetime, God will answer with compassion.
When should you stop asking on a matter? We stop when the circumstance is resolved or the answer comes. Paul did not get the relief from the thorn in his flesh, but God gave him something better. “Paul, my grace to help you endure is better than momentary relief. Grace will keep you well with this grave matter and strengthen you for other hardships.”
Unless God has responded to you with an answer, keep the conversation with God going. You will receive so much more than help you are asking for.
Will Jesus find faith on the earth when he returns? He will find your faith if you persist in bringing every hardship to Him. Why keep praying? It is because you believe that God cares and will one day make everything new.