“But when I, the Son of Man, return, how many will I find who have faith?” (Luke 18:8) “All day long I put my hope in you.” (Psalm 25:5)
Reading this verse the other day, if I am honest, haunts me a bit. Not in a bad way, as you will see, but rather a constant reminder. I suppose that is what Jesus intended when He told the ‘story of the persistent widow’. A story to illustrate our ‘need for constant prayer and to show us that we must never give up’. These two things are inseparable, you need both to live a life of faith. The story is simple enough, godless man giving justice to a persistent widow, but the explanation in the last verses reveals what Jesus wanted to show us.
Using the words of the Psalmist, ‘All day long I put my hope in you’, will help you start thinking about what Jesus meant when He said, ‘how many will I find who have faith? ‘A few important points are needed to fully understand this statement. In the same story, Jesus makes this statement, ‘so don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people’. ‘
This means that those that receive justice are chosen by God, they belong to Him or they are His people. This story is for us to read and understand. Yet, even then, Jesus leaves a warning for those that are not His people. In the story, they are the judge and the ‘someone’ who had harmed the widow. In the end, they also saw justice. Don’t think that you or I could ever escape from the hand of God. Justice will come for our actions, and it will come quickly.
Another thing which should not have escaped you is that ‘he will grant justice’. Yes, I have stated this again. The reason is simple, but often missed. God is not human, where one statement could mean another thing or perhaps He can’t really fulfil what He says. You are dealing with God! His word is final and unchanging. Please understand, that God will show us justice. He will show justice to those in the right and to those in the wrong. I pray that you will be on the side of the right, and not under the wrath of a righteous and just God. So, ‘how many will I find who have faith?’
Those who belong to God and receive justice are those that have faith. How wonderful is Jesus teachings! He bought us right back to how we can have constant prayer and never give up. For faith is complete trust in God. We don’t need to worry about receiving justice because God has already given it. We need to hope in Christ all day long with thanksgiving for all He has given us. For if we have faith, we have Christ and all His promises.
Why then do I say this haunts me a little bit? Sometimes, when I am struggling, and I hear this question, ‘how many will I find who have faith?’ I think of being on the other side of God’s justice. Then I remember in whom I trust, in whom I hope in all day long. It reminds me of who my eyes should be fixed on. It reminds me that God is who we need. That is what Jesus is showing us.