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The Persistent Widow
February 25, 2018
Clayton & Mt. Sterling, Illinois Christian Churches
by Pastor Bob Wise
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The Persistent Widow                        (audio version coming soon)

Luke 18:1-8

Christ describes a judge who seems to be weary of his job. Too many people with endless complaints and needs come to him for decisions, advice and assistance.

After awhile it does become just a job rather than a calling or duty.

She pleaded for justice, for the judge to listen and see that she was in the right and to intervene for her.

The widow’s pleading was persistent and unending. She needed help. She needed relief. Would the judge, would someone, anyone, help her? It seemed hopeless!

There came a moment of exasperation when the judge realized he did not want to see this woman appear before him again.

He decided he would hear her case.

The day came when the judge issued his ruling in favor of the widow. The case was over, and the woman returned to her home. She had learned a valuable lesson about human justice. Above all she had learned to stay with a cause—to not give up—to be persistent.

Christ tells us to “hear what the unjust judge said” (Luke 18:6). In the judge’s conclusion there is a lesson. Not a lesson in the type of judge to be, one who is hard and arrogant, but a lesson in how we should approach our relationship with God.

God is the righteous judge of all the earth, and His judgment is always fair and impartial, and His timing is always appropriate.

Christ said, “He bears long with them” (Luke 18:7). He knows instantly, before we appear in His presence, what we need. He hears every word of our prayer.

Then Christ says something we can find a bit hard to believe: “I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

Speedily? We might argue with that. We might even think that God doesn’t hear or is very slow to respond. But we would be wrong. Because the real purpose for this parable is in the question,Will He really find faith on the earth?”

Faith is what the persistent widow had. Faith that her cause was just and she was in the right. Faith that the law was on her side and the law was good and would ultimately serve those who are victims of injustice. Faith that even the hardest-hearted old judge could be reached with the plight of a widow like her and could, from the recesses of his heart, be induced to act as he ought to.

Through this example of faith Christ is showing us to be persistent in our walk with God. Don’t give up. Don’t stop believing. Don’t ever begin to think He is not there, or He’s distracted, or He’s uncaring.

God is there, and He hears. What we may think is a “delay” is not so with God. Time with God is not the same as with us.

Remember, Christ said God “will avenge them speedily.” God is always right on time— His time.

What Christ is saying to us is “Stay with Me.” Go back to the beginning of the parable where Luke gives the reason for the lesson:

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

The widow didn’t lose heart. She kept going to the judge and seeking justice. We are to keep going to God in prayer for every need and every want. We cannot lose heart and fall back in despair and quit.

He is just and fair and is going to answer our prayers (Matthew 7:7-11)

His promise is to hear us and not neglect us. He is saying: Stay with Me when you’re healthy and happy and your needs are met.

Stay with Me when you have a job and your bank account is full. Stay with Me when the sun is shining and life is good and the wind is at your back. Stay with Me when you have the answers, the friends and the applause of the crowd. Stay with Me when you’re confident, wise and sound.

But also: Stay with Me, He says, when you’re lean and hungry and don’t know where the next meal will come from. Stay with Me, He says, when your health fails or an accident happens and you suffer as never before. Stay with Me, He says, when all you have worked for crumbles before your eyes and those whose friendship you coveted cannot remember your name. Stay with Me, God says, when you are so lonely and afraid the thought of getting out of bed each day presents a near impossible struggle.

Stay with Me, He says, one more day, one more time and


Stay with Me because there is no other.

This is what a story of a persistent widow teaches us about prayer and faith and not losing heart.

Be persistent like the widow going to a human judge, believing truth and justice will win in the end.

Stay with Me, God says, because I will bring you into My everlasting Kingdom.

Again I say: Stay with Me, He says, one more day, one more time and ONE MORE PRAYER.

with Janice Marsh 

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