We all have experienced trials, difficulties, and wildernesses in life. Some have been in matters of health, some perhaps in relationships, others in finances, or loss of loved ones. When we find ourselves in dark or trying places, what can we do? We’ve tried everything possible, to no avail. Perhaps we’ve sought God with tears for years or simply cried out to God asking, “Why?”
We’ve prayed 10 years for a loved one lost in the world, but nothing seems to have changed – “Why?” We’ve struggled through a health issue that still persists after seemingly countless prayers – “Why?” We’ve fasted to see a breakthrough, but nothing happened – “Why??”
It’s easy to become discouraged or even angry and bitter when we don’t see the results we have hoped for. This leads to the question: Is there a time to just “give up”? Or do we continue pressing in, against all odds?
The word of God gives us the answer: Our Messiah spoke in Matthew 7, “Ask until you receive, seek until you find, and knock until it is opened to you.” What did Jesus, Yeshua, mean by this? That no matter how impossible your circumstance may be: Don’t give up. Continue pressing in to the Father, continue knocking and raising your petitions. You’ll find that you can’t do this in your own strength, but this is why God gave His Holy Spirit to comfort, empower, and enable us to do what the world would say is impossible: to persist in unwavering faith and steadfastness in the face of all odds. Knock as if the door is about to be opened!
Yeshua gave two parables on the importance of persistence that are simple and yet so powerful for the body of believers.
In Luke 11:5-13, we see the parable of the friend that came at midnight asking for bread:
“And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.”
The friend that came at midnight asking for bread received the bread he needed because of his persistence!
The second parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18 is very similar:
Luke 18:1-8 “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary. “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice’…And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for His Chosen Ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”
This is profound! Yeshua shares about how this widow’s pleas to the judge were finally answered – not because he was a God-fearing man – but simply because of her persistence. Verses 1 and 8 are the most incredible. Yeshua shares this parable to show his disciples that no matter the impossibility of their circumstances or even the lack of visible “results”, do not give up! Keep knocking. In the last verse, He assures that justice will be done for his chosen ones, however He ends with a very serious question: Will He find any faith left on earth? Will there be those who choose to trust in Him, even if they don’t see results right away? Will there be a people who continue seeking His face until they find?
Our faith and trust in Yeshua is our greatest weapon to breakthrough in different areas of our lives. However, being human, we can easily get caught up in what we see or don’t see. This is why 2 Corinthians 5:7 is a great daily reminder that we “walk by faith, and not by sight.” It’s important we don’t allow our understanding of our circumstances to determine what we believe our Heavenly Father is able or willing to do. No issue is too big or impossible for God, nor too little or unimportant for His notice. You are valuable and loved by God, and He knows you even better than you know yourself.
Yeshua says in Luke 12:7,
“But even the hairs of your head all have been numbered. Fear not; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”
Faith is not a point in time. Many times when we pray for something, we unconsciously (or consciously) place a deadline on it, and expect to see the result of what we’ve prayed for by a certain date or period in our lives. Perhaps you’ve prayed to find a Godly spouse, and it’s not just been months of waiting, it’s been years. When an answer to prayer takes longer than we’d like, the frustration and doubts often begin. When this happens, it is common for believers to say, “ I’ve prayed and prayed and nothing has happened yet!” But should our faith have a deadline?
In James 1:6 it states,
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”
As believers in the one true God, instead of being tossed and driven by our emotions or impressions of what is going on and what we can see with our eyes, let us rather be led by the Holy Spirit and our conviction of hope, that while we haven’t obtained the answer yet, we have the faith to continue believing that one day we will see it, because our Heavenly Father is a Good Father. A Father who knows our every need and the desires of our heart. Who knows the paths we take and created us with a powerful and beautiful purpose in His Kingdom.
“He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.” Psalm 112:7
Steadfastness is a crucial part of our character as followers of Christ. Steadfastness means that we are running after HIM and after our breakthrough with determination, unmovable, without fear, and fully confident that He is willing and able to do what we are asking. When our heart is fully trusting in Him, there is no place for discouragement, fear, or doubts. There are two scriptures that speak so clearly on being steadfast in hope and faith.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9
“For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:” Hebrews 10:36
The trials and worries of life can often feel overwhelming or never-ending, but when we choose to keep our eyes steadfast on Yeshua and seeking Him, there is a peace that He gives that is beyond understanding. It is possible to come to a place where we are no longer filled with worry, stress, fear, or doubt by what we see in the moment, how we feel, or by our present circumstances. This can happen when we stop letting our circumstances tell us what is possible, and we instead look to the One Who is able to make the impossible, possible. How amazing it is to have peace in the midst of the storm.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3
Don’t Give Up, Keep Knocking!
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-12