God Listens to Honest Hearts
Crisis always bring out the real nature in a person! The way to discover strengths and weakness in a piece of metal is to put it through a stress test. Under stress both flaws and strengths are evident.
So under stress a persons real nature comes out.
Is his nature kind or cruel?
Does he react with violence or gentleness?
Does he come to pieces or come to inner strength and peace?
Is faith merely a word used on Sunday or is it at the very core of his being?
In the Old Testament when Job was tested in extreme adversity the Bible says "In all this Job did not sin by charging God with wrong doing".
Later Jobs friends as well as his wife encouraged Job to "curse God and die"!
But Job's reply expressed a deep inner faith
"I know that my redeemer lives, and in the end He will stand upon the earth...I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes - I and not another. How my heart yearns within me."
Job was made of good stuff!
Jesus loved to tell stories of people under pressure.
He often did it by characterizing people who represented the extremes of life and pitting them against each other.
In one parable he pitted a priest,
Levite against a hated Samaritan.
In another He contrasted a prodigal son against a self-righteous son.
In this parable He contrasted a Pharisee against a tax collector.
Jesus leads into this story of the Pharisee and the Publican by first telling another story.
The first is a story of a widow who has injustices done against her.
She goes to the judge, but the judge won't pay any attention to her.
However she is persistent! She keeps going back and back to the judge.
Finally he gets tired of her pestering him and give her what she wants.
She was not only rewarded by her persistence but the crisis the judge put her in brought out how deeply she felt about the matter.
Jesus points out that if a judge does tha ...
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