There’s Hope, So Keep Interceding
January 11, 2013
Late this afternoon my mom called me and said, “Do you want to hear some really good news?” Good news is always wonderful to come by, so I of course said that I did. She then told me that she and the Chinese woman –the one who owns and manages a dollar store my mom has gone to over the last four years– had another encounter today. It was that when my mom went in there, the woman seemed changed. Her demeanor seemed softer and she was cheerful and helpful. When it came time to pay, my mom asked, “Well, have you thought any more about God?”
Now, the background here, is that this woman has been opposed to God and has scoffed at my mom often when my mom has tried to witness to her. One time she even yelled at my mom for all the store to hear, “Why do you talk to me about God, Jesus, Heaven, and Hell! There is no God and all of that is just nonsense! Now I’ll tell you who to listen to –listen to the T.V. The T.V. is what has all the information we need to know. Not the Bible!”
Consequently, my mom and I have proceeded to often pray for this woman, and my mom, very burdened for the woman’s soul, has simply continued, over the years, to go back and drop little seeds (statements) of the Gospel, including giving her a Bible. But, the woman has remained crabby and unbelieving.
Until today. As I was saying, when my mom got up to the counter this afternoon to pay, and asked the question about God, the woman, this time, said, “Well. I’ll have to tell you. My daughter, who has started going to church and is all excited about it, took me to a Christmas program last month. It was the most wonderful program. It had angels flying around, and real animals, and I heard the story of Jesus, and…” My mom listened, thrilled.
“So do you now believe in Jesus,” my mom asked. “–That He is God’s Son who came to take our punishment for having sinned so that we could be rescued from sin and Hell and go to Heaven?”
“Yea, I’m starting to believe,” the woman answered.
So there it is –the wonderful news my mom was able to share with me today. For though it has seemed, for years, that the soul of a particular Chinese business woman would never be redeemed (regained back from Satan to her Creator), now our faith and hope have been greatly restored! For she’s just about there! The Light has been shed on her heart and mind and God has been working! Even when we saw nothing, God has been faithfully answering our prayers (and undoubtably those now of her daughter), and He has indeed been drawing this woman to Himself. What a merciful God! And what a powerful God –One who can woo even the hardest heart!
Doesn’t this give us hope? Doesn’t this boost our faith? For how many of us are praying for someone to repent of sin, bow at Christ’s feet, and make Him their Lord so that He can also be their Savior? It may be a family member, or it may not be, but yet be someone for whom God’s Spirit in us will not stop interceding, even with intense weeping. For how immense is the Father’s love for people (John 3:16 // 1 John 3:1) that He would send His Son to make a way for us to be bought back from the evil one! What amazing love God demonstrated toward us, for while we were still sinners –still His enemies– Christ died for us, that we might be reconciled to Him. (Rom. 5:8,10) And what compassion He continues to lavish out, even on those who, through their refusal to repent, remain hostile toward Him. For because of His love, God patiently woos and works and intervenes, sending messengers, circumstances, punishments, judgements, and even His own soft voice, so that the rebellious might open their ears and eyes, and repent.
Yes, God longs to have people, His creation, reconciled back to Him –even those who have greatly rebelled. (Jer. 31:20) He watches with a merciful, tender-hearted love for the day that rebel son might return from the chaos and mess. (Luke 15:20) He weeps over (19:41) those who, had they turned to the Truth, could have been brought Peace (v. 42 // Isa. 48:18) –the Prince of Peace Himself (Isa. 9:6 // Eph. 2:14)– and thus avoided all the heartbreak, the sorrow, the disaster and distress.
Therefore, we who are interceding by the command of God and by the Spirit’s own groaning within us (Rom. 8:26 // Eph. 6:18), are to continue in our task, never giving up our faith in what God can do. For “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Heb. 11:1) If we continue to believe in God’s power, compassion, and ability to save a very lost and hostile rebel, God will honor our faith and we will one day see the reward, the answer, of the travail of our souls. (Jer. 31:16,17) We’ll see it because it was God Himself in us who was accomplishing His will through an obedient vessel.