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Sermon for Luke 18:1-8   -   What Can We Count On From God?
Pentecost 20 - The Parable of the Persistent Widow
           

Recently I received an e-mail message that was entitled "Things I Really Don 't Understand." It had a list of questions for which there seems to be no clear-cut answer. Here are a few of them:

Why do doctors and lawyers call what they do practice?
Why is abbreviation such a long word?
Why is it that when you're driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on your radio?
Why is a boxing ring square?
What was the best thing before sliced bread?
How do they get the deer to cross the highway at those yellow signs?
How did a fool and his money get together in the first place?

These questions represent a lighthearted humorous reminder that there are indeed a lot of things in this life that we just really don't understand. But let me take it to a deeper and more disturbing level. For example, we don't really understand disease. Why is a youngster perfectly healthy for 13 years of his life. and then suddenly just happens to be in a place where he suddenly encounters some germ or bacteria that invades his body and destroys it? This happens in meningitis cases.

And we don't understand accidents. They are so random and indiscriminate. You start out a day that is like any other day. and then something happens in a matter of seconds. and life is forever different. You can never go back beyond that accident.

On and on we could go with our list. of things we don't really understand. Why is there so much pain in our world? Why do good people suffer? Why do we hurt one another? Why can't people get along? And why do some of the best prayers seem to go unanswered?

Now, all of these difficult questions prompt us to raise yet another crucial question: What can we count on from God? When we face the troubles of the world, the heartaches of life, the tough challenges of this existence. what can we count on from God?

This parable in Luke 18 points us toward an answer. At first glance this parable is confusing to a lot of people. It does sound pretty strange when we first hear it. The parable involves two people: an unjust arrogant judge and a humble but persistent woman. The judge ignores her at first, but finally grants her justice because she is so persistent. She won't give up and she won't go away. so eventually he gives in and comes through for her.

Now that's the parable. Jesus then makes his point and he frames it in the form of a question. He says, if an unjust judge gives this woman justice how much more will God bring about justice for his chosen ones? Let me put back in the form of my earlier question: What can we count on from God?

1. FIRST OF ALL, WE CAN COUNT ON GOD TO HEAR US WHEN WE PRAY.
2. SECOND, WE CAN COUNT ON GOD TO BE WITH US WHEN WE ARE HURTING.
3. THIRD AND FINALLY, WE CAN COUNT ON GOD TO GO WITH US WHEREVER WE MAY GO
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