Keep the Faith. Encouragement or Cliché?

(Today’s post by Chris Queen)

Keep The Faith! – Luke 2:21-40

keep_the_faith_bumper_sticker-rd2b74ba46e2c4b00ba891a7408ee4497_v9wht_8byvr_324Just this week, months of prayers for a friend of mine who had strayed away in his relationship with God paid off. I never stopped praying for this friend, even when it seemed like the answers to the prayers had to be as far away as they could be. I never gave up on him, because I know that God never gave up on him either.

The phrase “keep the faith” is a bit of a church cliché, kind of like something you’d expect to see on a cheesy motivational poster on the wall in a church classroom or a hideous t-shirt on display in a Christian bookstore. But the funny thing about clichés is that they contain truth in them – that’s why we use them.

The idea of keeping the faith is not new by any means. In Luke, we see two examples of it as the Messianic era began. In today’s reading, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to be circumcised on the eight day after Jesus was born. They also made their offering of dedication of their firstborn son when they encountered two wise people who had kept the faith for many years.

25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God…

[…]

36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. 37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. 38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.

Simeon knew something special was about to take place when he felt the pull to go to the Temple that day. His faith gave him the wisdom to know the Messiah was near. Anna knew that this wasn’t just any young Jewish family when she approached Mary and Joseph. Her faith kept her attuned to God’s promise of deliverance and renewal.

Both of them waited years to see what God had intended for them to see, and Simeon and Anna refused to give up. They kept the faith – see, I told you the cliché was based in truth, and God revealed the Messiah to them when He was just a baby!

What are you waiting to hear from God about? Are there any prayers you’ve prayed until you were blue in the face? Have faith. God will answer your prayer in His wondrous timing. Just don’t ever give up.

Take it from me: God’s answer to your endless prayers is always worth the wait.

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