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Don't Lose Hope

Consider the story of being trapped in a dungeon cell. You have heard there is a tunnel to freedom on the other side of the wall. But the wall is stone, and you have no tools. For months you use fragments of stone to chip away at the wall, and you work and work to gain your freedom.

Then one night, when your hope is almost gone, you collapse in weariness against the wall, and your elbow hits a slight protrusion. Before your eyes the stones move and a small door opens by itself. You are free.

Life has many dungeon cells, and stone walls, to hinder our joy and fruitfulness. Some of them are meant to fall down in five years. Others in five seconds. Whether it is the patient endurance to press on with joy, or the breakthrough in the twinkling of an eye, God has appointed prayer as the key.

If the wall is meant to give way in five years, prayer is the key: “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy” (Colossians 1:11).  If the wall is meant to open by the press of unknown button, prayer is the key: “Knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

So let it not be said of us: “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Persevering work in the cause of truth and righteousness is a beautiful thing. God gives it. And God approves it. Never stop. But know this. God also loves to give breakthroughs in the twinkling of an eye.

Excerpt from John Piper's January 12, 2015 blog "What God Can Do in Five Seconds" found at www.desiringGod.org.

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