Luke 18:35-41 tells the story of a blind man who shouted at Jesus when he heard the Messiah was coming into Jericho. Although the crowd told him to stop and tried to ignore him, the man yelled louder still until Jesus noticed him. When asked what he wanted, the man replied, “I want to see.” Immediately Jesus said, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” This kind of faith demonstrates the bulldog principle because the man had to ignore the crowd and continue shouting until Jesus heard him. An even better example is in verses 1-5 of the same chapter where Jesus tells the parable of the woman crying out for justice before the unjust judge. After repeated requests from the woman, the judge finally gives in simply to get rid of her, admitting that he didn’t care anything about the laws of God or the rights of people; he grew tired of putting up with her. Now the point is that our heavenly Father is nothing like the unjust judge in not caring about us. He loves us more than we can imagine; however, sometimes for reasons we don’t understand, God will delay answers to our fervent prayers.
In Luke 18:1 Jesus says to always pray and never give up. This is bulldog faith: Never giving up! No matter what our circumstances look like. Further down in verse 17, Christ says, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” In context, He was speaking about whether a rich person can be saved because they love their riches so much, but I believe those same words can apply to other situations. Now I can’t use those words to ask for a mountain to suddenly sprout up in my back yard when I live on the coast of Texas. No, where I use this word of Christ’s must be the will of God. That is critical. I can’t manipulate my heavenly Father and it’s wrong to try. But I do know that God’s overall will for me (and all his children) is good and not evil (Jeremiah 29:11); however, that doesn’t mean He won’t allow suffering at times. See the book of Job for a great example.
As other examples of bulldog faith, look at Abraham who waited 25 years to have a son born of Sarah. Hannah had longed for a child and prayed and prayed for years (see 1 Samuel 1:7, 17) until finally Hannah knew God had heard when Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” In time the boy Samuel was born and many years later anointed David as the next king of Israel. He too waited a long time, even having to run from King Saul who tried often to kill him. Jesus at 12 years old told his parents He had to be concerned with his Father’s business when He had tarried at the temple in Jerusalem instead of going home with his parents. But He had to wait until He was 30 to begin the lifework God had given Him to do.
In all these examples we see people of God who prayed, believing that God would answer their prayers, and hung on with the bulldog faith that refused to give up no matter what the circumstances looked like. They had tenacity, persistence, determination, steadfastness, resolve, even insistence that what they trusted God to give, He would. All these adjectives describe what I call bulldog faith which keeps on trusting and hanging on no matter what life throws at them. Hebrews 11:1 in the NIV tells us Faith is being sure of what we hope for and confident of what we do not see. Galatians 6:9 further assures us Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. That’s what I am practicing in two areas. I know both are the will of God and have scriptures assuring me of that; now I’m waiting to see with my physical eyes what my spiritual eyes already clearly see. That’s Bulldog Faith.