“A Mother that never gave up”
Have you ever needed a miracle of provision or healing that seemed impossible? Maybe you are in that position now? Trusting God for what seems impossible. This is faith, faith to believe that God will provide, faith to believe that God will move on our behalf. The truth is that God is pleased with our faith, God rewards faith.
In Matthew 15 we read of a woman who set an example and a standard for what it takes to please God. Do you want to please God?
This Syrophoenician women comes to Jesus with a problem, her daughter is demon possessed and suffering terribly. She had probably heard that Jesus was coming to town and she trusted that Jesus could heal her daughter. She was desperate, and probably had tried every other avenue to have her daughter set free. This was her last hope, she was desperate.
But it seems like she is being rejected by Jesus and his disciples. We read in verse 23 that Jesus said nothing to her. He completely ignored her and seemed almost callous and cold to her pleas.
The disciples were probably annoyed and they urge Jesus to send her away, because she was crying out persistently.
On the outside it seemed that Jesus didn’t seem to care, it was as if he was testing her. Her situation was desperate, why was Jesus not responding to her need?
Sometimes we face a desperate situation, and God is silent. Has He forgotten us? Does He not see our situation?
Jesus finally responds to all the crying and pleading and says to her, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (v24)
It seems that Jesus is finally rejecting her completely, the door is shut.
But she grows in her courage and faith, and she kneels before Jesus. Now she calls him Lord. She is not approaching him as a Jew; “Lord, Son of David” that she used in v 22, she calls him Lord! She is worshipping Jesus. “Lord Help Me!”
Jesus seems to insult her as he responds further, calling her and her gentile people dogs. Jesus said; “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs” (v26)
But the woman quickly responds, she is getting bolder now, she has nothing to lose and seeing that Jesus is responding to her, she seems to grow in courage (v27).
Her faith is small but it is maturing. Remember Jesus said in Matthew 17:20, that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move a mountain. It is not the size or quantity of the faith it is the maturity of the faith.
As Jesus hears her faith and humility he responds immediately by commending her faith and healing her daughter. Her faith is rewarded and her daughter is healed. It is interesting to note that Matthew records two occasions in his Gospel of people that had the distinction of having great faith. This Canaanite woman and the Roman centurion in Matthew 8. Both were gentiles, and on both occasions Jesus healed from a distance. The reality was that the gentiles were spiritually distanced from the Jews and the ministry of Jesus. But, that is why Jesus came to die on the cross, to reconcile all nations and people groups to himself. It is simply a matter of faith. Jesus still rewards faith today.
Sometimes it seems like Jesus is saying no, Sometimes it seems like he is blessing others but we are being ignored – this is what tests our faith and matures our faith.
Today God is looking for people who walk by faith not by sight. The reward of a lifestyle of faith is great. God does not put us through trials for no apparent reason, rather it is to develop our faith and trust in Him.
Individually and corporately as a church we are being tested in our faith. Read James 1:2-4: Do you see the progression? Trials test our faith, which produces endurance, which perfects us and then we will lack nothing. We will lack no good thing.
Corporately we are having our faith tested, and the Lord is looking to see how we respond. In a few weeks we are going to vote on a re-allocation of our budget to support a church plant. We know that we are running at a deficit budget, giving is down, it seems illogical. So how do we respond? Do we pray and ask the Lord for His will and then move in faith in the direction he gives us or do we respond in fear?
Read the encouragement of the Psalmist in Psalm 37:25.
Individually, what is the desperate need of your heart today? Don’t give up, be persistent, come to the Lord daily, hourly, but keep believing that what His Word says is true and that He is able to give you what you need. Note I didn’t say all our wants, rather all our needs, God knows our needs and The Lord will provide for you in his perfect timing and perfect way, and you will be able to look back with stronger faith.
Not only will you have a stronger faith, but you will be pleasing God and your life will be a testimony to others about the goodness of God.
Faith is pleasing to God. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6; “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
In order to have faith we must believe that God exists, this is the root of faith.
If we struggle with faith, it is because we struggle to believe that God exists.
God is the all-powerful creator of the universe and He is your Heavenly Father, if we truly understand the depths of God’s love for us, we would have no problem with faith. And the final part of that verse is the promise of God; “that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Trust in God He will never let you down.