MATTHEW 15:24-28: “But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Is my faith tenacious? When I face obstacles or setbacks in my life am I easily derailed? Do I have a faith that pleases God because it believes that HE IS, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him?
This January I began the year with a goal. 2021 was filled with many health challenges. I had a bad accident in August that turned into 11 days in the hospital and a three-month recovery. The New Year was before me and I was sure that I would avoid the doctor’s office and hospital!
Then it happened! I had another freak accident. Getting up from bed, coughing, I must have passed out. I hit the tile floor with my head and found myself once again going to the ER and being admitted to the hospital. They did CT scans, ran tests, and besides a large hematoma over my left eye, they determined that I passed out from coughing. Who knew that was a thing?
My faith took a hit over this rocky start to the New Year. I found myself weakened and wondering if I was going to go through another year of health challenges instead of moving forward with my plans to write and expand the ministry God has called me to. Then, as I read posts from dear friends on Facebook, I realized I was not alone. There are so many at this moment facing great challenges that surpass my own. This brought me to the place of prayer!
God is so faithful! I marvel that my devotions regularly take me to verses that I desperately need right at the moment of need. Such was the case this morning. I read the story of the Gentile woman whose daughter was severely demon-possessed. She was desperate and had heard of Jesus’ healing power. She came to Jesus, only to seemingly be turned away. First, the disciples did not want anything to do with a Gentile. And, then, Jesus answered her and said,
- “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
This seemed rather harsh coming from Jesus. Yet, He was speaking the truth and staying on the mission that the Father had given Him. It was much like the reply He gave to His mother at the wedding feast when she asked Him to help. He was not rejecting the woman. He was simply following the Father’s plan.
Then something happened. This Gentile woman would not take no for an answer. She had a tenacious faith! Her request became a heartfelt plea as she fell down and worshipped Jesus!
- “Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
This is where her faith was tested. Jesus replied – “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” Gentiles were seen as dogs to the Jews. They had no part in the covenant of Israel, were not allowed into the inner court of the Temple, and were seen as complete outsiders with regards to the promises of God. The bread of life was for the children of God. How could Jesus give it to the dogs?
This Gentile mother, fully recognizing who Jesus was, fully submitted to Him in worship, and unwilling to leave her daughter in the state that she was in, cried out in faith,
- “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
Her faith was tenacious. She knew her only hope was in Jesus. She came to Him, worshipped Him, cried out to Him, and she was willing to take even the smallest crumb from His table, knowing that it would be sufficient! At this moment her faith surpassed that of any of the disciples. Jesus could only stand at her in awe, respect, and be filled with compassion as He said,
- “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.”
How many times are we just right around the corner from our breakthrough when our faith grows weak and we give up? How many times do we place our faith in the circumstances rather than in the Lord who controls all circumstances? When faced with a mountain we have a choice. We can wrestle that mountain in faith, refusing to let go until we are blessed and receive God’s answer – or we can give up!
Tenacious faith hangs on!
Lord, grant me the grace to hold on! Let me be like the Gentile woman who tenaciously refused to turn away until she received even the smallest crumb from Your table. Help me to walk in faith in every situation I face, and to encourage the faith in others who are going through extremely difficult situations. May I too hear You say,
- “O ___________, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.”
In Jesus Name!