In Matthew 15 and Mark 7, the story is recorded of a Syro-Phoenician Woman who asks Jesus to heal her daughter. Every time I read this story, I see something new. And as we’ve been speaking of pressing through it seems yet another lesson is here, waiting for us to get it.
The woman asks Jesus to heal her daughter, but at first it seems as if Jesus is saying He won’t do it. “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
My translation: “Look lady, I am supposed to come first, as it was prophesied, to tell the children of God, the Jews, the Good News that their Messiah has come. [Then the message will be shared with everybody else.]”
The woman heard Jesus was able to heal. Faith comes by hearing. Even though at first it seemed as if she was not going to receive what she asked for, yet because of her faith, she pressedÂ through what could have been a great discouragement, to continue to believe in the goodness of Jesus when she wasn’t yet seeing it.
“Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”
Wow. She just got really humble. She got really low, and she pressed through to seek the miracle she so desperately needed.
Jesus’ response “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.”
My translation: “That kind of heart is exactly the kind of heart I’m looking for. You kept believing even when you were met with discouragement. Now people for generations to come will read your story and be encouraged by your boldness and great faith. I knew you would do it! And your daughter is healed!”
Do you have the faith to press through and believe God is who He says He is, and can do what He says He can do, even when you don’t see it? I want to have that kind of faith! Ask God to help you press through…and believe!
P.S. I talked about this same story a while back right here, if you want to read more.
Sometimes when trials come my way, it would be my preference to go around them, rather than through them.
I read this quote in my study Bible the other morning: â€œThe Bible points to the conclusion that instead of taking us out of adversity God is much more interested in taking us through it, using the adversity to effect something good in our lives.â€
The truth is, itâ€™s natural to want to go around a mountain,Â around a body of water, around an obstacleÂ when we come to it. It seems like the easier route. But the Lord says:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. (Isaiah 43:2)
He says Heâ€™ll be with us as we walk through the trials that life brings our way. And over and over again (sorry, I know I use that phrase all the time) we see Him in Scripture, bringing His people through trials and adversity, not removing them from the situation.
Daniel makes it through the trial of being in the Lionâ€™s den — and God is with him, stopping up the mouths of the lions. Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego go through the trial of beingÂ thrown in the fiery furnace — and God is with them in the fire. Esther walks through the trial of being called to deliver her people from genocide — God is with her, guides her steps and gives her wisdom on what to do. The Israelites pass through the Red Sea, and the trials of their season in the desert — but God is with them, parting the waters, and showing up miraculously to provide food and water, and to lead His people.
I often want to go around the mountain thatâ€™s ahead of me, but James says:
My brethren count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (James 1: 2 – 3)
And Romans 5: 3-5 says:
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
The Sermon in a Nutshell: Godâ€™s promise is that Heâ€™ll be with us through the trials. So let’s learn to count it all joy, and embrace the gift of the trials we face. Hold on to the hope that God will bring youÂ through. The results will be glorious!