Through the growth process, we discover several things about faith. Faith leads to great undertakings when we face the trials & challenges that are given to us. With faith we give those challenges & trials to God with believing that He will take care of them.
In Matthew 15, we find the story of a Gentile woman of faith. This woman came to Jesus crying out,
" 'Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.' Jesus did not answer a word. So His disciples came to Him & urged Him. 'Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.' "
vs. 22b-23 (NIV)
The disciples were annoyed by this woman. But to Jesus, she was an example of great faith. Who was determined to do whatever she had to do to get what she needed. Great faith also brings great expectations. Have you ever prayed for something but didn't expect great results. That's lack of faith. But not this woman! Oh no! She expected Jesus to heal her daughter.
Great faith also brings about great earnestness. This woman didn't care what others thought about her actions. She came to Jesus, fell at His feet, crying. There have been times during a church service that i have been moved to tears. Some people fight these honest, Spirit filled emotions. But it's those earnest emotions that keep us persistent in our prayers & actions, no matter what others think of us.
Great faith also conquers great difficulties. As the woman continued to pursue 7 beg Jesus, He reminded her of her position. She was not a Jew.
"He replied, 'It is not right to take the children's bread & toss it to their dogs.' "
v. 26 (NIV)
("dogs" was commonly used by Jews to describe Gentiles)
The woman agreed with Him & then threw herself on Jesus' mercy again, knowing that even one morsel of God's power was enough to heal her daughter.
" 'Yes, Lord' she said, 'but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.' "
Great faith achieves victories. Jesus rewarded the woman's faith by healing her daughter.
"Then Jesus answered, 'Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.' And her daughter was healed from that very hour."
Great faith is not something that is given to just a few & not others. It's a choice. We need to make the choice to consistently trust & pursue God, even & especially when there seems to be no response. Don't ask God to provide for a need & then try to take care of it yourself. Instead, follow the example of the Gentile woman. You're faith will grow.
"Everything is possible for him who believes."
Mark 9:23b (NIV)