BY REV. DR. PHILIP CRAIG
Greater Springfield Community Church
Scripture: Matthew 15: 21-28
God finds pleasure when your faith persists in spite of pressure. We see a great example of this in the conversation that the woman in Matthew, Chapter 15 has with Jesus. Persistence defeats the spirit of surrender to the enemy and conquers doubt one has in oneself. When you have a process that conquers any negative thought that comes your way, you become destined to do great things. Many people give up before their breakthrough arrives. But there is a group of people who face adversity and is relentless in making sure they get what they are after. It is these people who receive life’s reward.
Take this historical figure for example: A child was 7 years old when he had to work to support his family. At age 9, his mother died. He was 23 when he incurred a huge debt due to his failed business. At the age of 28 and after four years of engagement, he asked his girlfriend to marry him, but she said “no.” He loved another lovely girl, but she died. On his third attempt, at the age of 37, he was finally elected to Congress. However, after two years, he ran for re-election, but did not win against his opponent. After being in a miserable marriage and now 41 years old, he was hit with another life grenade when his 4-year-old son died. At 45, he ran for the Senate and lost. At 49, he ran for the Senate again—but lost again.
Given all the rejection, criticism and rumors, he went through a period of depression, as most people would have probably done. However, his persistence over-powered life’s pressure. Therefore, at 51, he became the President of the United States. We know this man as the honorable Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest leaders in world history. He set thousands of slaves free by passing a law known as the Emancipation Proclamation. He taught the world that slavery is wrong and that all people should live freely.
You may be experiencing some difficulties at this very moment and are possibly disappointed when God seems to be silent or even slow in responding to your prayers. Is your faith under pressure and you feel like giving up? Are your problems too heavy for you to hang on? These become popular questions when most people are experiencing negative moments in life. However, the remedy against such a season that seems to be dishing you constant rejection, criticism and unwanted rumors will arrive, but you must keep God first with all your next steps.
The woman in today’s scripture had a serious issue with her child and approached Jesus with her request. He tells her He can’t help her, but because she is clear that He is more than able she became persistent and made up her mind that she wasn’t going to stop asking until she received what she came there for. It was her persistence and her faith in God that touched the heart of Jesus, who—therefore—ultimately granted her request. Your focus on knowing that God has your best interest at hand is vital in you running on the strength that any storm you face will only be temporary.
God wants you to know Him, trust Him and rely on Him. When you do that, you’re telling God, “I trust you can deliver me out of anything because you are bigger than any problem I will ever experience.” Let God know that you will not stop asking and requesting until you get what you need because you know he is able.
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Email Pastor Craig at Phil.firstname.lastname@example.org