If Jesus Christ showed up on your doorstep today, what kind of faith would He find in you?
You see, the Bible says there are many different kinds of faith. But as we look at the words of Christ in Matthew 15:22-28, we’re going to see what I call relentless faith…
… a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.”
He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
[Pull Quote] If Jesus Christ showed up on your doorstep today, what kind of faith would He find in you?
Now this woman—an “unclean” Canaanite—would have been despised by the religious establishment of her day. No respectable Jew, much less a rabbi like Jesus, would’ve been caught dead talking to her. Yet, she took a risk as she followed the Lord around in hope that He would heal her daughter. So Jesus, right in front of the disciples, decided to use her as an example of the kind of faith He wanted from His followers.
Now, the Bible is clear that without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Charles Spurgeon, the great British preacher, observed that even Jesus was “charmed by the fair jewel of this woman’s faith.” And as the boldness and the beauty of her great faith leaps to us from the Scriptures, we can see the key to having a faith like hers… a faith that is relentless in its pursuit of God despite life’s circumstances.
With all the challenges you face today, it can be easy to think that God wants you to wade through life’s circumstances on your own. And maybe, like this woman, you’re facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles and have no idea where to take the first step in overcoming them. But it’s then… in that moment of decision… that God wants you to step out in faith and follow Christ.
Perhaps today you’re dealing with sickness, a career challenge, or like the Canaanite woman, you have a family member who’s struggling with physical or spiritual health. Through the power of Jesus, you can have the kind of faith that helps you stand strong as you face that relentless pressure. And this kind of faith doesn’t just help you survive in the midst of those challenges, it makes you thrive!
But first and foremost, this kind of faith takes risks. It takes getting out of your comfort zone, entrusting yourself fully into God’s hands, and saying, “I’m all in!” And when you take that risk, you’ll receive tremendous rewards!
[Pull Quote] “This kind of faith takes risks. It takes getting out of your comfort zone, entrusting yourself fully into God’s hands, and saying, ‘I’m all in!’”
So as you live out your journey of faith, go “all in” by running relentlessly to Jesus. Keep crying out to the One who said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Keep going to Jesus no matter your circumstances. That’s how you can go from surviving to thriving. That’s a relentless faith!
All you have to do is turn on the news today and you’ll too often hear those haunting words. From the tsunami in Japan to the horrible tornadoes in Alabama, Missouri, and Oklahoma, the human mind simply cannot fathom the level at which suffering and death can so often come in an instant. And in the midst of seeing so much pain, the natural human reaction is to ask one question:
“Why?”How You Can Be the Kind of Man God Seeks There’s so much talk today about what it takes to be a man. Gender roles in our culture are probably more confused today than they ever have been. Why a Little Salt in Your Life is a Good Thing! If there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that I could improve on my communication skills. I don’t enjoy idle talk, which means I’m not a big fan of “girl parties.”
It’s not always easy to be grateful. Trying times and sometimes even tragic circumstances befall us. As Pastor Jack Graham reminds us in today’s message, it is particularly in these times that we are called to remember the words of Romans 8:28, knowing that not one thing happens in our lives apart from God’s governance and control.
All Sermons by Jack Graham