In this passage from Matthew, Jesus travels 40 miles north from Galilee to Tyre and Sidon. There, in this area notoriously prejudiced against the Jews, a Canaanite woman comes to Jesus, desperate for help and hope.
She begs Jesus to help her daughter, who is severely demon-possessed. She goes to the Lord, believing that He is the one with the answers, calling Him "Son of David," a term that recognizes him as the Messiah, and yet He doesn't respond to her right away. Further still, the disciples try to send her away, and Jesus says in verse 24, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Miles just finished series on prayer. Have you begun to pray fervently, only to find that things aren't happening? Are you hitting a wall, not seeing answers? Is He really listening? Is He really there?
In January 2009, our county experienced the highest suicide rate it has ever had. We are a hurting people, depressed, lonely. People are broken, searching to fill the void inside of them. Many people who are single and lonely think marriage will satisfy them. When that doesn't satisfy, they think having children will satisfy them. Once they have a family, they think that maybe when the children move out they will finally be happy. Work, education, relationships, possessions, experience, titles they cannot satisfy the soul. We need to cry out to the Author and Finisher of the Faith! Only the Lord Jesus Christ can satisfy us.
In verses 25-28, the woman must be feeling all the rejection you can imagine, but something deeper is at work in her. She worships Jesus and cries out to Him again, and He responds.
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.
Four thousand years of history and prophesies are fulfilled in this very moment, as this Gentile woman recognizes and worships the Messiah. God looks forward through thousands of years in these prophetic verses and promises to bring salvation to His people:
Deuteronomy 32:43, 2 Samuel 22:50, Psalm 117:1, Isaiah 9:1, Isaiah 11:1, Isaiah 11:10, Isaiah 42:6, Isaiah 49:6, Isaiah 60:3-5, Jeremiah 16:19, Ezekiel 20:41, Ezekiel 34:29, Amos 9:12, Malachi 1:11
God loves you. He desires for you to know Him and worship Him. He alone can satisfy your soul.
1. When your heart is overwhelmed - Hope in God!
For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth. Psalm 71:5
If you are overwhelmed by relationships, cling to the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. When people let you down-Call on God!
I cried out to God with my voice-To God with my voice; And He gave ear to me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted. Psalm 77:1-2
Cry out to the Lord. He hears our prayers and His timing is perfect.
3. When God seems silent-Worship God!
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Psalm 95:6-7
When life just doesn't make sense or seems unjust, give God praise for who He is. Trust in His love for you.
4. When things aren't happening-Wait on God!
Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27:14
The Bible is true. Why do we doubt, get off course, or distracted? You may have compromised a little at a time, getting further and further away from God, yet God simply says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Christianity is not a religion of laws, duties, and rituals. God loves people!
5. When you feel like giving up-Pursue God!
O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary to see Your power and Your glory. Psalm 63:1-2
Some of you are desperate for a touch from God. Ask Him, and don't let Him go!