March 12, 2021
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 (Matthew 15:28).
Three tests designed to prover her faith in Jesus were given to this woman. He was silent at her initial request. She pressed the need further. He stated the priority of His ministry to the Jews. She pressed the need further. He reminded her of her status. She pressed the need further. Jesus admired and declared her faith genuine and strong - Great is your faith!
The lesson was clear to the disciples as it should be to us. After having been with Jesus for two years, after having been exposed to His divine power and authority, after having received instruction, training, support, and encouragement from Jesus during those two years, when their faith was tested on the storm tossed Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14:22-23), they failed the test - O you of little faith, why did you doubt? was Jesus’ observation.
After having just met Jesus for the first time, and for just a brief moment presenting her need to the Lord, and after having expressed her need to Jesus despite the obstacles He place in front of her, she passed the test - O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire! was Jesus’ observation.
What we fail to grasp is that faith ought to grow stronger and deeper in Jesus Christ when that faith is tested through difficulties, trials, and temptations. What we desire is an immediate and mature faith. What Jesus desires for us is a faith that progressively grows stronger and deeper with the passage of time and tests. It’s like tempering steel. Tempering metal is the process of improving the characteristics of a metal by heating it to a high temperature without reaching its melting point, then cooling it, usually by exposure to air, then repeating the process a number of times until the desired strength of the steel is reached.
Jesus will either introduce or allow trials and tests to come into our lives with the desired result that our faith and dependence upon Him will remain steadfast and true. When the result is realized (pass or fail) the time of testing passes until another time when faith will be tested. The process is repeated throughout our lives until the desire result is achieved - we grow from ‘little faith’ to ‘great faith’, from ‘weak faith’ to ‘strong faith’. The former condition results when we trust and depend on ourselves. The latter condition results when we trust and depend on the Lord.
“Lord Jesus, strengthen my faith daily by keeping my focus on You and my life firmly rooted in the truth of Your Word. I realize that I fail You from time to time, and that my faith is weakened when I depend on my abilities to see me through a trial or temptation. Like the poor man who asked You to heal his daughter, my request today is, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief’. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”