It seemed God was silent—that our cries were not being heard. We prayed for a year for healing of our loved one, but God did not answer in the way we wanted. Have you ever felt that way? Have you in desperation cried out to Jesus on behalf of a son, daughter or loved one only to feel you had no response from Him at all or an undesired response? In those moments, it would be so easy to give up and doubt God. But even in those moments of perceived silence that cause pain, God is there. He is listening.
Perhaps He is waiting for something that has not yet occurred. That is why it is so important to press on, to be persistent in speaking to Jesus in prayer and believing by faith that He will supply the answers to prayers for others.
As Jesus went from place-to-place teaching, the Scribes and Pharisees constantly confronted him as they tried to discredit Him. He was not only teaching but performing miracles of healing. Power exuded from Him as His word healed. All Jesus had to do was speak a word, and it was so. He did not need to be in the presence of what His word commanded for it to be so.
Such was the case when a mother approached Him desperately seeking help for her daughter. She was a Gentile woman whose daughter was possessed. She knelt before Jesus asking Him to help her, believing that He could heal her daughter. But Jesus was silent. (Matthew 15:23) Yet, in the pain from His silence, the woman persisted. Jesus then saw faith in her persistence and said, “Oh woman, great is your faith. Be it done for you as you desire”. (Matthew 15:28) The daughter was not present in this scene. But Jesus spoke from a distance, and it was so. In that moment, healing took place.
Perhaps you have been praying for someone with a desperate need for Jesus. This story in Matthew 15 encourages us to press on, to never give up, to be persistent and believe by faith that Jesus will address the situation when the time is right. In fact, He intercedes by His Spirit for the saints. He will answer as God’s word tells us — “according to God’s will”. (Romans 8:27) How awesome is that! Jesus prays for us. We can trust Him to do what is best for the ones being prayed for, even when it is not what we expect.
“…and her daughter was healed from that very hour.” (Matthew 15:28b, NKJV)
(This is an excerpt from the upcoming Bible study, Embracing Faith. Watch for it soon.)
One morning, I was reading Psalm 100:5 in the ESV Bible translation. The verse includes the phrase: “His steadfast love endures forever.” His love is steadfast. That means it is firmly fixed in place and not subject to change. God will love you forever, no matter what. Nothing can change that.
The word endures was the word that grabbed my attention. Perhaps because we have all been enduring so much this year. I looked at other verses using the word. It excited me to discover it used sixty-six times in the ESV translation along with the word forever. I looked up some of those verses and saw that, not only does God’s love endure forever, but whatever God does endures forever. (Ecclesiastes 3:14)
Out of your own curiosity, look up some of these verses yourself.
- Psalm 100:5
- Psalm 111:3
- Psalm 111:10
- Psalm 117:2
- Psalm 119:160
- Psalm 135:13
- Ecclesiastes 3:14
- Lamentations 5:19
- Daniel 4:3
All of these things endure forever as it relates to God in the Old Testament. Then, in the New Testament, the focus shifts to Jesus and what endures forever for humanity. Matthew 10:22 tells how endurance applies to you. “The one who endures to the end will be saved.”
The word saved in this verse means, in part, delivered, healed, and preserved. We are delivered from evil, healed from sin and preserved for eternity. The one who endures to the end will be preserved forever in the presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Can I get an Amen!
Endurance is about eternal life. It is running the race of life without giving up, no matter how difficult the circumstances. It is the ability to walk through every hardship, rather than trying to side-step the difficulty. Our labor for God is simple. Believe in Jesus. Trust Him through every situation.
Hebrews 12:3 tells us to think about what Jesus endured so we do not become weary of the struggles we go through. The endurance of Jesus is our example for withstanding hardship and adversity. If we fix our eyes on Him, we can endure. The way we endure any hardship should be done with an attitude toward God’s eternal purpose. It is part of being an ambassador for Christ.
One day we will live in His presence, having endured to the end. We cannot give up. We must not give in. Keep on trusting that God has an eternal purpose in mind for you. Everything He does endures forever.
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When I hear the term, hanging by a thread, I think of a button hanging from a garment where the threads have broken leaving a single thread to hold it. When that happens, we must reinforce the button with additional thread to draw it back securely into close contact with the garment.
Have you ever felt like you were hanging by a thread and one more tug on your life would send you spiraling into a pit? I know I have. But I also know that God holds us in the palm of His hand and will never let us go. When we feel we are hanging by a single strand of faith, that is the time to rest in Him. That is the time to trust in His promise to never leave us or forsake us.
It is the LORD who goes before you.
He will be with you;
He will not leave you or forsake you.
Do not fear or be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV)
Reinforcing a button requires weaving the thread through it many times to strengthen the attachment. What does it take to reinforce your faith? How do you draw closer to God? Just as it is in any relationship, you must spend time together not only talking, but listening. Listen to the word of God. Allow His word to weave through your heart and mind repeatedly. As you listen and draw close to God, it strengthens your faith. Don’t allow distractions to break threads of closeness to the point you are barely hanging on to the relationship. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace,
That we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)
If you feel you are hanging by a thread, I would love to pray for you. Send your request to email@example.com or private message me. We all need the prayers of one another. Hang in there, dear friend. This too shall pass.
Keeping a spiritual journal is such an important tool for reminding us what God has done for us in the past. I have been writing in journals for many years and every so often I will come across one and read through it. Last week I posted a poem I found in one of my journals. Yesterday, as I was looking for a notebook for my husband to write in, I found another of my journals. The following is a poem I wrote on September 13, 2012 as I was working through a Bible Study on Nehemiah.
The gates of the city were burned
the walls broken down.
People were resigned and discouraged
as danger lurked around.
Then God placed a vision
in the heart of one man
to rebuild that which was broken
to restore God’s master plan.
By night, he travelled the walls
to see the damage done.
By day he called together the people
to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
The enemy didn’t like it
when the people began to rebuild.
But they did not stop their work,
they did not fear or yield.
“The God of Heaven will give us success”,
their faith and trust pushed them on.
They began with the gates, then on to the walls
until at last, their work was done.
With God all things are possible
even when obstacles come our way
because God has a plan for every task
He places in our hearts today.
Yes, we can all be builders
of that which is broken down.
As we trust God for overcoming power
when the enemy comes around.
The God of Heaven will fill our hearts
with that which is right and true.
He gives strength and courage
For every task He has called us to.
– Virginia – 9/13/12
As I was looking back through my journal this morning, I found this poem I wrote on January 3rd of this year without knowing what the year would bring, personally and nationally. Today I find it very appropriate as a prayer for those who do not yet know the Lord of all creation that they would seek Him. His name is Jesus.
LORD OF ALL CREATION
Lord of all creation
humbly I bow at your feet
seeking your hand of mercy
to touch and give me strength.
To the weak and the weary
Your grace you have shown
to fill our hearts with hope
as we await our heavenly home.
Thank you for mercy and grace
in the sacrifice you made
that we could experience your presence
and from your free gift, be saved.
And now, O Lord, I ponder
how it can be so
that we receive such great love
and out of your wisdom, we can know…
The Loving Savior, Jesus!
“And it shall come to pass
that whoever calls on the name of the LORD
shall be saved.”
Acts 2:21 (NKJV)