Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Lesson from Two Tenacious Women

This week I have been drawn to two different places in the New Testament—one, a parable, and the other, a testimony of Jesus healing a woman.

The story of the woman with the issue of blood has always intrigued me—even as a child. When I was six, I was diagnosed with von Willebrand’s disease, and I spent much of first and second grade in the nurse's office for one or two hours with uncontrollable nosebleeds. It sure felt like an ‘issue of blood’!

The story resonates with me still—as a woman diagnosed with various infertility diseases and negative reports.

I know how it feels to “spend all my money on a physician” and “not be healed by anyone” (Luke 8:43).

And so I’m inspired by this woman who knows what she has to do—and she reaches out to touch Jesus.

She acts in accordance with her faith to receive her healing.

She doesn’t know if it will work, but she does it anyway: “If only I may touch the hem of his garment” (Matthew 9:21).

Source: YouVersion Bible App
Not only is she healed, but Jesus says her faith has made her well.

It seems like a crazy leap from here to the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18—but both women are tenacious.

Persistent. Relentless. Determined.

When I was 16, a woman prophesied over me that I have a spirit of tenacity. I had to look up the word at the time, but today I hold onto that when my soul needs encouraging.

The persistent widow is tenacious. She, too, acts in accordance with what she believes.

As I was re-reading the parable this week, I was struck by Jesus’ last statement: “I tell you [God] will give justice to them speedily, but when the Son of Man returns will he find faith?” (v. 8).

What a question to end with!

When I don't see the outcome, will my faith remain? Will my belief persist? 

Bill Johnson once gave an illustration about faith that will forever stay with me. He said that when we go to a pizza place and ask for a large pepperoni, we get our receipt—that ticket with our number that proves we’ll get the pizza.

While we wait, we don’t actually have the pizza.

But we have the confidence that it’s been purchased, and we have the ticket, the words—that’s our faith, our assurance that the pizza will come.

Dear friends, what are you believing God for? What are His promises for you?

If you don’t see them delivered today, don’t lose heart.

Hold on to your ticket—your faith and assurance—that He will always deliver on His word.

You may need to act. Or you may need to wait and persistently ask.

Both require boldness and courage and faith.

The Lord’s heart is always good toward us—to heal, to restore, to defend, to redeem

He is rich in mercy.

Your answer may be immediate (Luke 8:44), or it may require night-and-day persistent prayer, but take heart because His word is truth, and He always keeps His word. 

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