….A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
As I read this passage in the book of Luke this morning something occurred to me. Our faith (or lack thereof) makes a difference. It is faith that can heal. Sometimes physically, yes, but clearly, it is faith that heals spiritually. Scripture tells us, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” In Hebrews 11:1, we are told “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The apostles were admonished for their lack of faith which resulted in them an inability to cast out demons. Without faith, the apostles also found themselves in deep water… in Matthew 8:26, “And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. (Jesus speaking to His Apostles)
Clearly, in the heart of our Lord, our faith in Him is important.
But what is faith really? I would suggest that having faith in God is a process; an act of humility and sacrifice and an act of obedience. Faith, in good times and bad is saying to God, “I trust You.” Not only that, but we are admitting to Him, “Your plan is better than mine.” It is hard on the human ego. Since we cannot see what He is doing in the process (and if we are experiencing a great burden), it may seem that there is No One there.
I have experienced this. Years ago, several people I cared about died… one after another, all unrelated, all over a short period of time. I got to the point that I began shutting off to people because I could not take any more personal pain. I wondered would I ever not feel broken-hearted? I learned a lot about faith through this trial. In weakness, God taught me about His strength. In my anger, I learned humility. I felt deep loss, and yet I learned to trust His character. In that, He grew in me a heart of tenderness…and I began to understand His sovereignty. Though there is much I cannot understand this side of heaven, I also personally saw how He restored every situation and family after the brokenness of death. Truly, the Lord draws close to the broken-hearted and binds up all their wounds. Unless we go through trials in life, there is really no way that we can understand His provision.
But it is in this process, that we can see over the difficult pathways of our life and conclude, “You were right, God.” Then and now, it is faith that carries through that and it is faith that teaches God’s promise IS true. He does not leave us because He cannot be unfaithful to Himself.
So in conclusion, I draw back to the faith process of the bleeding woman. She suffered for 12 years and tried to resolve the problem on her own by going to many doctors. They could not heal her. Jewish law required women to remove themselves from society during menses, as they were considered “unclean” physically and spiritually. Thus, she was a social pariah. In her illness and desperation, she sought out, (as a last resort)? Jesus Christ. This took sacrifice to come into public knowing she would be shunned. Yet, she did. She had the faith to believe she could be healed and the humility to admit it and fall at Jesus’ feet when she got “caught” touching Him. Though there was no evidence to pin her hopes on, she put her faith into action and was rewarded for it.
Jesus tells us to do the same….“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22
And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:22-245 So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men[a] but in the power of God. Corinthians 2:5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” Luke 17:5 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6
- Rest in Jesus’ Grace and Find Faith Flowing (omegagenius.wordpress.com)