A woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
This is an incredible story of faith. A woman, who had been bleeding for twelve years, comes to Jesus. She touches the fringe of his cloak, believing that this is all she needs to do to be made well. And she is healed. How? Because of her faith. As Jesus said: “Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you.” Faith is one of the most important words in our lexicon.
When two blind men went to Jesus for healing, “he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29). When a woman went to Jesus asking him to deliver her daughter from demons, Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted” (Matthew 15:28). When a centurion went to Jesus telling him to only say the word for his paralyzed servant to be healed, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith” (Matthew 8:10). If we have faith, we can move mountains, Jesus said (see Matthew 17:20).
Now, some of you might say. “I have faith too. I truly believe that Jesus can heal me. But when I ask him to heal me, or heal somebody I love, he just ignores my cries. Why?” I’m afraid I don’t know. I don’t know why God chooses to answer some prayers and not others. However, I do know that he has his reasons and they are good ones. One day, we might discover what these reasons are. But they shouldn’t matter to us. Let me repeat this: the reasons shouldn’t matter to us. God is God; let him be God. He doesn’t owe us explanations for anything.
Faith is more than believing that God will heal us if we ask him to. Faith is believing that God knows what he is doing. Look at it this way. He is a God who can do anything, right? We have evidence of this right through Scripture. He has made the blind see, the dumb talk, the lame walk; he has even brought the dead back to life. So there is nothing he cannot do, should he choose to, right? Consequently, if he chooses to heal us, he will. Let us praise the Lord! If he doesn’t choose to heal us, he won’t. But let us still praise the Lord! Why? Because he has given us eternal life. Anything else is only a bonus.
Please take a few moments to digest this. If we trust that God will do what *he* deems best, and not what *we* deem best, we will have a lot of peace. Paul understood this very well, which is why *he* was always at peace despite his prayers not being answered. He once wrote (I paraphrase): “I was given a thorn in my flesh to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away. But he didn’t. Instead, he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). We don’t quite know what Paul’s thorn was, but we know what ours is.
Let it not daunt us, but move us to declare with Paul: “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Now, that’s real faith.
May the Spirit be with you.