I was driving around town and I saw this troubling bumper sticker that read, “I am doing fine now, since I gave up all hope.”
“What?” I thought to myself. After a moment of confusion sorting out exactly what was said, I felt so sad for the driver, for all those who feel like giving up, really. I just wanted to honk my horn, flag down the car, pull the driver out and give her a hug. But, then I heard the Lord’s voice deep in my heart.
“Isn’t that what you are trying to do? To give up all hope?” He said. I realized that in the angst of my unanswered prayers, that is precisely what I often want to do. I don’t want to persevere in prayer.
After waiting and not seeing some answers, I want to sort of withdraw my request and say, “You know what? Never mind that request, Lord. Today I am giving up all hope.” It sounds funny, but isn’t that the truth? The Lord was right. I had had this wrestling match going on in me and I didn’t want to give up hope that the deep cries of my heart would be answered, and yet, in some ways I was attempting to put aside my faith that He would come through so that the waiting wouldn’t hurt so much.
There is a story of a woman in the Bible who we are told had “an issue with blood.” She had been hemorrhaging for twelve years, but she certainly hadn’t given up hope. In fact, she came out into public where she would be declared unclean. After many attempts with doctors, she came out in the streets with her need and grabbed Jesus’ garment in faith desiring a healing touch from Him. And do you know what? It was precisely that tenacity that healed her. But, she had been out there seeking this healing for twelve years!
His Word tells us…
Just then 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. – Matthew 9:20-22
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12
But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
Jesus healed this woman because of her tenacity and her faith. May she serve as an example to us not to give up and to hold on to hope in prayer over the answers that we desire as we grab ahold of Him.
Please help us never to stop reaching out to you with our prayers and requests. Draw us close to your heart as we seek you for answers. Today, give us the peace that passes all understanding as we wait for your timing in delivering us.
We thank you for putting examples like the woman with the issue of blood into your Word to help us to understand your desire to reward those who seek you. Put people into our lives who can share with us testimonies of your deliverance to encourage us. Help us not to become weary, but deliver us from evil and fill our lives with your blessings and your truth.
In Jesus’ Name,