Lessons Of A Lifetime

Purpose Driven Perseverance
Or
Faith Based Patience
Sept. 13, 2020

Scripture To Consider:
“Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold a woman of Canaan came from the region and cried out to Him, saying, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.’ But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, ‘Send her away, for she cries after us.’ He answered and said, ‘I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’

“Then she came and worshipped Him, saying, ‘Lord, help me!’ But He answered and said, ‘It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.’ And she said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.”                                                                                Matthew 15.21-28

Something To Consider:
So Jesus departed to a Gentile territory with His disciples. Suddenly, out of the crowd came a Canaanite woman crying out in the direction of Jesus, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But Jesus acted as though He was ignoring her. But was He? She continued her crying out and the disciples appeared to have become agitated with her and asked Jesus to send her away.

This woman already had three strikes against her. First, she was a woman in a culture that thought little of females. Secondly, she was a Canaanite, of who were historical enemies of the Jewish nation. Thirdly, the disciples did not want to have anything to do with her or her problem.

But, she was not deterred from what it was that she came for. How do we respond to rejection and hostility when we come face to face with opposition, especially when the opposition is from within religious circles? How do we respond when opposition is from among the leaders of those religious circles?

I wonder if this Gentile Canaanite woman had even heard the words of Psalm 9.9 read? “The Lord also will be a refuge [or a secure and protected place] for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” This woman’s daughter was certainly in trouble! And now she is being oppressed with the disciple’s oppositional attitude. What about us? Have we, you and I, ever been on the receiving end of a religious oppositional attitude? Worse yet, have we ever been on the side of those offering an oppositional attitude? And if so, God forgive us!

Something Else To Consider:
This woman had something of great power and importance working on her side. This woman, if she had nothing else, she had purpose driving her forward toward her goal even in the face of much opposition and perceived hostility. This woman was a loving, caring, concerned mother, whose daughter was being tormented day and night by demons who had possessed her.

And, this mother, a woman of Canaan, was not taking no for an answer even from Jesus. The absolute overwhelming capacity of purpose is that it produces passion, which in turn produces perseverance. And perseverance, in time produces faith based patience!

Jesus, in explaining the parable of the sower in Luke 8.15, proclaimed, “But the ones [seed of the Word] that fell on the good ground are those who having heard the Word with a noble and good heart, keep [or obey] it [the Word of God] and bear fruit with patience [or with endurance].” In other words, are we hearing, keeping, obeying, and bearing fruit with patience and or with endurance?

In Matthew 10.22, Matthew 24.13, and also in Mark 13.13, Jesus affirmed concerning oppositional end time events by declaring; “He [or she] who endures [perseveres] to the end shall be saved.” Jesus was and is attempting to relay a gospel message of persevering and of enduring to the end! Have we heard that message, and are we being obedient to His gospel message of enduring to the end in order to be saved?

In Luke’s gospel chapter 21, Jesus discussed end time events, and beginning in verse 16 Jesus predicted; “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.” And in verse 19, Jesus sums up the concept of enduring perseverance with these words; “In your patience possess your souls.”

Something More To Consider:
And purpose driven perseverance or an enduring to the end attitude cannot help but produce patience in an individual. Even after what on the surface appeared to be valid excuses why Jesus should not provide His help, this woman was persistent and patient to the point of receiving what it was that she came for. Never did she become rude or demanding. Eventually she heard what she came to hear, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.”

Therefore, this woman left the scene in total peace. And in my mind’s eye, I can see Jesus sheepishly smiling over her purpose driven persistence and Jesus You gotta help me here perseverance. But what about our faith? Could Jesus admit, “Great is your faith?”

According to Jesus in Matthew 17.20; “If you [we] have faith as a mustard seed, you [we] will say to this mountain [obstacle, hindrance, or religious leader’s opposition], ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

According to the apostle Paul, “Your [our] faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” According to 2 Corinthians 2.5, purpose driven perseverance and faith- based patience are not accomplished in and through the flesh. A few verses later Paul admonished us in verse 10; “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he [or she] know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

A Few Final Words:
According to the mystery writer of Hebrews 11.1; “Faith [true biblical faith] is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence [or confidence] of things not seen.” The woman whose daughter was severely demon-possessed, had true biblical faith in Jesus. Therefore, she exhibited purpose driven perseverance which produced faith-based patience. What is it that we need more patience to see come to fruition?

Divine purpose produces passion, and passion produces perseverance, and perseverance produces patience. And patience when it is complete produces a perfect peace that passes all understanding. What are we waiting for? “Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.”

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, teach us to be people with a godly purpose in life, and to learn what perseverance and enduring to the end really means to the child of God and friend of Jesus. In Him Always, Amen!

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