When we look into the Bible, there are few people who specifically acquired the praise of Jesus Christ. One of them is the Canaanite woman whom Jesus Christ has said, “O woman, great is your faith!”
However, it was not easy for the Canaanite woman to attain this commendation. For this reason, let us explore the lessons we can get from her story found in Matthew 15:21-28.
1. Our prayers should also include other people
In Matthew 15:22, we read that the Canaanite woman’s “daughter is severely demon-possessed.” So we see that the request of the Canaanite woman is for her daughter.
Here we can find the woman presenting her request to Jesus and asking Him not for her own benefit but for her beloved daughter. She took the problem of her daughter as her own and now presenting herself before the Creator and Master of the universe.
In the same way, we must also include in our prayers other people who need our help. The prayer request lists in our church is a great place to start in finding people whom we should pray for.
2. Our prayers should be habitual, not a one-time event
We read that “Jesus answered her not a word” (verse 23). How difficult could it be for the woman to accept that her only hope of healing is beginning to fade away? To make things worse, the disciples urged Jesus to “send her away”. Jesus further told the woman that he was sent to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”.
This could be heart-breaking for anyone, but the Canaanite woman persists in her request. She did not waver or lose heart. She could have easily considered Jesus as a cold and heartless teacher by the way Jesus had treated her.
With all these, we can see the persistent prayer of the Canaanite woman. Instead of turning away from Jesus, “she came and worshiped Him, saying ‘Lord, help me’”. This is the kind of attitude God is looking when we pray.
3. God puts more importance on building our character
Sometimes, God does not immediately answer our prayers. There are times that things get worse before they get better. Our time frame seems not to coincide with God’s timetable. However, just like the Canaanite woman’s story, we can always be assured that “all things work together for good to those who love God”.
When God doesn’t seem to answer, instead of doubting him, we need to ask ourselves, “What can we learn from this experience?” In every situation, it is certain that God is teaching us a lesson.
4. Problems should lead us toward God, not away from Him
One of the reasons people leave the church is that they can’t handle the trials and difficulties associated with treading the Christian road. However, this must not be the case for us. We must “count it all joy when [we] fall into various trials”. Instead of doubting God, we must trust in Him that He will not withhold anything good from us (Psalms 84:11).
5. Our reward is at the end of the journey, not at the beginning
Because of the strong faith and perseverance of the Canaanite woman, she was praised by Jesus Christ. Her daughter was immediately healed at that very moment (verse 28). You see, if the Canaanite woman expected the reward at the beginning, she should have not continued anymore.
We must realize that we will be tested first before we receive our reward. Though it is true that our Christian walk can be difficult, we must always remember – when all things are said and done – it will always be WORTH IT!
We will all face trials that will test and strengthen our faith. We may lose everything, but we must never lose our faith. God is faithful and He will keep His word. Stay strong and keep the Faith that will lead you to eternal life.
How about you? Do have those moments when God doesn’t seem to hear? What were the lessons you learned from it? Share your thought by leaving a comment.