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 15:28
The manifestation of miracles is related to the faith of the seeker. The miracle of healing the Gentile woman’s demon-possessed daughter is one example. The Canaanite woman, who humbled herself to beg for mercy despite the Lord’s harsh words, demonstrated not only her great faith but also persistence in seeking God’s mercy and grace.
Jesus initially resisted healing the Canaanite woman’s daughter. He said that His mission is only to save the lost sheep of Israel. He even told her that children’s bread should not be given to the little dogs. The Lord’s harsh words served as a test to the Canaanite woman. But she did not give up easily, when at first Jesus seemed to reject her request. Instead, the woman persisted as only the parent of a sick child can. With wisdom and humility, she pointed out little dogs are allowed to partake of the crumbs that fall from the master’s table. The woman’s reply greatly blessed the Lord Jesus, for it demonstrated a faith that was rare. “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” This indicates that God’s blessings to us are usually in proportion to our willingness to trust Him. Because of her faith, her demon-possessed daughter was instantly made whole.
One way to describe the great faith of the Canaanite woman is persistence. In Luke 11:5-13, Jesus told the parable of the friend who came at midnight to reinforce the importance of importunity in prayer. Importunity means not giving up in asking–being persistent. The precious gift that God desires to give us is the Holy Spirit. We need to ask for the Holy Spirit with boldness and persistence. Persistence in prayer helps us understand and express the intensity of our need. It is helpful to pray as if the answer depends on our prayer, but then to trust that the answer depends on God.
What allows you to maintain your faith in God regardless of your circumstances? The ultimate faith is undeterred by any trials or sufferings. Instead, it remains steadfast even when God does not bestow His blessings. It is a spirit that never gives up in the hope it first believed in.