Tests of Faith

Three times Jesus either ignored or deflected this desperate woman’s cry for help. Why? Did He not care for her poor daughter, who was afflicted by a demon? Of course not! We have seen His compassion at work all throughout the Gospel story up to this point (8:16-17; 9:36). Perhaps, then, He refused to help a non-Jew? But a Roman centurion had gained his request of Jesus (8:5-13). From His final commendation of her faith we know His purpose in putting her off. Clearly, He intended to test her and to allow her trust in Him to shine all the more brightly. So it is with us. God allows us to endure various trials in order to test and to prove the true value of our faith in Him (1 Peter 1:7). He sends us through the fire and the water in order to produce patience, which leads to a more rounded and complete trust (James 1:3-4). So then, we can rejoice even amidst trouble, “Knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, [proven] character; and [proven] character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4). And this hope will not be disappointed, for “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5).