One of my favorite passages of Scripture is found in Mark 5:21-43 where Jairus, a leader in the synagogue, has sought out Jesus and requested for him to come and heal his dying 12 year old daughter. As Jesus is on the way to Jairus’ house there is a large crowd of people that are approaching, gathering, and begin following him. They were trying to get close to Jesus because of the great things that they heard about him.
The story takes on an interesting focus as the “camera” turns to a woman that had a 12 year old issue of which she relentlessly searched for a cure with no positive results. In verses 27-28 the Scripture reads, “She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, ‘If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.'” (ESV) This narrative of the woman within the story of Jairus ends with positive results for the woman. Her name is never given but her mindset may be one of the most important insights we can get from the Scriptures as it pertains to the power of determined faith (see v. 34 of the same chapter).
Though there are many applications that can be drawn from this passage I will only focus on one. That is the woman’s determined faith. It is her determined faith that caused her to make a decision to do something different. Not only did she do something different, her determined faith caused her to believe and trust that her actions would produce what was seemingly impossible. In other words, if she simply considered all the she had done then she may not have made the decision to continue in her relentless search for wholeness — her salvation.
Yes, her previous attempts put her in man’s hands and this time she was in the Master’s hands. But how many of us today have gone through a number of scenarios where we have trusted that people would be able to help us, or that they would simply do what they say they are going to do? How many of us charge to God what are the failures of mankind?
Sure we could agree that she had nothing to lose. But doing something under the mindset of “I have nothing to lose” rarely, if ever, has a foundation in faith. In fact I would say that the exact opposite is true. The “nothing to lose” mindset is one of hopelessness not of hope. Hopelessness certainly is at least an attribute of faithlessness.
What I love about this story is that at some point she made a decision to seek God and touch him. While there were many people that were “pressing in on God” she believed something about Jesus that his fans did not. It is even interesting that Jairus sought Jesus that he would come and touch his daughter. But this woman did not seek Jesus to touch her but that she, finding him, would touch him.
It is a subtle difference but I believe it is a noteworthy difference. Believers often sit, pray and wait for God to “touch” there situation. Rarely to we not only carry the circumstance to God in determined faith seeking to touch Him.
It’s funny as I read through the passage that God, the Lord Jesus Christ, was not even looking at her! Yet her faith and determined faith to fight through the crowd, to find Christ, and touch him made her well.
Determined faith doesn’t just look like prayer, it looks like purposed prayer and purposed fasting with a relentless reliance (faith) on the compassions of God.
Make a decision to seek God. Make a decision to reach for God to touch God and believe that when you initiate contact with him he will surely supply to you that which you are seeking him for.
Prayerfully develop a determined faith.
Rev. Brian Green is an ordained Associate Minister at Emmanuel Baptist Church of Laurel, MD. You can connect to him on Twitter at @ChristEternal