Believing at the Point of Despair

In the crowd was a woman who had been suffering from chronic bleeding for twelve years. Although she had been under the care of many doctors and had spent all her money, she had not been helped at all. Actually, she had become worse. Mark 5:25-26 GWT

This topic plagued my heart for the last few days. How can you expect someone to believe in God when everything they have believed Him for has failed to manifest? How can you expect someone to believe in your testimony when nothing they have prayed for seems to happen, and everything they have prayed against has come to pass? How can you convince them when instead of things getting better, it has gotten worse? It would be pointless to say to them, ‘just have faith’ or ‘God’s going to work it out.’ I know, because I have both been that person that those words were said to and I have been the person to say it. It would even be worse to say that, maybe you are outside of God’s will for your life to this person, who is already on the brink of or in a state of depression.

The message I heard that mentioned this scenario referenced Elisha’s encounter with the widow whose sons were about to be sold into slavery to pay the debt left behind by her husband, one of the men in Elisha’s company. Think about it: your husband/wife dies, leaves behind considerable debt, enough that the creditors want to sell your children into slavery to pay it back. You just lost your spouse, and now they want to take everything from you. How do you tell someone like that to believe that God will provide?

The scriptures above are about the woman with the issue of blood; she had done everything she could to be healed. She spent all her money and no one could help her. Then to add misery to her strife, her condition had grown worse. How do you tell her…to believe????

This was very difficult for me to conceptualize, and at the end, I realized in my own situation and in that of a little sister of mine, I had to relinquish her and my own problems to God. I realized that in my situation and in the situation of the woman with the issue of blood, we both kept taking the problem back away from God, trying to fix it in our own power. Whereas, unlike us, the widow went straight to God’s representative (since in that time the priests and prophets were God’s representatives and intermediaries on Earth). You have to turn it and them over to God.

You cannot think that your unguided intervention will prompt a doubt-filled person to believe and have faith to reach the point of things changing in their favor. Honestly speaking, you would have to be delusional to think that your actions alone are sufficient enough; without God’s hand on the situation, you will simply fall into the same cycle, and digging yourself or pushing them deeper into depression. You see, we are not as in control as we would like to think. In those times of despair, complete surrender is the only thing that will work.

It hurt me to have to tell my little sister that she was selfish and that sometimes life was difficult enough to push us into disbelief, but that in those times, we could have the greatest growth if we simply trusted in God–and that as long as she continued to doubt and say things contrary to what I believed, I could not entertain her. It broke my heart because I love her as if she was my natural-born sister. But, I realized I was doing that thing I do, trying to rescue people again–my motto should be ‘No Souls Left Behind, lol.’ I had to realize that it was God’s job to intervene and I could no longer try to take His place in her life or force her to believe Him for that matter. I especially could no longer hear the complaints that cast down her faith when I know personally what God has done in my own life.

When I got to this point in my walk that I was so unsure of what would happen that it seemed easy to ‘curse God and die’–like Job’s wife told him to do–I could only muster the strength to cry out louder to God. I realized that life was pointless to live without faith and I could not ignore God’s past works in my life. The beauty of this is that in both scriptural references–the woman with the issue of blood and the widow–at their points of absolute despair they turned to God. And it was God–not man–that changed their situations and ushered them into their breakthrough.

So basically there is not a solution out that eludes that total surrender on either party’s part. If you are a Miss-Fix-It like I used to be, you have to surrender those people to God, and believe and pray on their behalf, even if they say they will not. If you are in a place where it seems as if God is not there, I think you know now that it is time to reach for the hem of His garment like the woman with the issue of blood, and allow God to pour out His continually flowing oil like with the widow to anoint you and your situation. Trust God and realize there is no other way to move to the other side of ‘through.’

When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:27-34 NIV


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