The Canaanite Woman’s Faith in God: God Is Still God No Matter How He Treats Me
The New Testament recorded: “And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried to him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, you son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and sought him, saying, Send her away; for she cries after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said to her, O woman, great is your faith: be it to you even as you will. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour” (Matthew 15:22–28). After reading these verses, I felt that the Canaanite woman had great faith. When the called her a dog, she could still say such words, “yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Eventually she gained the Lord’s grace and approval on account of her true faith in Him. Afterward, through reading the words in a book I got some new understanding and knowledge of this story, and knew a little why the Lord Jesus praised the faith of the Canaanite woman.
It says in the book: “Why did the Lord Jesus praise the faith of this person? It was not because she was willing to be a dog, nor was it because she was willing to eat bread crumbs. This is all secondary. What was it that the Lord Jesus praised her for? It was that she didn’t care whether the Lord Jesus saw her as a dog, as a person, or as the devil Satan. She didn’t care what He saw her as. The most important point was that she regarded the Lord Jesus as God, and that she affirmed the Lord Jesus to be the Lord, and to be God. This is a truth and a fact that is eternally unchanging. The Lord Jesus was God, was the Lord, was the One affirmed as such in her heart, and that was enough. Irrespective of whether the Lord Jesus saved her or didn’t save her, whether He saw her as someone to eat with together at table, or as a disciple, or a follower, or whether He saw her as a lapdog or guard dog, it was all fine, she didn’t care. In any case, it was enough for her to acknowledge that the Lord Jesus was the Lord of her heart; this was her greatest faith” (“Man is the Greatest Beneficiary of God’s Management Plan”).
After reading this passage of words, I came to understand the reason why the Lord Jesus praised the Canaanite woman’s faith was because her faith in Him was absolutely true. At that time, when she heard about the way the Lord Jesus preached and the signs and wonders He had performed, she affirmed in her heart that the Lord Jesus is God, the One she ought to worship and look up to. Therefore, she cared neither about how the Lord looked upon her, nor His attitude toward her or in what method He treated her. She didn’t mind whether the Lord regarded her as a dog or a follower. She thought that how the Lord looked upon her or in what manner He treated her was His business. In her heart, she treated the Lord Jesus as God, as the Creator, and trusted in and looked up to Him. Thus, when she implored the Lord for help, she was able to be possessed of the sense of a creature: Whatever God does, in her heart God’s position and identity never change. This kind of faith is the true faith, it is indeed rare and precious, and is also the very thing that is most approved by God.
However, in the process of our following God, oftentimes our faith in God is established on what we see with our own eyes. For instance, when we encounter difficulties or trials, if God answers our prayers, opens up a path for us, and helps us solve the difficulties, we will be full of confidence in Him; but once God does not respond to our prayers and have our difficulties solved immediately, our faith in Him will get ever smaller. Even worse, some people, though believing in God, never really treat God as God, but merely want to gain blessings from Him; some people will blame God when He does not satisfy their demands after they have paid something; some people, when faced with untoward things in their life, will blame God for not protecting them. … We make such unreasonable demands of God. Is this treating God as God? Is there any place for God in our hearts? The reason why we have these expressions is that we do not have any knowledge of God’s essence, thereby just treating Him as an ordinary person. Though we believe in God, God has disappeared from our faith—we do not have a heart of fearing Him, much less a heart of revering Him. This is a terrible thing.
Afterward, I read more words in that book: “The goal of people’s pursuit of the truth is to obey God. Irrespective of what God does, what form He appears in or what method He uses to speak to you, the position God has in your heart cannot change, your reverence for God cannot change, the distance between you and God cannot change and your true faith in God cannot change; in your heart, God’s essence and His position cannot change. That is, you can manage your relationship with God very well, in a suitable, rational way, with lines and boundaries. But if you don’t seek the truth, then this point is hard to reach and very difficult to accomplish” (“Man is the Greatest Beneficiary of God’s Management Plan”). From these words, we can see that it is quite important to pursue the truth in our belief in God. Only by pursuing the truth can we achieve obedience to God, and only when we truly obey God can we believe in God rationally, and worship the Creator in the capacity of His creatures. At that time, regardless of how much what God does and the methods of His work are not in accord with our own notions, we can accept and obey Him, without stating any reasons. Thereby, we can be like the Canaanite woman: No matter how God treats us or whether He blesses us, we will take the position of a created being, and believe in and worship Him because we acknowledge that God is God. In this way, we are able to treat God as God, our human sense will become more and more normal, and we can stand in the place of created beings and worship the Creator; such faith is really what God desires. If we have the same faith in God as the Canaanite woman, then we will receive God’s blessings and approval often. Do you possess the faith of the Canaanite woman?
- Extended Reading:
- What’s Faith in God? God’s Demands Are Clear