Are you in desperate need of hope? Or do you know someone who is feeling hopeless? Hope is essential to human life. You need hope when you are facing something tough, when you are sad, or when you can’t see the end of a painful time. Losing hope leads to discouragement and despair. One day Jesus is coming back to earth to make right whatever is wrong. But in the meantime, Jesus offers you hope now. In the midst of troubles, He satisfies your heart with hope through healing and through comfort. In this post, we will look at how Jesus satisfies your heart with hope. A wonderful example of this is found in Mark chapter 5. This is post #5 in our New Testament Women series.
Getting to know a desperate woman
Jesus taught God’s Word to large crowds in the area around Capernaum on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. As He taught, He also healed many people who were in desperate need of hope in their lives. The news about His teaching and the miracles spread, drawing large crowds wherever Jesus went. One day in the midst of one of these large crowds, Jesus encountered a desperate woman who also needed hope.
We meet this desperate woman in Mark chapter 5. We don’t know her name. But I like to call her ‘Dottie’ to make her seem more like a real person, not just words on a page. One day, I’ll meet her in heaven and find out her real name. So when you read ‘Dottie in this post, I am talking about the desperately ill woman whose story is in Mark 5.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 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. (Mark 5:24-29)
Picture ‘Dottie’ in your mind. She’s a woman with a desperate need in the midst of a huge crowd pressing around Jesus. Her life is a living death. She’s suffered for 12 years with no break. She used all her financial resources to seek out one doctor after another, yet she was worse. According to the Mosaic Law, anyone with this condition was considered unclean until healed. Anyone who touched her or anything she touched would be unclean. Being unclean was not sinful, but it meant separation from the community during that time.
The prevailing opinions of her day were that bad things didn’t happen to good people. The thought was that everyone got what they justly deserved. Thus, to be stricken with a chronic, incurable disease such as this was equated with sinful behavior, presumably being immoral. People would have shunned her. She was not invited to parties, weddings, or to anyone’s house for dinner. She couldn’t even sit in the women’s section of the synagogue. If married, her husband would be unclean for 7 days after every sexual encounter with her. She is an outcast—lonely, isolated, and probably in a state of clinical depression. ‘Dottie’ needed hope for a different kind of life.
What makes me sad when I read her story is that ‘Dottie’ didn’t have any friends bringing her to Jesus. She “heard about Jesus.” Hope flickered in her heart. She came to Jesus on her own, acting on her small faith—mixed with some superstition about His garments. ‘Dottie’ reached out and touched His cloak. Immediately, her bleeding stopped. She felt it. ‘Dottie’ knew she was completely healed. It must have been a vivid moment of joy for her!
Jesus is a personal God who brings hope
Jesus didn’t let her fade away into the crowd.
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 5:30-34)
When you look at what happened, you see that Jesus stopped the whole procession to interact with this one woman who touched Him. He knew what happened because He was always God. He laid aside His glory and did not use His attributes for Himself while on earth. But He always knew what those around him were thinking before they spoke. And He taught that God the Father was working through Him healing people. He knew that the power of God went out from Him to heal someone.
Jesus wouldn’t allow ‘Dottie’ to recede into the crowd without public assurance that she was permanently healed because of her faith. He let her know that God freely gave this healing to her rather than letting her think she took something secretively. And He gave her the opportunity to tell her story publicly.
Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. (Luke 8:47)
The trembling woman fell at His feet, and everyone heard her tell the simple story of why she touched Him and how she had been instantly healed. When she revealed herself and told what she did and why, Jesus affectionately called her “daughter,” signifying a relationship with Him (and possibly a clue to her age), and publicly declared her to be healed. She was freed from her suffering.
‘Dottie’ just wanted healing. Now she could enjoy community with people again, and she received spiritual life as well. Jesus sent the healed woman off in peace to a changed life of wholeness and hope. God always does more than we ask or think. Jesus satisfied ‘Dottie’s’ heart with healing, salvation, and hope for her future.
Jesus talked with ‘Dottie’ as though she were the only one there. Jesus takes a personal interest in you and me, too. God’s love shows no partiality. We are more than just a face in the crowd. And He offers hope to anyone feeling hopeless.
What is hope?
The kind of hope that the world offers is generally the wishful thinking kind where someone is not sure they will get what they want or need but “hopes” they will.
Biblical hope is the confident expectation that God will fulfill His promises to you because it is based on the character and faithfulness of God.
You need hope when you are facing something tough, when you are sad, or when you can’t see the end of a painful time. Losing hope leads to discouragement and despair. Hope is essential to human life. In Titus 2:13, Jesus is called “our blessed hope,” promising that Jesus is coming back to earth to make right whatever is wrong. But in the meantime, Jesus offers us hope now. In the midst of troubles, He satisfies our hearts with hope through healing and through comfort.
Hope through healing
The psalmist declared this,
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. (Psalm 103:2)
As we learned in the article about the immoral woman in Luke 7, once you trust in Jesus, all your sins—past, present, and future—are completely forgiven. You don’t have to wait on that. But what about the “heals all your diseases” part? We know through experience that God doesn’t automatically heal every Christian from every disease. You or someone you love dearly may be struggling with a chronic illness or a debilitating injury. And when you read through the gospels, seeing Jesus heal so many people instantly, it’s easy to question why that doesn’t seem to be true today.
Let’s look at two things: (1) Why Jesus performed so many miracles and (2) How He heals today.
Why did Jesus perform so many miracles?
Miracles authenticate the message and the messenger: Jesus’ miracles demonstrated that He is God and that His message has authority. You have to admit that the miracles certainly drew people to listen to Jesus’ message. Nearly every time miracles are mentioned in the gospels, Jesus was teaching the people truth about God.
Miracles also demonstrate God’s compassion for His people: Through His miracles, Jesus showed that…
- He has power beyond that of an ordinary man. The laws of the natural world, which He created, were not boundaries for Him.
- He is the fulfillment of prophecy concerning the Messiah. The Old Testament said the Messiah would be recognized by the works He would do—healing the blind, freeing prisoners, and releasing the oppressed. Jesus basically said to people “I am that one.”
- He was God on earth. In John chapter 6 verse 25, Jesus calls miracles “signs,” pointing to the fact that He was God on Earth. The crowds just wanted the benefits—food, protection, health. Jesus wanted people to believe that He was their God in human form.
That’s the why.
How does God still heal today?
God still performs miracles today though we may not see them as often as we’d like. Miracles still authenticate the message and the messenger. For someone claiming to do miraculous things, always make sure their message exalts Jesus as the only way to God, that the Bible is their only authority, and that forgiveness of sins is found only through Jesus Christ. Then, you can be confident that you are seeing the genuine works of God. But as we look around at others, we need to remember that the greatest miracle is what God does to change a human heart from the inside out and redeem a lost life. He is doing that in abundance.
In Psalm 103, the verse I quoted earlier, the phrase “heals all your diseases” could also refer to God enabling the human body to heal itself. God created the human body with a marvelous immune system. Yet, you’ve no doubt seen where the same treatment for a disease will work well for one person but not for another. We don’t understand why. But we must trust God’s goodness in what He chooses to do.
Jesus has the right to choose what He brings into our lives. He tells us to stop being afraid and to keep on believing, to exercise the faith that we have, and to hold onto hope.
When God withholds or delays healing, He promises comfort.
Hope through comfort when healing is delayed
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians,
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
The promise is that our God comforts us in ALL our troubles. That includes those that just seem to happen to us like chronic illness or pain as well as those caused by wrong choices made. Our comfort abounds through Christ. Paul had a chronic physical illness. He wrote about it in 2 Corinthians chapter 12. Three times he pleaded with the Lord Jesus to take it away from him. But Jesus said to him,
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Look at Paul’s response to the Lord:
I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
Jesus loved Paul dearly. He was doing the work Jesus gave him to do. But Christ’s answer was still, “No.” So Paul said, “I will boast in my weakness so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” That frees us and moves us in the direction that will give us hope.
Through any life challenge, including physical debilitation, God wants us to learn to depend more on God and His great power and to rely less on ourselves. He wants us to put our hope in Him and count on His work to deliver us when we are in the midst of troubles. Sometimes we want to just quit. It’s God’s power in us that makes us strong during those times. In His strength, we receive hope through comfort.
Even the most loving parents must let their children hurt sometimes in order for them to live as adults. Consider the pain of cutting teeth and learning how to ride a bike. God loves you more than the best parents can and wants you to learn how to live as His child, depending upon Him for the comfort and strength that flows from His grace to you.
Human parents raise their children to be less dependent on them and more independent. But God raises His children to be more dependent on Him and less independent of Him. Whatever He brings into our lives that makes us more dependent upon Him is good for us.
You may feel that God isn’t noticing your pain. He knows. He chooses what will make you more like the Lord Jesus Christ. And suffering is an important instrument in His hands much as you may hate it.
In your pain, you can say to Him, “I am your daughter, Lord. Help me to deal with this situation. Please give me your hope and comfort.”
Remember that God is good all the time. You can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do in your life. Trouble is part of human life. Christians who are loved by God will suffer some troubles in this world, but Jesus is Your comforter when you hurt.
Our God created us with a spiritual thirst for a relationship with Him. Another human cannot satisfy that thirst. Only God can satisfy the thirsty heart. Jesus Christ satisfies our thirst for hope and comfort when we need it. As the Bible promises,
He [God] satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. (Psalm 107:9)
A satisfied heart receives hope and comfort to go through what seems to be insurmountable odds.
- Live Out His Love Bible Study on Amazon
- Satisfied by His Love Bible Study on Amazon
- The God-Dependent Woman Bible study of 2 Corinthians on Amazon
- John 4: Samaritan Woman-Jesus satisfies your heart with TRUTH
- New Testament Women: Trust Jesus to satisfy your heart needs
- Luke 7: Immoral Woman-Jesus satisfies your heart with FORGIVENESS
- John 8: Adulterous Woman-Jesus satisfies your heart with VICTORY
- Mark 7, Luke 13.Shunned Women-Jesus satisfies your heart with KINDNESS
- John 11-12: Mary and Martha-Jesus satisfies your heart with LOVE
- Luke 8: Mary Magdalene-Jesus satisfies your heart with FREEDOM
- Luke 1-2: Mary-Jesus satisfies your heart with GRACE
- Acts 9 & 16: Tabitha and Lydia-Jesus satisfies your heart with COMMUNITY
- Acts 18: Priscilla-Jesus satisfies your heart with PURPOSE