Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Ever wonder why Jesus is silent before you? Today’s sermon will guide you to His answer.

Hi, thank you for looking at this sermon. I hope it helps. Please do not say the sermon did not help you just because you did not like the style or could not use the entire message for your own needs. I have discovered a few souls automatically hit the ’did not help me’ button if the message they read was not what they were looking for. Please only hit that button if you think God’s people would not be blessed by the message below. Thank you.

A young man went to a counselor one day because he was dealing with feelings of failure and inadequacy. He told the counselor that he wanted to go to college, but he felt as if there were too many strikes already against him. After sharing his hopes and his hurts, he waited for some positive words of wisdom that never came. Instead of hearing positive plans of action, he heard words of discouragement. First the counselor said that college is just to expensive nowadays, then he said that the young man did not have enough smarts to attend and would probably drop out after the first year. Finally, as if that was not enough, the counselor said, “You would be better off, finding something else to do with your life.”

If you think that story is shocking, what if I told you that Jesus did the same thing, only in a different context. Would you be surprised? In Matthew 15:21-25 we have record of Jesus acting in manner that usually does not describe Him.

More often that not, when a person is hurting we seek to bring them comfort. We remind them of Jesus’ love for them. We say things like, “Jesus promised you that he would never leave you nor forsake you” and we remind those that are hurting to cast off their pain and give it to Jesus so that he can give back His peace. What we don’t usually say to people who are hurting is that Jesus might not want to answer you right now.

Wow! Imagine how healthy a Christian ministry would be, if the pastor totally ignored you? Let’s say you walked into his office with a great burden on your shoulders, and no matter how many times you asked him for help, he gave you yet another reason to just give up in frustration and walk away? This is what the world would have expected the Canaanite woman to do. Just walk away!

If you remember, she came to him with a request and a very needy one at that. Her request was not a selfish one, it was not even for her but for her daughter who was demon possessed. The pain, anguish and hope that were in the mothers voice could be compared to any mother pleading for the life of her child. Yet she was met with enough discouragement to move her to give up.

Jesus allowed the Canaanite women to be attacked with discouragement at least four times on the day that she sought his help. The first attack we’ve already touched upon. Jesus was silent upon hearing her request. Scripture says, “He, Jesus, did not answer her a word.” What do you suppose could have been running in the mother’s thoughts, after such a hearty rebuke as that of silence? Could she have begun entertaining the possibility that Jesus did not want to help her? That is possible! The silence of Jesus here in the pages of Matthew have been magnified one thousand fold in the minds of hurting Christians everywhere. When answers do not come when we expect them, it is easy enough to just lose hope and give up. Yet this Canaanite woman did not give up!

How do you suppose she stood her ground at this first sign of discouragement? Was it just because she happened to be a strong willed woman? Or do you suppose that faith had something to do with it? Jesus says it was her faith that kept her in the hunt for Jesus’ blessing. Keep that in mind as we move on to the other discouragements that came her way.

The second discouragement came not from Jesus but from the disciples! They said, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us!” In modern words we would translate that as, ‘She is a pain and she is annoying, so get rid of her!’ And to make matters worse, Jesus did not rebuke his disciples for being so selfish.

I can’t tell you how many times Satan will try to make you feel as if you have been bothering Jesus, especially when you pray over, and over and over again. And it is true, by evidence alone of this one passage that sometimes Jesus allows Satan to keep on speaking in your ear the same discouragement as that of the disciples. All for some divine reason.

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Erik Ohman

commented on Aug 15, 2011

Doug, her four discouragements is a unique way to look at the passage and a helpful way to encourage those who experience similar discouragements.

Patrick Alphin

commented on Aug 18, 2011

Doug, this is a great way for me to look at this passage. I think we all go through times when we think god is not speaking to us.

Idowu Akinjise

commented on Aug 21, 2011

Great sermon!

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