Summary: Biblical faith always has God as it’s objective and focus. Therefore the type of faith that God favors is a faith that trusts God for the impossible, then persists in that godly trust until the provision is realized.
THE FAITH THAT GOD FAVORS
Text: Matt.9: 29; Matt.15: 28
Intro: What kind of faith does God favor? The obvious answer to that question is, “Real faith.” However, faith is as much a matter of cultivation as it is choice. Though faith begins with one’s choice to trust God, it is developed and matured through a series of trials and testing. That’s not what we want to hear, but it is nonetheless true. Far too many of God’s children profess faith, but in actuality, don’t practice faith.
Faith that cannot withstand testing, cannot be trusted. An old black preacher put it this way: “If your faith fizzles before the finish, it was faulty from the first” (Author Unknown). The man is right. Any professed faith that won’t take you through the tough times is worthless.
This message deals with a woman whose faith was put to the test by none other than Jesus Himself. To her credit, she passed the test, receiving not only her petition from the Lord, but His praise as well. Even when it looked as though the Lord would refuse her request, she persisted in faith. That’s the kind of faith that many saints of our day know little about. It is however, the kind of faith that God wants to cultivate in us.
As we study this passage of scripture, we will notice how God developed this woman’s faith. May we be willing for God to develop our faith as well.
Theme: What are the characteristics of a faith that God favors?
I. THE PLEA OF FAITH IS FOR THE IMPOSSIBLE
A. The Woman’s Request.
Matt.15: 21 “Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.”
NOTE:  The area mentioned here was strictly Gentile territory. This woman was a Canaanite, and would have been viewed by the Jews as nothing more than a dog.
 Apparently this woman had heard much of Jesus, for she refers to Him as “son of David,” which was a “Messianic designation” (Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison, editors, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary: published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois; pg. 957).
 No doubt this woman had heard of all the wonderful miracles that Jesus had performed:
3a. He had cast out devils (Matt.12: 22-24).
3b. He had fed the five thousand prior to this incident (Matt.14: 15-21).
3c. He had healed many who were diseased in the land of Genesaret (Matt.14: 34-36).
 Faith is not needed for the feasible. This woman, however, was requesting something totally outside her scope of ability. There was no way she could deliver her demon-possessed daughter on her own. But God specializes in such situations, for the Bible tells us, “Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who doeth wondrous things” (Ps.72: 18). “Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends” (George Muller).
B. The Lord’s Response.
Matt.15: 23 “But he (Jesus) answered her not a word…”
NOTE:  J. B. Stoney once said, “Real faith is always increased by opposition, while false confidence is damaged and discouraged by it” (Miles J. Stanford, The Complete Green Letters: Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan; pg. 4).
 George Mueller, speaking of the obstacles in the Christian’s life, said, “I say—and say it deliberately—trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith” (Ibid, pgs. 4-5).
 God’s silence can be very disconcerting. However, it is a part of learning to walk by faith. There are times when God may lead you to trust Him for some particular need, but then He will seem to withdraw and say absolutely nothing. God’s promise to Abraham of a son is a case in point. God wants us to learn to trust him even when we have no emotional, visible, or physical evidence that He will do what He has promised.
One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, "Jump! I’ll catch you." He knew the boy had to jump to save his life. All the boy could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness. As can be imagined, he was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: "Jump! I will catch you." But the boy protested, "Daddy, I can’t see you." The father replied, "But I can see you and that’s all that matters."