When my friend received a diagnosis of cancer, the doctor advised her to get her affairs in order. She called me, sobbing, worried about her husband and young children. I shared her urgent prayer request with our mutual friends. We rejoiced when a second doctor encouraged her to never give up hope and confirmed his team would do all they could to help. Though some days were harder than others, she focused on God instead of the odds stacked against her. She never gave up.
My friend’s persevering faith reminds me of the desperate woman in Luke 8. Weary from twelve years of ongoing suffering, disappointment, and isolation, she approached Jesus from behind and stretched her hand toward the hem of His robe. Her immediate healing followed her act of faith: persistently hoping . . . believing Jesus was able to do what others couldn’t . . . no matter how impossible her situation seemed (vv. 43–44).
We may experience pain that feels endless, situations that appear hopeless, or waiting that seems unbearable. We may endure moments when the odds against us are stacked high and wide. We may not experience the healing we long for as we continue trusting Christ. But even then, Jesus invites us to keep reaching for Him, to trust Him and never give up hope, and to believe He is always able, always trustworthy, and always within reach.
How have you recently needed to trust in Jesus despite the challenges you faced? What hope have you found in Him?
Luke gives us the most complete description of the women who traveled with and financially supported Jesus and His twelve apostles (8:1–3). He also describes the healing of a woman who’d been bleeding for twelve years (vv. 43–48) and the resurrection of a twelve-year-old girl (vv. 40–56). In the middle of the action he recalls a surprising comment Jesus made about His mother, Mary (vv. 19–21).
Luke lets us decide for ourselves whether the repetition of the number twelve in Christ’s relation to these women is just coincidence or a quiet whisper of divine significance (vv. 42–43). Looking back, however, twelve tribes and twelve apostles were chosen to give witness to a son of hope promised to Eve (Genesis 3:15). Looking forward, Revelation sees in the story of the Lamb a twelvefold witness to the complete healing of the world (22:1–2).