(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)



Faith is a good thing.

  1. It is required for eternal life. John 3:36
  2. It is required to please God. Hebrews 11:6
  3. It is required for our prayers to be answered. Mark 11:24
  4. It is required for living the Christian Life. Colossians 2:6 

Faith is a good thing that can be made better. 

Colossians 2:6-7 – As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: [7] Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 

James 1:3-4 – Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. [4] But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 

This week we meet a Gentile woman with a sick daughter.

Jesus takes a good thing, her faith, and makes it better.

This woman teaches us what to do for our faith to be strengthened when it is being tested. 

Vs. 21 – It was rest time. It was a withdrawal for a short time, from the hostility of the Jewish leaders.  Jesus went into Gentile territory.  This is the region around two large cities on the Mediterranean Sea.  This was an area you might have heard referred to as Phoenicia. Today it is known as southern Lebanon. This was the first time in Jesus ministry in which he actually entered pagan territory. 

Mark 7:24 – And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid. 

Because it was rest time, the Lord Jesus did not want anyone to know that He was there. But notice that Jesus could not be hid. There were so many needs, so many people seeking Jesus, that humanly speaking, there was no hiding Him. 

Vs. 22 – Now comes this woman of Canaan, a Gentile woman.  She has some faith, for she calls him “Son of David”. She recognizes that He is Israel’s Messiah, or King. She wants Jesus to heal her daughter who is grievously possessed by a demon.    

Now, from this woman, we learn how to take a good thing, faith, and make it better. 


Vss. 22-23 – It is the man or woman of faith who asks God for things and expects an answer. This woman came to Jesus with her request. 

He did not answer her. He was silent. 

Why was Jesus silent?  He was probably silent because His ministry at the moment was centered on the Jewish Nation.

I feel there is another reason Jesus was silent.

I believe that Jesus was testing her faith, making it stronger. This challenged her to continue making her request known to the Lord. 

Matthew 7:7-8 – Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: [8] For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 

We are to be continually bringing our concerns to the Lord in prayer. 

She was so persistent in her asking that the disciples wanted her sent away because she was bugging them. Like this woman, we should make our faith better by continually asking. 

BE REVERENT – Vss. 24-25 

Jesus answers the disciples, probably in hearing range of this woman, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 

Jesus was not in Israel at the time.

The woman asking for help was of a race that Israel was to have nothing to do with, the Canaanites. 

Jesus certainly cared about the woman.

Jesus certainly cared about those who were not Jews. 

However during Jesus’ earthly ministry he was sent to minister to his own people. When Jesus sent the disciples on preaching missions, He told them to go to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”. (Matthew 10:6) 

After Jesus died for the sins of the whole world and rose from the dead He sent the disciples to the whole world declaring the Gospel. 

This woman still didn’t turn away.

She came to Him and worshipped Him! 

This woman showed reverence to her Lord.

I personally think that all too often you and I get so wrapped up in our problems that we fail to worship God. 

When we sing on Sunday Morning it is to be a time of worship. Psalm 100:1-2

When we come to God in prayer during the week, it should be a time of worship. Psalm 34:1 

How can we say we trust Him as God, if we do not worship Him as God?

The more our faith is tested the more we should be drawn to worship Him who is our only Hope! 


Vs. 25 – Notice the poor, humble cry of this woman, “Lord, help me!”   

She was desperate.

She had no other hope.

She had no alternate plan “B”.

She knew that if Jesus didn’t do it, it wouldn’t happen. 

I don’t feel that you and I have learned to be desperate in our prayers. 

It is the desperate person who will persist in prayers.

In Luke 11 Jesus tells a parable about the person who persisted to ask his neighbor for bread at midnight, because he was desperate to entertain visitors. If visitors were not entertained, it was a black mark against the person and his village. He was desperate, so he kept asking until the man got up and gave him what he needed. In Luke 11, Jesus went on to challenge his listeners to believing, persistent prayer. 

The more desperate you are, the more you will rely on the Lord and Him only to solve your problem.

If you are desperate, you’ll keep before Him until He answers.

Let me add one word of caution. Please remember that all that we want is not all that the Lord wants. Sometimes the Lord will gently tell us “no” for some good reason. But until He does, let’s keep on asking.

BE HUMBLE – Vss. 26-27 

Vs. 26 – Jesus tells this woman that you don’t take the children’s food off the table and give it to the household puppies. 

Jesus is not calling the woman “a Gentile dog”, as the Jews often did.

He was just explaining that the food, His ministry, was intended for Israel, and was not yet to be taken away from them and given to the Gentiles. 

Vs. 27 – Notice the woman’s humility here. She didn’t take offense. She agreed with the Lord! 

You’re telling the truth, Lord, but even the puppies are allowed crumbs from off the table.

We used to have cats that loved table scraps.  They would get the crumbs, or things that fell on the floor. 

The woman humbles herself to admit that she doesn’t deserve anything.  However, she wonders if the Lord could spare a few “crumbs” and answer her request. 

Many would have been insulted, but not this woman. She knew her place. 

Do we know ours?

Do we realize that we deserve no answers in prayer?

We have nothing and have done nothing to deserve God’s answers. 

Do we realize that in the only way we can expect our prayers to be answered is when we come and pray in Jesus’ name? John 14:13-14 

If we expect Jesus to do it and not ourselves, we are certainly humbling ourselves.

Yes we must do what He tells us to do, but we must depend on Him!   


“Oh woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt.”

This woman’s faith was a confident faith.

It had been tested, but now it was triumphant!

God took a good thing, and made it better! 


Jesus told her that she had her wish.

And surely she did.

Her daughter was healed. 

Can you imagine the woman’s relief?

My friend, it is those who have their faith tested, who persist in prayer, that see Jesus answer, and are comforted by His promises to answer.

Take a good thing, and make it better!

First, make sure you have faith in Jesus Christ. Then,







(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)



We all face trials and troubles often.  It is what Cole Porter called “Stormy Weather” in a song that he wrote.  

There were a couple of times when the disciples faced storms on the Sea of Galilee.  

As we look at this story about literal storm, we also learn lessons about the figurative storms that cause trials and troubles in our lives.  Let’s see what lessons we can learn this morning about stormy weather. 


Vs. 23 – Think of the boat as our lives.

Although God is present everywhere, there is a special sense in which God is present in our lives.  When He indwells us, He has taken up special residence inside of us. John 14:16-17 

God the Holy Spirit dwells inside of the Christian.

He is there to guide us, protect us, keep us, teach us, and comfort us.

And God has promised the Christian that this presence is unending! Hebrews 13:5-6 

You have heard people say, and might have said yourself, “I wouldn’t want to face this problem without the Lord!”

How true!  If God is willing to take up residence in our lives through his Holy Spirit it would be dumb not to avail ourselves of His presence. 

When you trust Christ as your payment for sins, you are what the Bible calls, born again, by the Spirit of God.  And God the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your life. Romans 8:9    

If you have truly trusted Christ as your Savior, you have God’s presence in your life no matter what the storm may be.  Make sure that you have Christ in the boat that is your life!    


Vs. 23 – The Lord Jesus entered the boat.  The disciples followed Him into the boat. It was the Lord Jesus who decided where they were going. Luke 8:22 

The disciples ended up in a storm on the Sea of Galilee because they were following Jesus in obedience.

Of course, being obedient to God as a Christian and following Jesus’ leadership in our lives is the right thing to do. Luke 9:23-24 

Following Jesus after trusting Him for forgiveness does not mean that it will be an easy life.  In fact, we will have storms. 2 Timothy 3:12, James 1:2-4 

The storms that Jesus leads through will make us strong and mature.  And I’d rather follow Jesus in the middle of a storm than to not follow Jesus.  Being in the center of the Lord’s will is always the safest place to be. 

But you’ll also face storms if you’re not obedient to God. 

Would you rather face storms being in the center of God’s will, or out of God’s will? Which makes the most sense?   


Vs. 24 – I don’t have to tell you how dangerous storms can be.  Just consider last year’s tsunami and hurricanes Ivan and Rita.

This storm was a very violent storm, and even seasoned fishermen like Peter, Andrew, James, and John were having trouble with it. 

The storms of life which we face are also dangerous.

Sometimes we will be in physical danger because of persecution, accidents or illness.

Other times we are in emotional danger with our “storms” threatening to overwhelm us with fear and/or depression.

Other times we are in Spiritual danger, with Satan’s attacks challenging us to give up or to sin. 

And this verse alludes to another danger.  We might be concerned because in the midst of the storm God appears to be asleep.  He does not seem to be responding to our problems during the storm.  He seems to be silent. 

Our Lord Jesus was able to sleep because He had a human body that got tired.  He was also able to sleep because, being sinless, He had a clean conscience.  He was also able to sleep, because He quietly allowed Himself to rest in the hands of His loving Heavenly Father.

If you are doing what is right before the Lord, confessing your sins as a Christian, and striving to live for Him, don’t panic when God appears to be asleep. He’ll show Himself to be very much alive at just the right time. 


Vs. 25 – When storms come we tend to fear. And sometimes when storms come we will go into a panic.  The situation seems to be absolutely hopeless! 

Humans tend to be fearful.  If we didn’t tend to be fearful, God would not have put so many verses in the Bible telling us not to be afraid. I’ll just give you two samples, but there are many more “do not fear” verses in the Bible. Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 41:10 

We tend to fear and worry about what might happen but hasn’t happened.

We tend to fear and worry about the future.

We tend to fear and worry about the opinions of others.

We tend to fear and worry about our children, our parents, our spouses. 

Then comes the times our problems are so real to us that they tend to overwhelm us.  We hit the panic mode. 

Yes, many fears are justified.  But there is a proper way to handle fear.

These seasoned fishermen were literally in over their heads and they knew it, coming to Jesus in panic. 


Vs. 25 – The disciples awoke the Lord Jesus.

Their anxious prayer was an indication that they had come to the end of themselves, and that they had at least a little faith that Jesus could help. 

I personally think that they waited too long to ask Jesus for help.  The moment things got a little stormy, I think they should have come to Him. 

We are like that.  If things seem to be just a little stormy or troublesome, we’ll just worry over it and try to solve it ourselves, instead of bringing it to God right away.

But when problems get full blown, we come in a panic with a little, but not much faith that God can help. Philippians 4:6, James 1:5-8 

Vs. 26 – Note that Jesus did not rebuke the disciples for waking Him up.  Like I said, I feel that He would have welcomed being woken up sooner.    

Notice our Lord’s calm rebuke in the midst of the storm.

He was not in a panic. He’s totally under control.  He can even take the time to rebuke the disciples before He did anything.  He is master of the situation. 

Let’s remember when we give our stormy problems to God He is not in a panic.  He can solve the problem leisurely if He chooses to.  There is no reason to get in a dither or bent out of shape. 


Vs. 26 – Jesus said the word and there was perfect calm. It was like there had been no storm. There was no rocking of the waves that normally follow a storm. There was perfect peace. 

When Jesus speaks the Word there is perfect peace.

Sometimes the problem totally disappears, but more often than not the place where the greatest miracle has occurred is inside of us. 

We are at peace.

God has calmed the ragging in our souls. 

Vs. 27 – The disciples were absolutely amazed!  The Lord Jesus had done what they had never seen before.  A human being told the storm to cease and it did.  The winds obeyed Him! The waves obey Him. 

They had a new appreciation for the power of Jesus!

They had a new appreciation for the glory of Jesus!

And when Jesus calms our storms, we too, should have a new appreciation for the power and glory of the Lord Jesus.

We should be amazed!

We should be filled with praise and worship.

We should be ready to trust Him when an even bigger storm comes.