Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment. Matthew 9:22 (NLT)

It seems like every time I sit down at the computer to write a blog, something comes up. Company visited us from California for a few days followed by numerous appointments, technology failures, and a headache that just won’t go away. There is also the small voice in my head that says, “who reads this anyway?” In a word, I’m discouraged about this writing thing.

I received an email from a friend, a published author of many books and articles, bemoaning her lack or any recent publication. Everyone is tightening their belts in this economy – even magazines. She, too, was discouraged.

Anyone watching the news has every reason to be disconcerted. The market is up—the market is down. Fire destroys homes and floods threaten to follow. Do you get one flu shot or two? Peace is elusive and war looms all over the world. Health care? It’s enough to make you want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over your head.

The story of the woman in the Matthew verses reveal that she had suffered from terrible health issues for years, basically losing hope. Yet, she heard stories about this man, Jesus, who healed people. If she could just get close enough to touch even the hem of his robe, she knew He could help her. Yes, He felt her presence in the crowd as some of His power had been drawn out and He knew that her inner struggles were as great as her physical ones. As He turned and sought her out, His first words to her were ones of encouragement and then He graciously healed her.

What if He had decided not to heal her? How many times do we look at our circumstances and feel cheated or discouraged? We try and try and nothing changes so then we lose hope. Rather than trying, we should be trusting in Great Healer. He knows just what we need. Jesus gave her the greater gift of encouragement because of her faith. And, it is that same faith that gives us the courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other. We have hope.