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    The woman had an issue of blood for twelve years. She had spent all she had on doctors who could do nothing to help her. She just continued to get worse as time went on. The prospect for healing seemed hopeless. Nothing she knew could help. No home remedies, no medical help. Nothing to deliver her. The only thing she had to look forward to was her own death. Her strength had already left her. For now, all she could do was crawl on her hands and knees. The future for her was filled with dread and hopelessness. Then she heard of this itinerant preacher, a prophet people were saying, who was healing people of all manner of ailments. But even then her prospects seemed all too dim. If He doesn't come near where she lived, she didn't have the strength to draw near where she had heard all those stories. This was the only glimmer of hope that remained.

    One day, as she was outside, a large crowd of people started up the pathway near her home. A cautious hope began to spring up inside her. Could it be? Was it Him? As she pulled herself along, she quickly noticed that it was! With all her remaining strength, she crawled, fighting her way through the crowd, thinking, if only I can touch the hem of His garment, I could be healed. She knew Jesus had to be a holy man for no man could do the things reported of Him. Perhaps, God will have mercy on her today if she can just touch Him. Finally, He came close but she better hurry for the crowd seemed to be moving faster. Finally she reached out to touch Him and just barely was able to touch the blue thread on His garment. This was the blue thread commanded by God through Moses that all men were to wear to remind them of God's commandments. Suddenly, she could feel something happening in her body. A warm glow enveloped her and she could begin to feel strength returning to her. Could it be? Were the stories true after all? They must be for she could feel her body healing right at that moment! Just then she heard Him speak, "Who touched me?" Immediately she was terrified. What if this was a mistake? Maybe I was asking for too much. Maybe God didn't want to heal me, after all, who am I that I should get special treatment? It's been 12 years. Maybe God didn't really want to heal me. Will He be mad? Her mind raced with all these thoughts and more. But now He was turning towards her. I better tell Him that it was me who touched Him. Maybe, just maybe, God will have mercy on me. With her new found strength, she rushed to Him and fell at His feet worshipping Him. Love for Him and terror at the same time. When she confessed it was her that touched Him, He gently told her…
    Mark 5:32-34 (NKJV)
    And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."
    Joy and immense gratefulness flooded over her emotions as she gratefully received the most beautiful words she has ever heard in her short but torturous life. She couldn't figure out why His words affected her so. They were so powerful and commanding but was spoken with a gentleness she never knew. Each word He spoke to her pierced her heart with an incredible enveloping love. She knew that this MUST be the promised Messiah spoken of in the sacred scriptures. And He healed ME! I, who am nobody important, just a lowly woman who everyone else had given up hope on. He loves Me!, she thought, as strength continued to course through her body as she was getting stronger by the moment. She determined at that moment that she wanted to be one of those who followed Jesus wherever He went. And so, on that day, that other woman died and a new one was born again in her place. HOPE! Who would have ever thought this was even possible after everyone had given up on her.

    Faith, the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things unseen. Such was that undying hope that drove that tortured woman to one final effort to receive what she knew would be hers.

    Hebrews 11, the testimony of faith chapter, reveals a long legacy of those whose faith and hope were exemplary in God's eyes and these died without receiving that promise we all have come to realize in Christ Jesus. But even with so great a cloud of witnesses testifying of God's goodness and His faithfulness, many today struggle with this same since of hopelessness as seen in this woman with the issue of blood did two thousand years ago. This sense of hopelessness is the legacy of those who have not put their trust in Jesus Christ. But what of Christians? Can Christians face hopelessness? Unfortunately, the answer to this is, YES! I have personally ministered to those who have lost hope for one reason or another. I would like to share with you the story of one of those times.

    The time was about twenty years ago as I was a young man in my thirties. I was a home group leader for the first time with a large church in San Antonio. After church services one day, I was heading to my car when I heard my name being called. One of the elders of this church approached me with a certain woman in tow. He began to introduce her to me and told me her story. She had been a believer for 3 years but for the last 5 years, she had been addicted to heroin. By her own testimony, she had been to every big name TV ministry to seek to be prayed for release from this addiction. She then named off all of them. Quite an impressive group. She said they all laid hands on here and declared her free but the addiction remained. She was extremely discouraged and at the point of losing all hope of ever becoming free.

    While this was being told me, my own thoughts turned to the Lord. I asked Him, "Why are You picking on me?" Immediately I heard this reply, "Because you will not give up on her." With this, I was told that since she lived in our geographical area, she was to attend our home group. I greeted her and welcomed her to the group and gave her our meeting time and location while she gave me her name and phone number.

    I don't recall how long after this that this series of events took place but I do remember they took place shortly afterwards. I had already started to seek the Lord to find out what prevented her deliverance. I had already learned the principles involved in healing and deliverance and that possession of idols can prevent God's blessings from being received. So as I continued to seek the Lord on this, He showed me there were idols in her possession. So I called her on the phone and asked her about this. She did not know anything about idol worship, so I explained various examples of scripture to her. She finally mentioned that had some books she had bought over the years to help her. When she told me the titles of these books, I recognized them as demonic influences. I then explained the examples in scripture where God had said that if you keep these idols, you would become an accursed thing as they are. We arranged a day that the entire home group would arrive at her house and remove her books.

    After instructing the home group members as to what procedure they were to use when removing the books, I sat down with this women and explained that she MUST renounce all ties to each and every book. These had a demonic control over her life and she must confess her trust in them as sin and renounce their hold on her. This was to be a very difficult and long process for she had accumulated hundreds of books over the years. Some books were easy to renounce but there were some she had great difficulty releasing. On those, it took great persuasion to convince her to let go. Eventually, we had removed every offending book. Everyone went home after we gathered to pray for her. My wife and I took all these books home and burned them all in a barrel we had in the back yard. My son asked if we were making an offering to the Lord. Yes we were, was my reply.

    Soon after this, on a Friday morning, the burden of the Lord came upon me in a particularly strong fashion. What usually took hours to reach an intensity that I was driven to my face to pray, took only minutes. My wife suggested we pray for our home group. We did but the burden remained. Then she suggested we pray for this woman. Our prayer was very simple. I had learned another principle of intercessory prayer years before and practiced it always. God only needs one person to agree with Him regarding all that He desires to do on our behalf. So we agreed with God to accomplish His purpose in this woman's life.

    I happened to look at my watch when we prayed and it was ten minutes till 11am. About ten minutes later, I suggested we call her to see how she is doing. Se was not at home and then my wife remembered seeing her the night before leaving church with a friend. We called that friend's house and she was there. When she came to the phone, I asked her how she was doing. She said she was fine but when I told her we had been praying for her, she quickly asked if we prayed for her about ten minutes ago. I looked at my watch and it was 11am. Yes, I replied. She immediately became very emotional and told me this. Earlier, she was experiencing withdrawal symptoms. For those of you who do not know this, the withdrawal symptoms are a horrendous experience, pain throughout your body and nausea and sweats. Your body is literally being wracked with pain and this can last for hours at a time with the only relief coming by taking another hit of cocaine. She was in her bed experiencing these horrendous symptoms when suddenly, they lifted off of her as if someone removed a blanket. I asked her if she had taken another cocaine hit and she said no. I exclaimed, "You have been delivered! Jesus took your addiction away! You are free!" We both began to cry for the power of God had delivered her!

    Since that day, she never had any symptom of her heroin addiction nor had she ever had any more cravings. She was free indeed! Free to learn to live the life she was denied because of that addiction. It would be a few years later before she went home to the Lord but no longer because of that addiction. We remained close friends until her departure. In the meantime, God had taken her family, her siblings, and healed their relationships so that when the time came for her departure from this life, she was surrounded by her family and her friends. What a glorious departure that was!

    Friends, there is not much I can add to a story like this one or even to the story of that woman with the issue of blood, except to say that God never gives up on us. Like the story of the prodigal son, the father of that young man had gone out everyday to look, in hope, that his son would return. So when his son did return, he saw him from afar and rushed out to meet him. His son who was lost was now found. His son who was dead was now alive. The father was so overjoyed, he put a robe on his son and sandals on his feet and even gave him his signet ring (like a credit card). This, was a gesture, to illustrate that all was forgiven and trust was restored. There was great rejoicing in that house that day!

    God had planned for the redemption of mankind since before the world was created. He never abandoned His plan to save us even when He destroyed the whole world with a flood. For there was righteous Noah and his children that were saved. He has never given up on any of us. As the following verse testifies:
    2 Peter 3:9 (AMP)
    The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people's conception of slowness, but He is long- suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.
    Another testimony of how our hope in God is not in vain:
    Romans 5:1-8 (NKJV)
    Faith Triumphs in Trouble
    1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
    Christ in Our Place
    6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
    We can see in these verses that God has a purpose when His deliverance is delayed. He is always working so that you will have a better end for He knows His purposes for you and promises to finish what He started in you. All too often it is we who have given up but I tell you a truth, for those who have given up hope, it was not because God had given up on them, it was they who had given up on God.

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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    Item Reviewed: NEVER GIVE UP! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jerry Sundberg
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