Revive Our Hearts Podcast

His Healing Touch, Part 2

Leslie Basham: When it seems that you're between a rock and a hard place, you can find hope. It's Tuesday, March 5; and you're listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Have you ever felt that you've exhausted all your options? You've tried and tried to make life work, but your circumstances just keep getting worse. Today we'll hear about a woman who was in the same situation. Let's join Nancy and discover the hope that is available when everything seems hopeless.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We're looking this week at a certain woman. We're not told her name. Her story appears in Mark 5. But she is a woman who came to Jesus in a scene where He was pressed about, thronged about, with a great multitude of people, all vying for His attention.

In the midst of this great multitude, we know that there was a great man, Jairus, who came and said to Jesus, "My daughter is on her deathbed. Can you come and help her?" In the midst of this great crowd with this great religious leader talking to Jesus and this great emergency situation, Mark 5:25 tells us that a certain woman came into that crowd.

We're told that she had a flow of blood for twelve years. We saw in yesterday's session that this blood disorder--whatever it was--had cut this woman off from her culture, from social relationships, from religious fellowship because she was considered ceremonially defiled, contaminated. Yet this woman has the boldness to come and ask Jesus for help.

Well, she really isn't all that bold; and she doesn't even actually ask for help. But she does reach out to Jesus in a way that is going to be life changing. Verse 26 gives us some other details about this woman's past. It's interesting in Mark's Gospel that this many details would be given because Mark tends to be short on details. He gets to the bottom line faster. But in this case, he tells us some details about this woman's past. I think it will encourage those of us who perhaps have walked through some similar things in our experience.

Verse 25 tells us that she had this flow of blood for twelve years. This is a long time to have endured this incurable illness. Then verse 26 tells us that it's not that she hadn't tried to get help. It says that she had suffered many things from many physicians. She had gone to doctor after doctor after doctor. In twelve years, you can go to a lot of doctors. She was trying to get help for this ailment.

I can just imagine from word of mouth and from maybe some advertisements that she had read that she heard, "This doctor specializes in incurable illnesses." Hope would be ignited. She would go to the doctor. He would run all the tests, put her through all the agony and the indignity of getting her situation tested and then come back and say, "I'm sorry I can't help you."

I was reading something that Charles Spurgeon, the great preacher of the nineteenth century, that he wrote about this woman. He talks about what it was like to go to doctors in those days. Let me quote from his chapter on this woman.

He says, "The physicians of those days were a great deal more to be dreaded than the worst diseases. What with cupping, leeching and cutting, cauterizing, blistering and incision, strapping and puncturing, patients were made to undergo all manner of unimaginable tortures."

Spurgeon goes on to say, "The physicians of her day had reached perfection in the arts of torment. I know not how many operations she had endured, nor how many gallons of nauseous drugs she had swallowed, but they had certainly caused her a vast amount of suffering and worse yet, perhaps, bitter disappointment."

Each time the hope was ignited in her heart, she'd go and then have the hope dashed. "Maybe this person will help me. Maybe this treatment will help me. Maybe this therapy will help me." Yet none of it had been successful.

Mark 5:26 tells us, "She had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had." These doctors were only too happy to take her money, even though they had nothing to offer her that was helpful. Now she comes to the place where there are apparently no more doctors to see. If there were more doctors to see, why would she go through the excruciating pain of suffering one more examination by one more doctor who didn't know what he was doing? Even if she could have borne all that, the fact was that she had no money left. She has exhausted all of her options.

Let me say that that's not actually a bad place to be in when it comes to matters of the heart. When you and I exhaust all hope--all human hope--when every human thing we've looked to to try and help us with our need has failed, that may be when we finally get through the crowd and get to Jesus--when we go to the One who really is our only hope.

Now she is not there yet. Mark gives us a few more details. It says she had spent all that she had. And she was no better but rather grew worse. I wonder if this woman just thought--she must have thought--"I'm just going to have to live this way forever. It will never be any different. I will never be any better."

In fact, it occurred to me as I was meditating on this passage this week that really the only thing this woman had to look forward to was dying. You wonder if she didn't perhaps have some moments of contemplating even taking her own life. I know women who have contemplated taking their own lives because life just seems too hard. The burdens seem so great. The pain seems so unbearable. They're not better. They're only worse. They may as well just get it over with and die. We don't know if she had come to that point, but it seems that there was nothing that she could look forward to. Her situation was truly desperate.

As I have pondered this woman and her situation, my mind goes to other women that I know. Women who have had twelve months or twelve years or decades of suffering, pain, emotional abuse, and baggage that they've carried with them, issues that they've not been able to deal with in their past. Women who are living with defeat in major sin areas of their lives.

I think of some of these women who have looked to a lot of different places to get some help--women who have been to counselors. They've been to therapists. They've been to doctors. They've tried every conceivable therapy and drug. Some of them are even trying a lot of different religions. (They are) Trying to escape, trying to get help, trying to have some hope. But in many cases, these women are not only not better, and they're not getting help--but in some cases, they're actually worse off. They've lost hope.

Maybe you're feeling that way today. Maybe you have felt it at some point in your past. Let me say again that there is only one source of true hope; and this woman is about to find--not it but Him. That hope is a person. He is a man. He has a name. His name is Jesus.

Verse 27 tells us that this woman heard about Jesus. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. What made this woman who had tried everything--everything had failed, nothing had worked, she had no money to offer--what made her willing to press through that crowd to get to Jesus? What had she heard?

Maybe she had heard what we read about in Luke 6, which says, "The whole multitude sought to touch him, for power went out from him and healed them all." Maybe she had heard a report from someone who had been in one of those crowds, someone who had been perhaps just where she was, someone that she had shared her misery with over all these years. We don't know. We just know she heard about Jesus.

Apparently, what she heard is that this man has power. "This man is not like another doctor that you've been to." Maybe she'd heard from one of those who believed in Jesus. "This man is God come to visit us on earth." Maybe she'd heard about Him putting His hands on the eyes of the blind man and on the ears of the deaf man and their eyes being opened and their ears unstopped. Whatever it was, she heard something that gave her hope.

When you've been where this woman had been for twelve years, hope is exactly what you need. When all hope has died and your situation is hopeless, when you hear about One whose name is hope, you'll press through a crowd to get to Him. You'll do whatever you have to do to get to Him.

When you've been in a situation as long as perhaps you've been--troubled, carrying that internal issue, that internal baggage, those internal struggles--maybe everybody knows about it. Maybe nobody else knows about it. It's just within you--that struggle in your marriage, that struggle in your relationship with your parents or your in-laws, that financial pressure, that emotional distress caused by a hurt that took place years ago. You've lived with the bondage and the weight and the hurt of that all these years. Let me say there's hope. His name is Jesus.

The Scripture says she came to Him. She touched His garment. We're going to see that when she did, a transformation took place. It will take place in your life once you get to Him and reach out and touch.

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy DeMoss pointing us to the source of all hope--Jesus Christ. Nancy will be back soon to lead us in prayer. But first, if you can relate to today's program and you feel like you're in a difficult situation with nowhere to turn, you can find encouragement in a book called Glenda's Story. Unwanted from birth and abused throughout her childhood, Glenda shares how God used her afflictions to draw her to Himself. This book has been an inspiration to Nancy. We think it will be to you as well.

Glenda's Story

Helping deliver women from the bondage of sin to life in Christ is what Revive Our Hearts is all about. We want to point people to Jesus as the source of all healing every day. Would you consider helping us? It's through your contributions that we're able to be on the air on stations all across the U.S. Won't you help us continue reaching women with a message of hope? Thanks to all of you who have already responded so generously.

Perhaps listening to today's broadcast has made you think of a particularly difficult time in your life when Christ was your only hope. We'd love to hear how He answered your prayer. Why not grab a pen and paper and tell us about it?

Well, a Band-Aid wouldn't do much good if what you really needed was surgery, would it? That's why it's so important to deal with the root of our problems instead of the symptoms. That's what Nancy will be talking about tomorrow. I hope you'll be back then. But now here's Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Thank You, O Father, that there is no hurt so great that we are without hope. When we've tried all the world's answers and been to all its physicians and all its professionals and all its counselors, many of them well-meaning; but when they've taken our money and left us worse off than when we started, there's only one place left to go. Help us to turn to Jesus, knowing that in Him there is hope and there is help and there will be grace.

I want to pray for some woman sitting in this room today--some woman listening to this message--who just needs hope. Would You ignite faith? Now that they've heard about Jesus, would You quicken in their hearts the confidence that if they will reach out and touch You that You really will meet them at their point of need and that their life will be transformed? I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

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