“Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance in what we do not see.” (Heb 11:1, NIV)
It is after 4 a.m., I decided to get up 2 hours ago to unload the list forming in my head.
I found myself talking to the Lord with doubt, questioning him and even saying, “God, I need to see this. Give me something to help me keep moving forward.“
It didn’t take him long to respond, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test, blessed are those who believe and have not seen. “
“OUCH!” that hurt. The reality though, is that we Christians are called to believe in the power of God, without always understanding the results. The Hall of Faith found in Hebrews Chapter 11, lists person after person who never received the promise they were looking for this side of Heaven. They were living in faith until death; seeing from afar, the promises given, knowing they were not of this earth, and looking ahead to their heavenly country.
The Lord brought back the gospel I heard today and I found myself digging deeper and seeking greater understanding. In Luke 18:35-42 we are introduced to a beggar sitting alone at the roadside. If you read the parallel gospel in Mark 10:46-52, we are told that the beggar’s name is Bartimaeus.
Bartimaeus is blind and alone. The loudness of a passing crowd brings him to ask what is happening, where he is told Jesus is passing by; he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” When the crowd told him to be quiet, he yelled even louder. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” He would not be silenced by the opinions of those around him, instead, becoming louder still, he cried out for what he believed in. Being called to Jesus, Bartimeaus, left his cloak behind and ran to him asking to see. His cloak of familiarity and comfort, most likely the only thing he owned, was willingly left behind for a promise of something greater in Jesus. This act of faith, Jesus tells him, is what healed him.
We are all guilty of living a life of familiarity, holding on to situations, circumstances or behaviours that are so familiar to us, they feel safer than the unknown. We claim to want freedom, peace or understanding, when in reality, we do not want to let go. We continue to hold on to our control, telling Jesus to take it from us, when he will only accept it when we are ready to give it to him. God will never take from us what we are not willing submit to him. He, then, will receive our burdens, and give us the promised gift of peace. He will lead us in the direction that we, as God’s handiwork, were designed in advance for. He will provide us with whatever it is we need, enabling us to do the good works, which the Lord has purposed us for, before even one of our days had come to be.
Is your faith in a place where you are crying out for what you believe in, or are you still being told to be quiet and therefore, hesitant or half heartedly seeking healing? Are you willing to leave your cloak of familiarity behind, in faith and follow Jesus, receiving a new covering from him? Receive the gift that Jesus bought for you with his blood on the cross. Peace, mercy, grace and forgiveness, they are there waiting for you to accept them.
Heavenly Father, forgive me for holding onto my cloak, while half heartedly crying for mercy; today Lord, give me the courage to leave it behind, increase my faith and hear me as I raise my voice, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. I do believe in you, help me with my unbelief. I want my …”
~ In Jesus name, Amen.
Scripture Reference: Mark 9:24, Mark 10:46-52, Luke 18:35-42, Hebrews 11