12 things that happen when we have Courageous Faith in Jesus
In my previous three posts, we’ve been reflecting on Jesus’ reign in the Gospel of Mark. As he takes control, he the world changes and so do we. We respond with courageous faith, and we also uncover barriers to that faith in our lives. Because of Jesus’ great mercy and love in our lives, things start changing in us and around us. What should we experience as a result of his work in our lives? None of these things are instantaneous, but overtime, we look back and realize how Jesus is in charge. What happens to us and the world around us when we follow with courageous faith?
- Forgiveness of sin. Jesus responds with the same grace he offered to us when he came to this earth—grace that overcomes our wrongs. He forgives us and cleanses us, and we know it. We are given a new life today and eternal life with Jesus forever.
- Freedom from the consequences of sin. This concept challenged the religious leadership of his day just as it does us. Take the paralytic for instance. He no longer carries paralysis around in his body. He is forgiven and free to go. He’ll never forget what it’s like when he was a paralytic, but he’ll never be defined by what made him a paralytic to begin with. Whatever wrongs you have committed, Jesus’ grace frees you from being identified by them forever.
- Vision. We see a vision of how Jesus lives his life in our world today—through you. This is a different kind of experience than simply asking, “What would Jesus do?” It really means that Jesus is already working and has been working. Now he’s living in our world. How do you live your life knowing that Jesus is with you? We start seeing what God is doing today, and we start imaginging how to reflect his glory. We see a vision of a world that is to come and realize that Christ’s invasion has made that possible.
- Loss of control. We were never in charge of our lives anyway, but courageous faith reminds us of how powerful Jesus really is…and how grateful we are.
- Discipleship. We follow Jesus “on the Way.” We don’t try to recreate the first century; we follow him because he’s alive and well in our lives in Tallahassee. Like Bartimaus, crowds who once ridiculed us also begin to call us to respond to Jesus.
- Sacrifice. We leave behind our possessions and our security blankets. Instead of being like the rich ruler, instead we’re like Bartimaus, being willing to leave even our source of income behind to follow Jesus.
- Grace. We extend grace and forgiveness to others. Because Jesus has seen us and healed us, we can share that grace to others. We are grateful for what Jesus has done, and we continually give thanks for the ways he has shown his goodness to us.
- Leap for joy. Faith is a leap into the presence of the one who has gone before us. We begin to leap and dance for joy because of what Christ has done and the thrill that he has called us. We connect to him and each other, knowing that he will never leave or forsake us.
- Restoration. We are brought into a community of faithful people, restored and forgiven forever. We join a church, and our baptism symbolizes the transformation that has occurred.
- Resistance. Some of the people who know us best—mother, father, siblings, and friends—will resist God’s work in our lives. This is only a sign that the risen Christ has taken hold of our lives and is beginning to affect them too.
- Words to speak. When we experience resistance, the Holy Spirit will give us the words to speak. We will not need to worry beforehand what to say.
- Awe and wonder. When the disciples see Jesus’ glory on the mountain of transfiguration, they are filled with incredible bliss. They see the beauty and majesty of the reigning king. We simply say, “Wow!”
Just as Jesus raised Jairus’s daughter and Simon Peter’s mother-in-law from the dead, so he gives us resurrection life to rise again. Take heart, church, the kingdom of God is at hand. It’s time to rise.