Take Courage. Rise Up. Make Faith Moves.
Would you consider yourself brave? According to Webster’s dictionary, being brave means you’re able to face or endure unpleasant conditions or pain. In other words, it’s the ability to show courage.
Courage is Vulnerability
According to researcher Brene Brown, courage is vulnerability. And vulnerability is revealing all of your heart while risking emotional injury or attack in the process. It’s basically opening yourself up to being criticized, rejected, silenced and shamed because of something you’ve said, done, think, feel or strongly believe.
It’s unfortunate that many people are being shamed, silenced and shunned because they chose to be vulnerable and open about some area of their life. This societal shunning, shaming and attempted silencing reminded me of the life of blind Bartimaeus, found in the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 10.
Here we see a man who survived off of begging. He had to depend on the generosity, kindness, and mercy of other people to get his basic needs met. Bartimaeus was marginalized, disadvantaged and devalued. He was one of society’s invisible people. But here’s what I love about this man’s story. His limitation or physical blindness didn’t stop him from seeing through the eyes of faith and hope. His current reality didn’t stop him from believing a better reality was possible for his life.
Rejected by People
I can’t imagine the shame and loneliness he must’ve felt being pushed to the roadside to beg. The message society sent him was you’re not good enough to belong. And because of this collective cultural belief, he was pushed to the margin of society. He was forced to live a life of solitude and isolation. But how ironic is it that Bartimaeus, though physically blind, was able to recognize Jesus as the Messiah whereas others couldn’t?
And because Bartimaeus heard Jesus was passing by, he refused to allow social norms to prohibit or stop him from crying out to the one He knew could heal him. He didn’t care what others thought. As a matter of fact, when people told him to be quiet, he shouted out all the more. He was desperate to be with the only one who could heal him. He was desperate for a change. He was desperate to be made whole. He was desperate for community and companionship. He was desperate to live an abundant life. And he was desperate to have his shame taken away. Bartimaeus refused to miss this life-changing encounter with Jesus and he was willing to do whatever he had to do in order to make his moment matter.
Asking for Help is Brave
Bartimaeus chose to be brave and ask for help. He was tired of being in pain and shame. He was tired of begging. Tired of being isolated and alone. Tired of being rejected and devalued by people. And because he was sick and tired of being sick and tired, He called out to Jesus in desperation. He asked Jesus to have mercy on him. He pushed past the naysayers and haters of his day in order to get to Jesus. He didn’t allow their negativity or perception of him to stop him from crying out for help. Bartimaeus didn’t fear the disapproval or criticism of people. He wasn’t worried about how others perceived him. Because when people tried to silence him, He courageously cried out all the more.
Crying out for a Miracle
I wonder how many of us have this type of courage to cry out to God to heal us or change us. How desperate are we for God to do a transformational work in our lives? Are we willing to demonstrate crazy faith and risk others thinking we’re crazy? Are we willing to risk being criticized for our radicalness? Are we willing to be rejected by the very people we seek approval and acceptance from?
I wonder how many of us are willing to engage in crazy praise for our breakthrough? And I wonder how many of us are willing to throw off anything and everything that is holding us back or slowing us down from getting to the feet of Jesus. How many of us are willing to cast away our garments of shame, pain, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, and pride to receive our miracle? Bartimaeus was able to receive his physical sight because of his crazy faith AND bold actions of crying out to God and throwing off the things that would stop him or slow him down from getting to the feet of Jesus.
Be Brave, Strong and Courageous
- What miracle are YOU believing God for?
- What action are you committed to take to position yourself for a miracle ?
- What fears, insecurities, doubts and limiting beliefs do you need to throw off so you can receive your healing, miracle or breakthrough?
- What social, emotional, spiritual and mental attacks are you willing to open yourself up to in order to receive what the Lord has for you? Are you willing to endure and persevere in the face of adversity? Are you willing to live by confident faith?
When people rebuke you and when challenges and set-backs try to stop you from moving forward, what will you do? Will you shrink back and stay silent? Will you believe things will never change for you? Will you stay stuck in fear, doubt, worry, envy, anger, pride or unforgiveness? Or will you, like Bartimaeus, cry out all the more, asking God to restore what you’ve lost? Will you let go of fear and live by faith?
Take Courage and Get Up
Just as Jesus told Bartimaeus “take courage, get up”, I believe God is saying the same thing to you and me. We must not be afraid. We must not be discouraged. God hears us and God sees us. And He wants to make us whole and fully alive again.
Friend, I want to encourage you to trust in God’s power to restore and revive every dead, diseased or dying relationship or situation in your life. Because it’s our faith and confident trust in God’s power that makes us–and all other things new.