I have gotten a lot of feedback from the sermon I preached on Audacious Faith out of Matthew 9:18-34. I wanted to share a few thoughts as I have reflected on the stories that have come in.
Audacious faith is first of all difficult for secular people like us. When we are faced with seemingly hopeless situations our first response is often not one of faith. It is often a reaction of despair and even for believers in Jesus thoughts readily turn towards God not liking me, or failing me, or punishing me.
What we are learning together through Matthews Gospel is that those are the situations that invite us to come to Jesus with faith that he rules over our situation, is present in our situation, and can choose to change our situation or change us through our situation. All of this is predicated on the fact that he loves us and is good.
Sort of a paradigm shift for many of us isn’t it?
The ruler of a synagogues daughter is dead, the woman had suffered bleeding for 12 years, the two men are born blind, and the boy can’t speak and is harassed by a demon. All of those things are hopeless. Yet they have the audacity to come to Jesus, except for the boy whom Jesus heals without anyone asking him to.
It takes audacious faith to stand in the midst of what seems hopeless and bring it to Jesus trusting that he can change it or change us through it. It takes that kind of faith to stand in hope when all the laws of our secular culture tell you there is no hope.
We invited people to come for prayer and as we prayed over people I was struck at how powerful the act of bringing those situations before Christ in prayer breaks though despair and puts us in that place of audacious faith. For most of us we had never really brought our pain, or sin, or suffering to Christ in a way that would believe him to take care of it. So just like the man whose daughter died, the woman bleeding, the blind men, there was an experience of healing in simply coming to Jesus.
In order to have audacious faith in Jesus, we come to him in our need and ask him to help us.
It’s that simple and that difficult all at the same time.
This kind of faith pursues Jesus. It doesn’t retreat into the lies of secular thinking, which tend to be hopeless or despairing but instead it invites us to come after Christ believing that he will help us. It believes that Jesus is our greatest hope and that he will not fail us.
Jesus isn’t interested in being some kind of heavenly genie who grants us wishes. He loves it when we pursue him, He loves to have us bring him our deepest needs, he loves it when we begin to see him for who he truly is and through that he changes out hearts as he allows us to believe he is all we could hope he is. Do you have the audacity to bring your situation to Jesus and believe he is God he is good and he will help you?