by Rick Warren — January 6, 2018
“Many of the people scolded him and told him to be quiet. But he shouted even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ ” (Mark 10:48 GNT).
If you’re going to make a fresh start with faith in your life, you have to face your fears. Don’t let them control you! Fear has an incredible ability to paralyze our potential, to keep us from launching out, to keep us from having faith in our lives.
When we choose fear over faith, it makes us skeptical — we’re afraid of trying anything new when we’re afraid. It makes us selfish — we’re afraid to commit to God and to others. It makes us shortsighted — we focus on the past and not on the future.
Bartimaeus, the blind man Jesus encountered in Mark 10, faced a fear that is familiar to many of us: the fear of rejection. He knew that to shout out at Jesus in that crowd wasn’t the right thing to do. He knew that people would look down on him for it, but he was desperate. And he knew that Jesus Christ was the only one who could help him.
And look what happened: When he shouted out to Jesus, everyone around him told him, “Don’t do that. Be quiet. Don’t make a scene. Surely Jesus Christ isn’t interested in you. He has more important things to do.”
The Devil whispers things like that to a lot of us. When that opportunity for faith comes into our heart, thoughts like “God surely wouldn’t be interested in you” and “Don’t make a scene” and “What would people think of you?” keep us from having faith. When you see an opportunity to change, there are all kinds of shouts from inside and around you that tell you not to rock the boat.
But God is asking you to do something greater than you’ve ever done before: He’s asking you to depend on him completely. That may seem a bit scary? But when God asks something of us, you and I have a choice: We can fall back on our fears and stay the way we are? Or we can move past our fears and step forward in faith? God is always waiting to meet us on the other side of any take a step of faith.