“People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.” Romans 3: 23-24
I read this verse yesterday in my quiet time. It’s so startlingly simple. In one sentence the world is turned upside down. My darkness becomes radiant light. Not by my lifework, my contribution to mankind, not by working really hard or by running 1000 miles, but by believing. Seriously?
Simply believing, changes everything. I am made right with God when I believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. This is the cornerstone for my life as a Christ follower. Because out of the craziness of that truth – that I am made right out of believing – comes everything else. If I let go of simple trust in the encompassing work of Jesus to make me right with God, I immediately lean into works and what I see and feel. I sink into the mentality of the world around me which lives only by sight and not by faith. And it’s so dreary there.
This faith thing is so tantalizing to me! I am intrigued because it so doesn’t come naturally to me. It’s believing in the face of what may feel like all odds against me. Feelings. They make life glorious and complicated. So often nothing I “feel” encourages me to have faith. So often nothing I “see” encourages me to have faith. Yet stepping forward in that very moment is the essence of faith.
I long for this. I love this! God is such a life giver, a river of life! I love that about Him! I am so thankful for it! Because the world around us is so broken and dying and dark. He sweeps in with light and all that is good and brings this mighty wind of hope. I breathe it in and am changed. When I breathe out I breathe out His life.
“If you believe you will see the glory of God.” John 11:40
Believing where you cannot see and especially where you cannot feel. This is the meat of the Christian life.
I have thought, somehow, that it laid in clenching your eyes closed, knowing the onslaught of life would come and somehow you just have to survive until the end when you get to go to heaven.
But this picture is different. He calls us to be life givers. Rivers of life. When I have my eyes clenched closed I can’t see the people around me much less see their need. When I am only braced to survive, I can’t live from a place of power. I am a victim instead.
So He calls me to believe. He calls me to look for Him and what He is doing, His kingdom coming. He asks me to take action as I believe, stepping forward when it feels counter to my instincts. He calls me to see and speak out and expect His goodness. This is faith. The expectation of His goodness.
“I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for and confidently expect the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes wait for and confidently expect the Lord” Psalm 27;13-14