When I was young, I often heard an adult say to someone younger, “Speak up!”
I imagine those are the thoughts of our God as well when we shy back from giving witness to the truth of our Savior Jesus Christ. How often we become timid in sharing the Gospel! When it comes to standing our ground and testifying to our faith, many just go underground. When God provides that critical, opportune moment to be His witness, they are nowhere to be found. Why is that?
Fear is the primary culprit in silencing the witnesses of God’s people. It may be the fear of being labeled, rejected, or misunderstood. Or perhaps it is fear of conflict, ridicule or persecution that keeps them silent. Often, it is the fear that we won’t be able to answer the questions raised or give a proper defense of the faith and the truth to which we cling.
Fear is paralyzing. But 1 John 4 reminds us that God’s love drives out all fear. The more we grow in faith and love of God through Jesus Christ, the more fear loses its grip on us. We become bold as we discover for ourselves the truth of God’s love and the unbelievable sacrifice Christ made on behalf of our sins. The truth of Christ sets us free from all sin --including the fears that rob us of the joy in sharing Christ with others.
When Jesus heals the man born blind in John 9, the man was not initially clear about the identity of his healer. When the religious leaders sought to intimidate the man by drilling him about how he was healed, he simply replied, “I don’t know…but what I do know is that I was blind, but now I see.” What a powerful and marvelous testimony!
God calls upon each of us to proclaim what we know, not what we haven’t learned yet. Do not be timid about what you know to be true. Do not let fear of what you don’t know intimidate you from giving witness to your faith in Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the one who enables your testimony to produce a response of faith. Being an intentional student of God’s Word will also help you be prepared to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15). After all, the more you know, the more you have to share.
Trust in the Spirit of Christ to use you as an ambassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). Speak up and share what you know!