There is nothing more exhilarating than to share your faith with someone else. The joy of telling them of the grace you have received and to tell they to can be saved by the power of God by faith in Jesus Christ His only Son. Yet I find that fear can have an effect on sharing our faith and often keep us silence. Here is some thoughts on dealing with fear in the midst of sharing the gospel.
I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation for all those who believe for the Jew first and the Gentile also.
Becoming unashamed in the gospel. I will say first that I am not perfect and have not mastered my own emotions as there are a great many times that I tremble. I remember one of the first times I got up to preach open air style. My body was shaking in fear. I opened with this text.
1 Cor. 2:1-4 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
I can’t say that I was that eloquent as I trembled in fear and I find a little comfort in Paul’s words that he trembled.
Here are some things that I have found that compel me to speak. When I look at the book of Acts I notice that in chapter 4:19 that they say “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” The context is that they are threatened. The strange thing is that the Sanhedrin seemed to be more afraid of the people than Peter and John or their jailing. What drove the two disciples to speak is what they saw and heard. Likewise if I believe, if have seen, if I have heard then it is incumbent upon me to speak.
Paul also affirms this. In 2 Cor. 4 he states: It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. What drives him is resurrection and his faith in Christ to save. If you read the whole chapter it speaks about this in persecutions, beatings and seemingly all kinds of difficulties. Yes, he is Paul, but again the glory outweighs the trials.
The cause of fear. I would say what most of our fears are driven from the unknown. We have the idea that our first time witnessing or preaching is likely going to get us hated, jailed, and killed. This might be true but often times it isn’t The Bible says that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and a sound mind. Fears can be irrational ideas that cause us to tremble. Again I will say I haven’t mastered my own fears. And based on the passages that I posted previous, I can safely say that Paul might trembled a little also. You are in good company with Paul.
Fear can either motivate us to preach or to be silent. In most cases it cause us to keep quiet. I find that I need both my emotions and my mind to be educated by the word of God. I would say that John Mark who fled from serving in the gospel with Paul and Barnabas had fear. Thankfully he came back and was found useful to work of the gospel. So what educates me to preach the gospel. Below are a few verses.
Luke 9:26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.
1 Peter 4:16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
Luke 12:4-5 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!
Mark 4:40 “But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
Phil. 1:28-30 And not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
Romans 8:35-39 “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There are a wealth of passages that we could read on this subject. I hope that these are some encouragement to speak the name of Jesus Christ.
One final note on overcoming fear to speak the name of Jesus Christ. Go with someone. Paul often had people with him. I think much Acts was written with Luke with Paul. And we see in Acts 17:5-6 that Jason was dragged from his for harboring Paul. Having a partner with you can make it a little easier to stand and preach or share your faith.
I hope this is an encouragement to you to share your faith. Be strong and courageous to share your faith. I would love to hear your thoughts and adventures in the gospel.