Pastor's Thoughts

You are not alone if you are afraid to tell others about Jesus

            Have you ever felt like there is no way you could open up your mouth and tell someone else about Jesus? Does the fear inside you creep up and make your heart beat faster, your thoughts clouded, and your discomfort increase? That happens to me. I think some of you feel the same way.

            It is strange how you can be discouraged and find encouragement when you know that others face the same struggle. Recently I memorized Philippians 1:14, “And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” The apostle Paul was put in jail for boldly preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Other Christians who were afraid to do so, became bold enough to give it a go. They were inspired by Paul’s example. In some strange way, this verse has provided encouragement to me. There have been many Christians who battled against fear. And they have become “confident in Lord” so they can boldly tell others the word without fear. Notice the key is “confidence in the Lord” or, you could say, faith!

            Believe or not, the apostle Paul (the guy who God used to write 13 books of the Bible) even faced fear when telling other people about Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 2:1-2 he said, “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Don’t be afraid about saying something profound, just talk about Jesus’ death on the cross! But here is the punch line in verse 3: “And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling.” What! The apostle Paul came telling these people about Jesus’ crucifixion in FEAR? Fear like you and I have when we think about or even try to tell others about Jesus? Yes! You are not alone if you are afraid to tell others about Jesus.

As a church, we will not honor Jesus, be obedient to God’s Word, or grow in numbers unless we overcome our fear of talking about Jesus. So we have plans in the works for some fellowships where we discuss how to overcome that fear and talk about Jesus in a way that is accurate, helpful, and God-glorifying. How can you talk to a family member, a long-time friend, a neighbor, a co-worker when your heart is pounding, your mind is clouded, and your discomfort level is a “10?” We’ll encourage each other and have some fun with it. We are aiming to have these times of encouragement and fellowship this summer. Please pray about that and plan on joining in the conversation.

Last thing! If you wait until you are not afraid to speak about Jesus, you never will. Paul spoke about Christ even while in weakness, fear, and trembling! The key is to become confident in the Lord and step out in faith. When our faith overcomes our fear, God is glorified! And God will bless His Word (Isaiah 55:11)!

 

With you in weakness, fear, and trembling,

Pastor Justin