Even though the cross and resurrection of Christ is the only hope for our family, friends, business associates, and neighbors, we still struggle with fears of rejection, poor speech, and our friends' opinions of us. We know the truth and experience the reality of Christ’s indwelling presence daily, yet we still remain silent about the only hope of the world.
But there’s good news. The same Jesus in us today is the same Jesus the very first believers had dwelling in them. They turned the world upside down, and the same promise they received has been extended to us.
"'But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'” -Acts 1:8
The thing that differs between the first Church and us is that they were offensive with their faith. We, too, are called to storm the gates of Hell as Jesus transforms lives around the world through us, but today we are retreating.
To me the issue is simple—we don’t really believe that God will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
So here’s the big question we must ask ourselves: Do we really believe this promise and that God will use us even if we feel like failures when it comes to speaking up and stepping out with the gospel?
When we obey Him by sharing this saving message, we release the presence of God regardless of the outcome of our conversation. And I would rather obey and seemingly fail than not obey at all.
Through our obedience, God works. He promises that His Word will never return empty (Isaiah 55:11). He is always at work behind the curtain when His truth is presented, even if we tremble while sharing it or are mocked because of it.
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power.” -1 Corinthians 2:2-5
The Apostle Paul presented the gospel with fear and trembling, but the Church of Corinth was breathed to life through his obedience. Today his courage in the face of fear continues to encourage us to step out in faith to let God do His glorious work.
Could it be that our fears are what our Lord uses to open doors for us to walk in His presence and draw our networks to faith in Him?
It appears that this is His way of operating. I pray that each of us may have a Jesus experience of rejection this coming week, knowing that God will be at work.
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John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.