When we go public with Jesus, there will be people who will resist us. But 1 Peter 3:14 tells us that our Lord does not want us to "'fear their threats'" or to be "'frightened.'" In other words, don't be intimidated out of telling others about Jesus.
The meaning of intimidation is simply “to make timid or fearful.” It implies a sense of inferiority to another where the spirit is broken or all courage is lost.
When our courage is lost, there is no action or obedience to God’s call on our lives. Courage always is seen in action. We only know that we have courage if we step out into fearful situations. We only know that another person has courage if we see him act in the face of danger. Courage only can be seen by the work we do.
In our culture, we have very little physical pain or loss of life related to our faith. In America, our trouble is mostly emotional or psychological pain or stress. When we experience rejection for our faith, we feel it emotionally because it affects what we believe people think of us.
Our fear of not wanting to experience the hurt of being disliked or unvalued can keep us from making much of Jesus. But when we do share the gospel and face rejection, we are blessed.
"But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed." -1 Peter 3:14a
Peter lived this truth out. We see it clearly displayed in the Book of Acts.
In Acts 5, Peter is told to stand in the temple courts and tell people about the new life found in Jesus. The politically correct religious leaders in Acts 5:28 said, "'We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name.'" But Peter stood with courage.
"We must obey God rather than human beings!" -Acts 5:29b
Were the disciples successful? Absolutely! But did they suffer? Absolutely!
"His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name." -Acts 5:40-41
In the end, they counted themselves blessed not only in their suffering but because of their suffering. Have courage, and go public with Jesus.
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.