Speaking to the Soul – June 10

Do you need more boldness?

And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus. Acts 4: 29-31

Having been ordered by the Jewish council to keep quiet, Peter and John returned to their Christian friends to update them. Their response was to pray, and what a beautiful prayer it is. You might have expected them to ask God to sort out their opponents, but they didn’t. They simply asked God for more boldness to continue their ministry and prayed for yet more miraculous signs and wonders. The pressure of the authorities wasn’t going to silence them for a moment.

I have had the privilege of meeting with a number of Christians who have suffered greatly for their faith. During the communist era, a friend and I visited Romania and met with a prominent Christian leader. We knew that we were being followed during our visit and so went to a secret location to hear his story away from prying eyes and ears. He told us about the repeated threats he had received from the secret police. In Pakistan, I met a man who was rejected by his family, thrown out of his village and threatened with death when he became a Christian. I have so much respect for those who have had to exhibit real courage and boldness to maintain their Christian witness.

Such threats are not typical of our society, but it still requires considerable boldness to speak up for Jesus when people are instinctively suspicious and even nervous of those who have strong religious convictions. We have probably all felt the temptation to say nothing just in case our Christian beliefs are misunderstood or misinterpreted, or people think us strange. We need to pray for godly boldness so that we speak up for the Lord, whatever reaction we face.

Do you need more boldness to speak about your faith?

Loving God, help me to share the good news with grace and boldness. Amen