If sharing your faith in Jesus with others is difficult for you, maybe it’s not your love or faith or knowledge that’s the problem. Maybe it’s the fear factor. The question Jesus could ask you is: “Are you bold enough?”
I’m always encouraged by the fact that Jesus says to us, as he said to Peter and the other disciples, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” What that tells me is that it’s not all up to me. Jesus promises to give me the strength and training I need to do this. My part is to stay close to him.
And if I’ve blown it in times past, and run for cover when I had a chance to share my faith, or I’ve lost my nerve when the opportunity was there to plant a seed, then Peter of all people should be of encouragement to us, because he blew it too, didn’t he?
Three times in succession he lost his nerve and denied his Lord. “You’re with him also?” someone asked him. What a leading question. Wouldn’t you love it if someone just came up to you and asked, “You’re one of those Christians aren’t you?” But Peter was lost in a fog of fear.
Yet Jesus forgave him and restored him. And in days to come, he became the boldest of the original band of disciples, facing down Pharisees, Sadducees, Gentiles, high priests, the demon-possessed, and crowds of thousands. Jesus kept his promise and made him a fisher of men.
Now don’t confuse what boldness is. Boldness is not the absence of fear. Boldness is moving forward in spite of your fear. Proverbs 28:1 says, “The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” Without boldness, you run away. With boldness, you stand your ground, even though you may be afraid. Without boldness, you clamp your lips shut. With boldness, you speak, even though you do so with fear and trembling.
The young men who crossed the English channel on D-Day showed this boldness. You don’t think they weren’t fearful as the Normandy beaches drew near, and they threw themselves blindly into the hands of God, knowing that many of them were just seconds away from losing their life? You’ll never see a greater example of courage, save maybe one.
Another young man 2,000 years ago prepared to voluntarily face the most brutal form of execution that sinful hearts could conceive of. He begged and pleaded with his heavenly Father for the cup to be taken from him, he wept, he shook so violently that blood squeezed through his pores. But he stood his ground. He did what had to be done.
And because of his boldness, you and I are given a second chance at paradise. Jesus did what none of us could do. He paid the price that none of us could pay. Just one thing he asks from us in return for his great sacrifice. That we tell others about it. That we bring others to his Cross that they might find forgiveness and eternal life. Is that too much to give for the One who gave us everything?