One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.”
A pastor friend of mine got up in front of his congregation one morning and spoke boldly. A lot had been going on in the world during the previous weeks and months. He was a bit anxious about what he felt he had to say—but he knew it was the truth, and he knew it had to be said.
What he shared that morning was the good-news message of Jesus. That may sound simple and expected, but sometimes it is not easy to share that message. He reminded everyone that they needed to love one another as Christ loves us. Be people of truth—God’s truth—he said. Don’t hate others. Don’t hurt others.
Speaking out boldly for what you know is right can be frightening. Even if it is right, it might not be popular. In fact, the gospel message of Jesus often isn’t popular. It can seem foolish and countercultural. Jesus himself was crucified for it, and many of his followers were persecuted, put in jail, or killed for it as well. Even though speaking boldly can be frightening, the truth can’t be hidden.
Paul was preaching the Word of God, and people were upset with him. But God encouraged him to continue speaking and not to be afraid.
That same encouragement is for us today too. When we have the opportunity to speak the truth of the gospel, we must do so boldly. Even if we are attacked for it, God will be with us.
Present God, help us to speak your truth and your gospel boldly whenever we have the opportunity. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.