It is a difficult assignment to speak boldly of our faith in God in hostile surroundings. Rather than face disdain and mockery, many keep silent. The first disciples were changed men who felt they were undeservingly snatched from hell. In gratitude, they could not help but speak.
We gave you strict orders never again to teach in this man’s name!” [the High Priest] said. “Instead, you have filled all Jerusalem with your teaching about him . . .” But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. . . . The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. Acts 5:28, 29, 41
Later, Paul, overflowing with gratitude, as one “alive from the dead” (Romans 6:13), felt compelled to speak,
Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. . . And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 2 Corinthians 5:14, 18-20
Just as this single red tulip stands out among the yellow, Lord, make me so bold to not be afraid to stand out for You, as Your ambassador!
Paul, toward the end of his life, was able to say to the Romans, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel; it is the power of God for salvation, both to the Jew and also to the Greek” (1:16). However, earlier in his life he asked for help to overcome fears that he had in proclaiming the gospel:
“And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.” Ephesians 6:19-20
Lord, like Paul, Moses, and Jeremiah, I am hesitant to speak out when You give opportunities to share with others Your generous free gift of forgiveness and eternal life in Christ. Give me the confidence that You have orchestrated these very circumstances, that You have prepared the hearts of the listeners, and that You will certainly accomplish what You desire in that conversation, in your time.