Most Up-Lifting Verses: I’m Afraid

Most Up-Lifting Verses:
This is a series of posts on some of the most up-lifting verses in the Bible. In this post, I’ll cover the idea or concept:
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I’m Afraid
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Most everyone that knows me knows that I am former military. I’m not proud of that but it did make me very sure of myself so I’m not afraid of much the physical world. However, when it comes to sharing my faith with others, I’ve always been afraid. …afraid that I’ll say the wrong thing. …afraid that I’ll offend the other person. …afraid that I’ll drive them further away from Christ. This is the verse that I try to keep in mind when a sharing opportunity arises:

2 Timothy 1:7-8a “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord…” NASB

This looks pretty self-explanatory but let’s dig in a little deeper.

  • “God has not given us a spirit of timidity.” Some translations have “fear” instead of “timidity” so I read this as ‘God has not made us to be fearful but powerful, loving and disciplined’.
  • “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord…” Ouch! This one cuts deep. I think a lot of us and I count myself in this group, have been ashamed, embarrassed and yes, AFRAID to share what Jesus has done, can do and will do for anyone who accepts him. A lot of this fear comes from what popular culture (pop-culture) has done to the image of the traditional Church and Christian. We have been portrayed for decades now as (hang on the list is long) insincere, stupid, idiotic, judgmental, greedy, back stabbing, ignorant, backward, moronic, two-faced, hypocritical, and possibly inbred. So, it’s no wonder that we would be fearful of putting ourselves out there as a Christian if this is what people with think of us.

Here are some key ideas to remember:

  • “The world” WILL hate us because we are Christians.
    • John 15:18-25 in particular verse 19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”
  • Rejoice when “the world” hates us.
    • 1 Peter 4:13 “But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” (ESV)
  • Jesus commissioned us to witness to “the world” and bring all that will hear into the family of God.
    • Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (NET)
  • We are not being arrested (yet) but God will tell us what to say.
    • Matthew 10:19 “When you are arrested, don't worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time.” (NLT)
  • Don’t worry about what they say. ALL will reap what they sow. (Both you and the ones that you witness to)
    • Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool. For a person will reap what he sows” (NET)

 

So, to wrap it all up:

  • Don’t be afraid, God will help you.
  • Yes, some (the world) will mock you. They will call you names and make fun of you.
  • Rejoice when they mock you because they just put you in the same category as Jesus.
  • Rejoice when they listen because you are doing what Jesus do us to do.
  • Everyone will get what they give. Good for Good. Bad for Bad.