I watched the police and court-appointed repo-men pry open my neighbor’s door and begin piling his belongings on the front lawn. Ryan was only 27, but his alcohol addiction had already destroyed his liver and kidneys. He couldn’t function at work and had no way of paying his mortgage. His eyes were yellow, his body thin and frail. Ryan desperately needed Jesus.
My hands shook as I drove him to the Rescue Mission. In that moment, I knew God was telling me to talk to Ryan about Jesus, but I felt nervous and clumsy about sharing my faith. I started the only way I knew how, and prayed that God would give me the right words to say.
“Ryan, I know you’re hurting, but you don’t have to go through this alone. No matter how much you fail or how many times people let you down, God is always faithful and He loves you so much that He sent his Son to die to pay for all of your mistakes…” My words weren’t eloquent, just the simple Gospel we learn in Sunday School classes. God doesn’t need an army of orators—he just needs people who are willing to obey.
Sharing Jesus with others, even people who desperately need Him, can be a scary proposition.
Perhaps more than any other weapon, the enemy uses fear to keep God’s children from sharing the Gospel. Throughout the Bible, it’s very apparent that God knows this. From Genesis to Revelation there are hundreds of verses about fear.
How do we overcome fear?
“Be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“The Lord is for me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? With the Lord for me as my helper, I will look in triumph on those who hate me.” Palm 118:6-7
Scripture reminds us time and again: God is with us, and with Him, we have nothing to fear. As believers, we need never worry that God will abandon us — He promises to never leave or forsake us. We can boldly carry out his calling on our lives, knowing that the Creator and Ruler of the universe is on our side.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
A common theme throughout the New Testament is that God’s love overcomes fear. When we find ourselves afraid to speak up for what’s right or nervous about what others may think of us, we can pray for God to fill our hearts with his love.
When I shared the Gospel with Ryan, it was because God’s love and compassion overtook my fear. God’s love for Ryan was far bigger and stronger than my own nervousness.
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” Romans 8:38-39
- Have you ever been afraid to do something you knew was right? Did you give in to fear or do the right thing? What were the consequences?
- Is there anything in your life that you know God is calling you to, but you’re afraid to do it?
Lean into God’s perfect love and allow Him to overshadow the things you are afraid of. Ask God to help you to experience His love for the people around you. When we are compelled by love to share the Gospel, fear simply cannot stand.