Now, Lord, look on their threats and grant that Your servants may speak Your word with great boldness, Acts 4:29 MEV
Fear, intimidation and threats are some of the first actions of power used to control others. Peter and John prayed in the name and authority of Jesus for a lame man to be healed. They used the healing as an opportunity to preach that Jesus was alive and others could become His followers. They physically could point their fingers toward the religious leaders and declare that these men had participated in killing Jesus on the cross. But Jesus arose.
Peter and John were arrested for preaching about the resurrection. The religious leaders, Sanhedran, who don’t believe in the resurrection said this to them. “But lest it spread further among the people, let us threaten them that they no longer speak to anyone in this name.” Then they called them and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” Acts 4:17-18
God’s answer to threats about witnessing is more boldness, not fear or intimidation. Threats are not empty and symbolic. They can be very real and have powerful consequences upon us physically and emotionally. The devil will work every angle to silence us from talking about the love of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus said there is a special blessing for those who are ill treated and persecuted because of proclaiming Him. Jesus said if they persecuted Him, we can expect the same treatment.
While sitting in the stands, you can cheer and have all sorts of opinion about what others should do while they are “in the game.” But when you step onto the field of “being a witness for Jesus”, do not be surprised at the resistance and abuse that may come your way. People may slander, ridicule, reject and be obnoxious toward you. You are entering the kingdom of darkness to share the light of Jesus that brings freedom for the captives. You may experience war-like tactics coming your way. However, God will never abandon you and will always be be present with you.
When threats come
- Pray first, second and last
- Don’t retaliate in arguments.
- Bless those who curse you. Do not get into a shouting match of whose right or wrong.
- Pray for more boldness that was promised with the presence of the Holy Spirit
- Cease gossipping about how bad you were treated. Jesus should remain the primary hero of the incident and not the injustice you received
- Pray with others for grace to endure under trial. You have a great cloud of witnesses cheering you on to hold fast to God’s love and character displayed in your life.
- Keep the message of Jesus central, He alone has the words of life for salvation to all men
- Turn your heart to worship often.
- Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim In the light of His glory and grace
- Receive and apply God’s promise of peace according to Philippians 4:6-7
Persecution, threats and intimidation are real. On this Fear Not Friday, Jesus wants us to receive His boldness from the Holy Spirit to overcome this fear of intimidation. Counting the cost, we still move forward to proclaim life everlasting found in Jesus Christ alone.
May God fill you with all power and boldness as you participate in seeing the captives made free for the glory of the Father in Jesus.
Blessings Love y’all