We all know we need to testify about Jesus. But when it comes time to do it, some of us lack courage.
Now, you may think that either you’re born with courage or not, but you can actually grow your courage. You can have more courage to testify.
Here are three ways.
First, pray for it. You could pray: “God, give me courage. God, make me bold. I want to testify to you.” I’m really struck, if you look at the contrast between Jesus and Peter during Jesus’ last hours on earth, Jesus spends time praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prays! But what does Peter do? He sleeps!
Peter learns later, though, that courage can come through prayer. After Jesus has died and is resurrected and then ascended, when the early Church starts meeting, they get persecuted, and here’s Peter’s prayer: “Lord, make us bold.”
When’s the last time you prayed to be bold in your testimony? Maybe that’s a place you need to start.
Find encouragers to be with
Another way to grow your courage is to hang out with people who can increase your courage. We call them encouragers.
Here’s what encouragers do: They put courage into you.
The contrast between Jesus and Peter is helpful here. When Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane as he is facing his death, he is spending time with the Father. That encourages Him. But when Peter denies Jesus, he is with a crowd, not around people who encourage him. See the difference?
This is why it’s so important to stay connected in worship and to your church family. We are here to put courage into one another.
Adjust your expectations
The third way to grow in courage is to have the right expectations. You should expect trouble or difficulty when you when you testify. Jesus actually told us this would be the case.
There’s a reason why the nurse will usually tell you right before she sticks you in the arm, “hey, expect a little pinch.” Because if you expect a pinch, it helps manage the expectations.
When something catches you by surprise, though, it’s a lot easier to have less courage.
As Christians, we know we receive grace and resurrection and victory, but we will face challenges, even suffering. Jesus tells His followers they will, and so we need to remember that.
So, pray. Make sure you know some encouragers. And have the right expectations. This will all help you to have more courage to testify about Jesus.
Adapted from Pastor Jon’s sermon, “Peter: A Study in Contrasts,” which you can watch here.