“Then Peter stood with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd” Acts 2:14b
I remember as a shy, quiet kid, wishing I could stand up to people with different opinions. I was so fearful of what people thought of me that I wouldn’t risk stating a different viewpoint.
Even as an adult, I face times when I have to decide if I believe something strongly enough to stand alone in my beliefs, especially when the stakes are high. Living a godly life when others around me are not can be hard. Sometimes a job or a friendship is at stake. In some parts of the world, loss of family or loss of life are real dangers when going against the established authority.
The Apostle Peter gave in to his fear when he denied that he knew Jesus. Though he had been a close, trusted friend to Jesus, Peter feared being associated with a man whom the authorities considered a criminal.
Yet just a short time later, the book of Acts records Peter speaking to crowds of people, accusing them of killing the Son of God and calling them to repent and follow Him. (Acts 2:22-41) A little while later, Peter and John stood before a council of Pharisees (Acts 4:1-20) and spoke boldly about what they had seen and heard.
What brought about the change? Where did this boldness come from that replaced Peter’s fear? It came as a result of the filling of the Holy Spirit. Peter addressed the crowd after the Holy Spirit arrived at Pentecost. (Acts 2:2) He spoke to the Pharisees while being “filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 4:8)
When the Spirit of God is present, fear is overcome by boldness as we step out in faith.
Lord, fill me with Your Holy Spirit that I may live a godly life and proclaim Your Word with boldness.
Thought: Write down an area of your life where you wish you had more boldness. Pray for fresh empowerment by the Holy Spirit so you may walk in confidence.
By Debbie West
Used by Permission
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