Smiling mature man seated in living roomIn Acts 18 we catch a glimpse into Paul’s life as an activist and ambassador for Christ. As he spoke to the Jews about the Christ they had crucified, the crowds became furious with Paul. When Paul saw the intensity of those who opposed him and the Good News, he was sharing about the risen Christ it stirred fear in his spirit. He started to become afraid, but then he heard from the Lord.

While taking refuge in the house of a certain man named Justus, whose house was next to the synagogue, the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision. The Lord said, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you, for I have many people in this city.” (Act 18:9-10Paul went on with his teaching in Corinth for another eighteen months. Rather than be paralyzed with fear Paul elected to speak out with boldness. Have you ever been paralyzed with fear? Maybe it was the fear of loss, rejection, ridicule, loneliness, or persecution that gripped your spirit. I think most of us have had the experience of allowing fear to control our thoughts and actions.

There’s an acronym for FEAR that I can relate to: Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. Jesus Christ is always with us. Have you noticed how brave you can become when someone else is with you? Allow the promises of God to help dispel fear and drive your courage to move forward in faith. 

The Promise of His Presence

There are nine accounts in the Gospels of Jesus saying, “Don’t be afraid.” Four other times, He encouraged His followers with the promise of His presence. Three times during Christ’s teachings on the Sermon on the Mount he told his disciples to not worry or be fearful (Matt. 6: 25-34). God’s presence makes all the difference. His word, love, and grace drives out fear (1 John 4:18). Whatever you are facing you are not alone.

Scripture Reading: John 14, Matt. 6, 1 John 4

Personal Application: List the things that are most fearful to you. Seek out Scripture that rebukes the fear and focus on God’s love and promises to stand with you. When fear grips your spirit – stop and recount the many times God’s presence and word has helped you overcome your fear.

  Wendell Morton and  Jim Grassi, D. Min.

We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5