“Proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.” Acts 28:31.
When we read about Paul in the Bible, we think of someone who was so bold and courageous that the Lord could not help but accomplish great things in and through Him. The Bible portrays Paul as one who regularly preached in the face of great opposition, who boldly confronted his adversaries, and who made a practice of telling his listeners exactly what they needed to hear rather than what they wanted to hear. And while we sometimes struggle with boldness in speaking about Christ or in taking a stand for Him, we believe Paul did not.
But boldness is not a given, nor is it constant, nor can it be taken for granted. We must keep praying for it whenever we need it. The apostle Paul experienced this. On at least one occasion, Paul directly asks the church to pray for him “at all times” that he might “keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.” (Ephesians 6:18–20)
So what is Christian boldness? Boldness is being strong and courageous, stepping out of our comfort zones in faith, and taking action in areas of life that seem unknown, uncomfortable, or risky. Boldness and courage do not come from ourselves, it comes from the relationship we have with Christ, which results in our purpose, and courage. The power of the Holy Spirit, time with Jesus in His word, and prayer give us strength, guidance, and wisdom.
This doesn’t mean we won’t feel afraid or scared at times, but we move forward knowing that God walks with us wherever we go. Acts 4:13 says, “The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. And Joshua 1:9 adds, “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “ For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” Acts 4:29 says, “And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word.”
We can’t know Jesus and experience transformation, only to keep it to ourselves. But we don’t become bold in one fell swoop: it is one bold step at a time. The best first step we can take is prayer. Prayer changes everything. From there, maybe it is devoting 10 minutes to God every morning in the Bible and prayer, inviting that person to Church again, joining or leading a Bible Study, volunteering to help those in need, using your unique gifts to serve others, forgiving someone who hurt you, sharing your story with someone to provide healing, going on a mission trip, to name a few.
“ After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31)
- Jesus has already won the war: How do they give us boldness to face the future?
- What needs to change for you to be bold?