Courage To Speak

Courage To Speak

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

Acts 18:9-11

It takes courage to speak the Word of God. The apostle Paul knew this from experience. Once, in a city called Lystra, his audience pummeled him with stones and left him for dead. He was flogged and imprisoned in Philippi, chased out of Thessalonica and Berea, and sneered at in Athens.

Now, Paul had come to Corinth, and his reception was mixed. Some people believed the Word that he preached, but others were abusive to him. You can imagine what he thought: “Will I only be laughed at, or will this turn ugly? Should I go before something worse happens?”

You probably don’t need to try very hard to imagine that inner monologue because you’ve thought something similar. Although you haven’t traveled the Mediterranean world on a preaching tour like Paul, you have been in situations where sharing the Word of God could have led to unpleasant results.

Perhaps you’ve stood by a friend burdened with a guilty conscience, a relative mourning her dead husband, or a colleague shocked at the state of the world. In the Bible, God has things to say for all those situations. But when you speak them, it could cause a hostile reaction.

However, rather than being silent, remember the encouragement that Jesus gave Paul: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you.” The risen Lord promised to be with him, and he kept that promise. He blessed Paul’s work in Corinth for a year and a half!

Did you know that God is with you too? After his resurrection, he gave a similar promise to everyone who believes in him: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). How encouraging to know that the risen Lord is with you to support you as you speak his Word!


Lord, give me the courage to speak your Word when it needs to be spoken. Amen.