As I’ve been studying the book of I Peter, I am learning how we can go from being unconfident in our Christian walk to having confidence to speak boldly about Jesus and how He has affected our lives.
Peter went from the failure of denying Jesus to proclaiming, POWERFULLY, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He didn’t just all of a sudden wake up one morning and have that confidence; it was something he needed to learn to acquire. Right before Jesus ascended to Heaven, He had a talk with Peter, mainly to help Peter understand that he was forgiven, and that God had a job for him to do. Jesus encouraged him, “Feed my sheep.”
We also have a job given to us by God. We have gifting specifically designed for each one of us, and we are to use that gifting to further the Kingdom of God and to bring glory to His name.
We also must go through trials and suffer for the cause of Christ. Peter knew about this all too well. The book of Acts talks about the persecution of the early church, and the things they had to suffer. Their lives were literally on the line. Because of this Peter learned to have confidence in spite of the suffering, which put into him a fire and a boldness to preach to a huge crowd where 3000 people were saved and thus was the beginning of the early church.
Peter tells us of the reason we are to have confidence in Christ. I Peter 1:3-4 says that Jesus “has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” Because of this we are to rejoice in suffering. These trials will prove whether our faith is genuine. This is a process. Each trial, each struggle, each time we struggle, further goes to prove the strength of our faith in Christ. We learn each time that we can trust Him, and that He is leading and guiding and directing each step we take. This builds that confidence in us to speak of His faithfulness. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” (I Peter 3:15)
When we are able to proclaim Jesus to others with boldness, we do so, not with confidence in ourselves, but in Him! He is faithful and we can trust Him because He will do what He has promised. The Apostle Paul puts it this way in Philippians 3:3, “For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.” He is our confidence and He gives us confidence to proclaim His message to others.