Confidence breeds courage.
When we are confident in what we know… in what we can do… in where we are going… we naturally act with boldness.
Think about the last time you really felt confident. Maybe it was a project at work, or a job interview, or a sports activity, or a musical performance. What was the result? Success, yes, but probably more so… you probably ‘knocked it out of the park’ as they say. It probably felt good. Your boldness probably even made other people look at you and take notice.
We regard CEOs, geniuses, superstars, spiritual giants, and other leader-types with immense respect because of their bold, confident, decisive actions.
This must have been how the first followers of Jesus felt as they went out with the Spirit of courage (The Holy Spirit) to communicate the Good News of Jesus to the world. In fact, we read a story of Spirit-inspired confidence and boldness in Acts 4:
While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, 2 much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead. 3 So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand.
5 The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. 11 This Jesus is
‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;
it has become the cornerstone.’
12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus.
Those guys were courageous and confident! There wasn’t a doubt in Peter or John’s mind as to the truth and Good News of Jesus! And, their boldness inspired many to believe. Even those who were angered by their message couldn’t help but regard them with amazement and respect because of their boldness.
Sometimes, we as Christians simply don’t act boldly in our daily lives. Maybe, if we are really honest, we lack confidence and, therefore, we lack courage to act. Maybe, if we are really honest, our faith is on shaky ground and, as a result, we have no boldness to inspire anyone... not even ourselves!
The confidence and boldness of those first disciples (and all faithful Christians of every generation) came about through a life and lifestyle that was courageously ‘all-in’ for Jesus. We cannot be confident and bold when we aren’t ‘all-in’.
Think about, again, that time you really felt confident… you were ‘all-in’ weren’t you?
God promises a Spirit of courage for all those who are ‘all-in’ for Jesus. And that confidence and boldness will be sure to impact others with the example of faith, hope, and love.