Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd. (Acts 2:14)
Asked to address a congregation of nearly 1,500 at an early morning service, in Creole—which I was rusty in—I was nervous. There was no turning back, however.
“Speak up, even though your voice shakes” is good advice, but it is hard. Lack of confidence in sharing Christ may result from failures, not measuring up to expectations of others, or simply being limp in courage. It is more comfortable to let others be the lead voice on a matter, rather than risk being wrong, embarrassed, or glared at for what you believe.
Peter, a common fisherman who wholeheartedly followed Christ, had his quirks and struggles. He had to deal with ups and downs, weaknesses, and failures all along the way. These limitations may have taunted him right up until Jesus ascended back to his Father. Christ’s parting words, however, were powerfully convicting. Through these words, Peter was freed, empowered to serve, and filled with divine enabling.
I wonder if Peter himself was surprised when he “raised his voice and addressed the crowd.” What an address that was! There was no foot in his mouth, flub-up, or shaky voice on that day of Pentecost!
Similarly, that day in front of the congregation, my words of greeting and testimony flowed freely, with fluency, without fear or shaking. Confidently, I felt carried on wings of the Spirit and enabled with his power.
Let your life witness to others.
Jeanette Vermilya is ministry director at Shunem House. She has served with her husband, Jim, in overseas and pastoral ministry in The Wesleyan Church for over fifty-five years.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.