After all, it cost most of the apostles their lives. Its no wonder, actually, that it took a miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit to propel them into a life of evangelization. Only the Spirits power and strength could overcome the fear and doubt that would be a natural response to the plans Jesus had for them.
Think about Peters life before Pentecost. He let fear win him over time after time. It was fear that made Peter sink in the water, and it was fear that led him to deny having even known the Lord (Matthew 14:26-31; Mark 14:66-72). It got so bad at one point that Jesus felt moved to say, Get behind me, Satan! when Peterout of feartried to dissuade Jesus from the cross (Matthew 16:23). But all that changed when Peter and the others were filled with the Spirit.
So how can we overcome our fears and begin to speak boldly to others about Jesus? The obvious answer is to ask the Holy Spirit to fill us more and more. But its not enough to simply ask and wait for something to happen. Its just as important to step out and begin to speak. Thats how Peter and the other apostles did it.
Of course Pentecost was a thrilling experience, as the apostles saw three thousand join them in one day! But after the excitement of that initial outpouring wore off, they all had to keep moving forward, seeking the Spirits power and guidance in their lives. They couldnt rest on that one-day harvest. They had to keep sowing seeds day in and day out, as well as tend to the new believers that had just joined them. And thats where they learned the kind of courage, boldness, and wisdom they needed to build and shepherd the church.
In your prayer today, imagine the apostles praying together, even as their home shook with godly inspiration. Now put yourself right there with them. Open your heart; open your mind; and even more importantly open your mouth, so that the Spirit can work through you, enabling you to speak the word of God with boldness(Acts 4: 31).
Holy Spirit, fill me with the courage to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord.
Psalm 2:1-9; John 3:1-8