Philippians 1:12-14 - “And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.”

I was catching up with a friend of mine one evening at a café and as we were getting ready to leave, a woman approached us and started sharing her faith and invited us to a Bible study at her church. We told her we were believers already and that we regularly attended a local church. After a brief discussion, she departed, and my friend and I were left a bit surprised by the encounter. What really stood out the most was her boldness to approach us and share her faith. As I drove home that night and over the course of the next few days, I asked God to give me boldness to also share the good news of Jesus with the people around me.

Quite coincidentally, the next few weeks at our church focused on missions, both locally and globally. We got the opportunity to listen to many testimonies of people in our church who boldly traveled to share the gospel to the unreached. There were even some who had traveled with physical limitations, but God gave them strength when they stepped out in faith.

Just as we read about how Paul had inspired the believers around him to be bold despite his circumstances, we too were inspired by the boldness of the believers around us. It was contagious! In the weeks ahead, both of us found opportunities where we were able to share aspects of our faith with the people around us. Despite taking us out of our comfort zones, the Holy Spirit gave us boldness to share and be vulnerable.

My friend and I met again at another coffee shop a few weeks later and we got a chance to talk about our experiences of sharing our faith. As we sat there exchanging our stories, yet another man approached us to share the good news of Jesus! He shared his testimony with us of how God had turned his life around from drugs and how he was now living for Jesus and freed from his addiction. He encouraged us by his boldness in sharing his testimony and we had the chance to encourage him as well to keep on living out his faith in Jesus and sharing his testimony.

As he left, we knew in our hearts that we had experienced a divine encounter. The Holy Spirit had put us directly in the path of this man so that we too could continue to gain confidence and boldly share our faith without fear.

Lord, thank you for the bold men and women who spread the gospel so that we could have the joy of knowing You. Please give us boldness also to proclaim your good news without fear by the power of your Holy Spirit in us.