“Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” – Matthew 10:17-20
If you’re like me, you have probably had that awkward moment when you didn’t know exactly what to say. It could have been when your friend shared some really bad news. It could have come when someone dropped an odd comment on religion, a comment that you knew was contrary to the clear teaching of the Bible… but how do you react? And if you do offer the correction, then what will people think of you?
Such awkward moments aren’t unique to our times. Jesus prepared his disciples for such moments in their ministry. He told them to be on guard and to expect to be arrested and brought before people to give an account. But he comforted and encouraged them with his promise that their words testifying to God’s truth would be given to them by the Holy Spirit.
There have been a few times that I can relate to this as well. It’s not that I felt a buzzing coming over me or that I went into some kind of a trance. I simply spoke my faith in Jesus and shared what the Bible says. By speaking the truth – God’s truth – the Spirit was speaking and God’s Word was shared.
God calls us to testify to the truth of his Word. If we’re unclear about God’s Word, we have some options. We can tell the person that we’ll get back to them after we ask our pastor or another knowledgeable Christian. We can also work to better prepare ourselves by reading our Bibles and attending Bible classes more regularly.
Even then, if we have a greater knowledge and grasp on the Scriptures, the oppression of God’s messengers will not stop. The disciples experienced it throughout their ministry. Over the course of history, many Christians have been called to testify to their faith in tense and tough situations. God gave them his almighty Word upon which they firmly stood, and with the help of God they courageously shared it.
Continue to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word, and trust that the Lord will keep his promise to help you speak its truth even under difficult circumstances when you don’t know what to say.
God’s Word is our great heritage and shall be ours forever;
To spread its light from age to age shall be our chief endeavor.
Through life it guides our way; in death it is our stay.
Lord, grant, while worlds endure,
We keep its teachings pure throughout all generations. Amen.