Taken from Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Farrell, PA weekly bulletin, 2010
Confidence to Speak
In almost every Christian’s life there have come doubts. Can I possibly witness to my neighbor? Can I teach Sunday School? Can I live the Christian life at work, where so many do not honor the Lord? Jeremiah knew the burden of doubt. But when he remembered who created him, his doubts were eased. From this passage we can learn some significant insights.
1. We are no surprise to God (v. 5). Jeremiah heard God say that He knew Jeremiah even before his birth. God had plans for Jeremiah’s life even before Jeremiah was born. So it is with our lives. God has plans for every person’s life. But each person has to respond by faith to God’s plan for his life. God does not manipulate us. He gives us freedom to say no to God. But when we say yes to God, He enables us to do things that astound us. Knowing that God has created us and has planned for us to accomplish things for Him should give us confidence that we can do all things in Him.
2. Our human limitations should not discourage us (v. 6). The truth is that all of us are limited in one way or another. One is old. One is young. One is blind. One is poorly educated. All of us are limited. But limitations should not remove us from service to God. He is willing to use us if we are willing to be used. The secret is the willing heart. In a way we insult God by saying that we cannot do certain things. He can empower us over any obstacle. He will send us forth. He will give us the confidence we need. So do not be discouraged.
3. His words should be our words (v. 9). We have not business offering our opinions to the lost. We are to offer the good news to them – God’s Word. Our words have little effect in the lives of others. But God’s Word convicts. It correct and it instructs. We should pray before each witnessing encounter for God to give us His words so that the other person might hear Jesus in all that we say. Too many times we rely on our programs and our procedures in witnessing to others. The programs we use are helpful but should never take the place of confidence to speak the words of God, which comes to us as a result of having spent much time on our knees hearing His instruction.