"Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." Romans 8:17 NIV.
I am currently taking part in a Leadership course at my Church, and though I find it really exciting...it is terrifying too!
Leadership isn't necessarily standing in the Pulpit and delivering a sermon to a crowded Church, but sometimes God will call you to do just that...and the closer you get to following God's plans for you, the more you will become attacked. You will doubt yourself, you will feel inadequate and you will feel like giving up.
I have found myself in more and more situations where I have to talk in front of groups of people, and it is getting easier over time but it's something that I still struggle with.
I have always had an issue with public speaking, I get nervous, stumble over my words...I forget to breathe!
Isn't it funny that when I'm sat here with a coffee in hand and typing on my laptop I can freely say everything that I want to, but once I have more than one pair of eyes on me I become an incoherent mess.
Yesterday was Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, and during our celebrations God revealed something to me that changed everything for me...and I want to share it with you guys so that it might help you too!
Our speaker for the day read the above Bible verse and my ears pricked up at that last line "if indeed we share in his sufferings...".
I might suffer while trying to speak to people, but I don't suffer anywhere near as bad as Jesus suffered for us all on that cross! He did that for me, so I can do this for him. We too can suffer for His cause. We can try to share in his sufferings and hopefully be worthy to share in His glory!
The next verse that stood out to me yesterday was this: "Turn to me and have mercy on me; show your strength in behalf of your servant; save me, because I serve you just as my mother did."Psalm 86:16 NIV.
"Show your strength in behalf of your servant". This verse stood out because of the odd wording, it made me re-read the line and take notice of it's message. "In behalf", not "on behalf". Show your strength THROUGH me, not instead of me, especially when I am speaking out to serve Him.
When I ran all of this past my friend she said "Well of course! Peter could walk on water when he kept his eyes on Jesus! He began to sink when he looked away".
God was telling me to keep my eyes on Jesus and embrace my suffering and He will strengthen me.
How amazing that through those 2 verses and through my friend, God reached out to me and told me exactly what I needed to hear. Through 2 verses that were completely separate...one I heard in the service in Church, and the other in a Children's activity in the Church Hall, but both on the anniversary of the day that God's spirit came upon the disciples and strengthened THEM ready for their ministry.
I pray that anyone else who is feeling called to ministry but has this same issue... this anxiety that stops you from doing what you feel you need to do, reads this post and discovers God speaking to them and strengthening them too.