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I have been writing about the book by Charles Swindoll on the Holy Spirit and His work in our lives.

I have often wondered how people that are really persecuted for their faith keep going and not give up.

I realise that they must pray about their situation, and that the Lord is involved in some way, but I have never realised that the courage they have is also the work of the Holy Spirit.

Think about the disciples just after Jesus was crucified. They were a fearful bunch. The first time Jesus appeared to all of them, the Word says that they were together, with the doors locked, because they feared the Jewish leaders (John 20:19).

Fast forward to Acts 5. Here we see some of those same men who locked the doors in fear, standing before the people they feared, proclaiming the Name of Jesus. And when they were told that they had violated the strict orders they were previously given to not teach in Jesus' Name, they replied, "We must obey God rather than human beings!"

What happened?

Where did the fear go?

Where did the courage come from?

The Holy Spirit, of course!

In Acts 2 we read how the Holy Spirit filled these fearful men, and because of His power in them, they started proclaiming the Name of Jesus without so much as a flutter of fear.

Why is it that we don't obey the words of our Lord Jesus to go and be His witnesses, to tell everyone the good news about His love for them, and how He gave His life to save them?

Most of the time it is because of one thing: fear.

How do we overcome that fear?

The same way the disciples did. We allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, to take control of our words and actions, to use us as His witnesses.

Will you let Him fill you and use you today?

You have nothing to lose...

...only a lot to gain.