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Sharing Jesus in uncertain times

ALEXANDRIA, LA (BP)–With the stock market falling like the downhill side of a roller coaster and families caught in the mortgage crisis, what’s a Christian to do?

The immediate and somewhat obvious answer is for Christians to show they trust Christ. During uncertain times, Christians need to show others that their stability and peace comes from Jesus, not from the riches of the world. During difficult times, people are looking for a message of hope.

That’s where you can help. As a believer, be sensitive to opportunities to help your neighbors, your co-workers and your friends. Your help may be as simple as listening and praying. Other opportunities will call for you to share a passage of Scripture. Sometimes your story of faith will be a tool of healing.

When you share your experiences of the provision and peace of Jesus, the Holy Spirit may use it like a cup of steaming, hot chocolate on a crisp, spring morning — warming and soothing the soul.

The Holy Spirit loves to use the same words of comfort He spoke to you in times past to speak to someone’s pain in the present.

Paul said it like this, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

What can you do to have a conversation with a hurting friend?

The first step is to pray. Pray for God to show you verses of peace and security as you read the Bible. You can pray for God to make your spirit sensitive to the words of others, so that you will be ready with a listening ear. Another way to pray is for you to speak words of love and concern, not condemnation or judgment, toward someone who is hurting.

The second step is to share. Your hurting friend may need a relationship with Jesus Christ. As you share your stories of God’s faithfulness during times of crisis, you can ask your friend, “May I share with you how I received peace from Jesus?”

With a little preparation, you can weave your faith story around familiar passages of Scripture. You can share how God loved you in spite of the way you used to live (John 3:16). Then you can talk about God’s promise to all who receive his offer of grace and peace (John 1:12). Tell them your story of repentance, perhaps referencing March 1:15. Finally, you can conclude your story by letting your friend know how anyone can receive God’s free gift (Romans 10:9).

There may be other verses special to you that you wish to include. You just need to spend the time planning and perfecting your story of faith to present the message clearly.

A third step is to invite your friend to receive Jesus’ offer of peace. If the Holy Spirit stirs his or her heart about the need for salvation, pray with your friend and lead them to receive the promises of Christ.

When there is no peace on the outside, God wants to use you to share His message of peace to change someone on the inside.
Keith Manuel is an evangelism associate on the Louisiana Baptist Convention’s evangelism & church growth team.

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  • Keith Manuel