Devotional for

Ministry and the Fear of Man

John Piper

“Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 1:8)

A great obstacle to serving the Lord, especially among the young, is the fear of rejection and opposition.

All kinds of thoughts enter the mind about how some people might not like the way I do it. People might disagree or be offended. I might make a mistake and get criticized.

The fear of man is a great hindrance to ministry.

So God says, Don’t fear, because I will be with you and I will deliver you. God’s presence and approval is more valuable than all the accolades of men. And God says that in and through all your troubles, I will deliver you. You will triumph in the end. You will be more than a conqueror.

And the same thing is promised to all of us in Christ Jesus today:

  • “God has said, ‘I will never fail you or forsake you.’ Therefore we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5–6)
  • “If God is for us who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

So God said to Jeremiah, and God says to younger people today whom he is calling to serve him, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth.’” Why?

  • Because your life is rooted in the unshakable, sovereign purposes of God. You have been chosen and consecrated and formed and appointed for a great purpose.
  • Because God’s authority, not your own, is behind your going and your speaking.
  • And because God himself will be with you to deliver you in all your trials.
From Do Not Say, “I Am Only a Youth”