A lot of people think being brave is the absence of fear. But the truth is being brave has everything to do with being afraid. It just means that you carry on in spite of your fears.
Without fear there would be no need to challenge yourself beyond your capabilities and boundaries. And you see, God knows this.
There are so many places in the Bible where he tells his people “do not be afraid”, “do not be discouraged”, “do not be dismayed”… Ironically a lot of the times he tells them not to be afraid either immediately before or after he asks them to do something completely beyond them.
But you see, the promise that comes next is always “I will be with you.”
Now it could be that he was reassuring them to be calm in his awesome presence. But I like to believe that while there was a little bit of that, a big part of his words were to comfort, to have his people know that as long as they walk with him, there’s no reason to fear.
It’s human nature to be fearful. It’s God’s nature to see us through the impossible.
The Online Dictionary defines fear as:
1. An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
2. (archaic) A mixed feeling of dread and reverence.
3. A feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone.
4. The likelihood of something unwelcome happening.
5. To be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.
6. To feel anxiety or apprehension on behalf of.
7. To avoid or put off doing something because one is afraid.
8. (archaic) To regard (God) with reverence and awe.
Are you being called out of your comfort zone this year?
Will you be like Abraham or will you be Elijah, running in fear from Jezebel?
Will you step boldly into your destiny or will you run in the other direction?
Here are two of my very favorite stories about courage – I hope they will strengthen your heart as they often have mine.
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying:
2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.
3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.
4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.
5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.
6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.
7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
4 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
6 Then said I:
“Ah, Lord God!
Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”
7 But the Lord said to me:
“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’
For you shall go to all to whom I send you,
And whatever I command you, you shall speak.
8 Do not be afraid of their faces,
For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.
9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me:
“Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over
To root out and to pull down,
To destroy and to throw down,
To build and to plant.”
In both of these stories God showed up at a somewhat inconvenient time for these men. He had a job for them to do that they wouldn’t have necessarily chosen for themselves.
Joshua had seen the stiffneckedness of the Israelites. He had been there when their lack of faith had cost them the kingdom and caused them to wander around in the wilderness for 40 years.
Jeremiah had seen the sins of his people. He knew that there was no talking to the religious leaders of the time.
These men were called for a task that God had equipped them for. He knew that there would be doubts and fears and misgivings but he reminded them that he would walk with them and take care of the impossible things. That promise is available for me and you today.
If you suddenly found yourself in a position similar to that of Joshua or Jeremiah what would you do?
What would your version of brave look like?
What is God calling you to do today? Will you trust him?
Want even more ideas for one word resolutions? Check out our list here.