There are some people who are undeniably brave.
Missionaries traveling to a strange country, dedicating their lives to minister to unreached people. Translators spending years to learn a foreign language and bring the Word to hungry souls. Martyrs dying for their unashamed confession that Jesus is Lord.
And then there are people like me.
People who don’t have anything impressive to show. People who will probably never be admired or honored for their courageous deeds. People who have never done anything remotely “brave” in their lives.
There are a lot of people more on my end of the spectrum. And, sometimes, we just feel downright pathetic.
But you know what?
Brave isn’t one-size-fits all.
My version of brave is staying home alone for a couple hours without letting my paranoid thoughts cause me to freak out. It’s calling a friend on the phone–yes, the phone, that enemy of introverts–instead of making an excuse to just text. It’s raising my hand in Sunday school, going to a youth activity, and any little thing that takes me an inch further out of that embarrassingly tight shell of comfort.
I don’t feel brave, but that’s where I’m at right now. To make the most of my life, I have to face my fears of people and aloneness and germs and other seemingly trivial things.
My bravery isn’t heroic or glamorous, but that’s okay.
Being brave isn’t about doing something risky or dangerous, even if it might include that sometimes. Bravery is choosing to pursue God’s path for your life even when fear gets in your way.
We surrender the fears that control us over to our sovereign God. We ask him to take control and we march on. When fear speaks loud, let truth speak louder. Drown it out in the promises of God.
Fear doesn’t stand a chance against our hope.
How does God see us?
He’s sitting up there in heaven, infinitely powerful and never afraid, looking down at our lives.
Does he see us as pathetic creatures? Does he laugh at our ridiculous fears?
He certainly could. He’s so infinitely above us; honestly, we are pretty pathetic and our fears can be ridiculous.
But no. He sees us from the eyes a loving father who is always watching over us to comfort and protect, not as a scoffing enemy.
We can have confidence that God, in all his power in perfection, looks down on us with compassion. After all, he gave us Christ.We can have confidence that God, in all his power in perfection, looks down on us with compassion. Click To Tweet
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16
When our faith is thin and our fear is suffocating, we can turn to him. Jesus is both God and human. He suffered just like we did… and I bet he felt fear. He understands what we’re going through and he knows how much courage it takes to stand strong.
So when we have fears that seem ridiculous to others but are paralyzing to us, we can rely on Christ. His strength is what enables us to do all things. And with every brave step we take, he’ll be there.
As the best of fathers, he’ll be proud of those steps. He’ll rejoice over each one. And when we fall, he’ll pick us back up again.
Who cares what anyone else thinks?
I may not ever live overseas or risk my life in a jungle, but I’ll keep facing my fears. I’ll stay home alone even when it’s stressful so that I can live a normal independent life. I’ll eat food at other people’s houses so I don’t offend anybody, even if germophobe me says they might not have washed their hands before cooking the meal. I’ll talk even when I’m terrified of talking, speak out even when I’m scared of speaking, and use my voice to make whatever difference I can in the world.
With God on our side, even fearful people like me can be brave.With God on our side, even fearful people like me can be brave. Click To Tweet
“In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 56:11