“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).
Bravery, according to the dictionary, is the ability to face or meet situations courageously. It is a trait that we admire in others and hope we have ourselves. For Christians, bravery is actually deeply connected to our faith.
Jesus said in John 16:33 that in this world we will have troubles. And going through difficult or scary times often leaves us weak-kneed and insecure. It helps to think about the second part of that passage. “But take heart,” He said, “I have overcome the world.” The Lord was reassuring us that we don’t have to be brave on our own, and that someone stronger than us is on our side.
God Promises to Help Us Be Brave
When we are in the midst of a trial, reading God’s Word is vital. Scripture is full of wonderful promises that our Heavenly Father gave directly to His people. We can be encouraged and feel bolder by claiming them for ourselves.
God is with us
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:9).
God keeps us safe
“‘No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,’ declares the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17).
God equips us to handle anything
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
God works on our behalf
God goes before us
“I will go before you and will level the mountains: I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron’” (Isaiah 45:2).
Our Part in Being Brave
God is mighty enough to capture victory for us. And the stronger a relationship we have with the Lord, the more natural it will be to go to Him and ask for help during troubled times.
By spending time studying God’s Word, lifting up prayers, and giving Him worship, we’ll grow in our knowledge and awe of Him. Our faith will increase, which will help us to stand more firmly when challenges come.
Biblical courage is intertwined with having hope in God. Believers have the wonderful opportunity to:
- Run to God
“The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10).
- Lean on God
“Truly my soul finds rest in God: my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62:1-2).
- Seek His strength
“My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word” (Psalm 119:28).
- Trust In His Care
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise — in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4).
Examples of Bravery in the Bible
Those whom we call the “heroes” of faith found themselves in circumstances that could lead anyone to want to run. But each of them stayed firm, faced their challenges, and lifted up praises to the Lord as they went.
David met the giant Goliath on the field of battle. Though he was younger and smaller, he ran to the fight. His confidence was not in his own skill, but in his God.
“David said to Saul, ‘Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him … As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground” (1 Samuel 17:32, 48-49).
Moses stood and faced the powerful Pharaoh, demanding freedom for the Hebrews. He knew he was unworthy of the task, yet obeyed the call on his life. He relied on God to show Himself to the Egyptians through him.
“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.’ Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded them” (Exodus 7:1-6).
Daniel, while a captive in Babylon, remained faithful to his religious beliefs, even when threatened with what seemed to be certain death. Daniel trusted that the Lord was with him, and continued to worship.
“So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den … And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God” (Daniel 6:16, 23).
Esther came before King Xerxes on behalf of her people. Knowing her life was at risk, she asked that others would bow down and petition God before she went into the court. She was convinced that the Lord would hear and answer their pleas.
“Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish’ ... For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating” (Esther 4:15-16; 8:16-17).
Sometimes, bravery simply means staying put in a situation that could tempt us to run or give up. But we need to ground ourselves in God’s promises. For He will be faithful to provide the way through, as well as the strength for the journey. And when we give ourselves over to His care, our hearts will become stronger and more worshipful.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/vchal
Heather Adams is an author, speaker, and singer living in Connecticut. Heather’s passion is to equip and encourage believers to seek more of God’s truth and to experience more of His joy each day. Her book, Bow Down: The Heart of a True Worshipper is a practical, 30-day devotional about worship based on the writings of King David. Heather's blog, Worship Walk Ministries, offers weekly Scripture passages and insights to ponder. A native New Englander, Heather is settling into her home in the South, trying out local foods and watching for the alligators that live nearby! You can connect with her on her website: heatheradamsworshipwalk.com