Build Up Your Bravery

David JeremiahBy David Jeremiah4 Minutes

When an unexpected and often stressful situation suddenly occurs in your life, it causes your body to go into an acute stress response. Why? Because you have a decision to make when you encounter a difficult situation – whether it is physical, spiritual, or emotional. This causes your body to be primed and prepared to give its all whether you choose a fight or flight response to your circumstances.

But how does that apply in the spiritual arenas of life?

If you know that fight-or-flight feeling, then you also know what fear feels like. And you also know, or will hopefully come to know, the amazing power of spiritual bravery – obeying God’s call and trusting Him with the outcome.

What Is Bravery?

Courage is an internal resolve or conviction that an obstacle can be overcome in spite of risks or threats. Courage is thoughtful and well-reasoned; it weighs the risks and comes to the conclusion that action is the proper course. And that’s where bravery comes in.

If courage is internal, bravery is external. It’s one thing to feel courageous on the inside, but it’s another thing to be brave – to demonstrate the courage of one’s convictions by acting bravely in the face of obstacles, threats, and risks.

Who Needs Bravery?

Everybody needs bravery – you, me, everyone. Some of God’s greatest heroes started out lacking bravery but found it by the grace of God.

MOSES (Exodus 3-4). When God called Moses to lead the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, he was terrified at the prospect. But who became the greatest hero in Jewish history? Moses – he confronted Pharaoh, depended on God, and put his courage into action.

GIDEON (Judges 6-7). God called Gideon to lead Israel against the marauding Midianites and defeat them. Gideon couldn’t believe that he, the smallest in Israel (Judges 6:15), could defeat the largest of Israel’s opponents. Just as God promised Moses, He promised to be with Gideon (Judges 6:16), which gave Gideon courage, and courage turned to bravery in battle.

PETER (Matthew 26; John 21; Acts 2-5). Peter was anything but brave when he denied knowing Jesus; but he was the epitome of bravery when he preached at Pentecost, led the church in Jerusalem, and stood up to the Sanhedrin. In Peter we see the bitter seed of failure bring forth the sweet fruit of bravery.

So we learn that bravery, when lacking, can be acquired.

How Do I Become Brave as a Christian?

1. Know the situation. Learn to recognize the fight-or-flight symptoms in your body. Recognize fear as an emotion alerting you to a decision to be made. When you feel weak or fearful, know that God is giving you an opportunity to exercise bravery and faith.

2. Know yourself. Do you have a compliant personality or a bold one? Recognize situations where you need God’s strength the most.

3. Know God. If you are His child, He is with you (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:20; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:29; Hebrews 13:5). Have faith and walk in the knowledge of His ongoing presence.

4. Know God’s promises. Charles H. Spurgeon said it best: “My own weakness makes me shrink, but God’s promise makes me brave.”

When we step out in faith, God is there, leading us, guiding us, and making us strong.