Do you feel brave?
I am guessing your answer is “no” if you clicked on this post. Don’t worry, spoiler alert: most of us don’t.
The good news is feeling brave is not a requirement to acting brave. In fact, most people who achieve feats of bravery do not feel a magical sense of courage or bravery before they accomplish something. So then… how do they do it?
Brave is defined by Webster’s dictionary as: “having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty :having or showing courage”
As Christians I believe we have supernatural strength on our side, but I rarely wake up feeling that way. Change is my least favorite thing and I am facing so much of it in my life right now. New everything in life including a new marriage has me overwhelmed and nervous on how to take each new step before me.
So what is this secret to bravery?
I discovered it locked within the familiar Bible story of David and Goliath. I know, you’ve heard the ending before so you think you know where this is going, but maybe not. As I was reading in 1 Samuel 17 one particular verse stood out to me that I did not remember ever reading before. Goliath, the intimidating, giant, warrior, has been coming out day after day taunting Israel and mocking their God while asking for someone to come fight him. Of course, every soldier is shaking in their boots and doesn’t want to be destroyed so day after day no one will volunteer. Young teenage David gets to the camp to visit his soldier brothers and sees Goliath doing his daily taunting. His response is what struck me in verse 26
“Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
What a sassy thing for David to say! I LOVE it!
I asked myself, how could he say that instead of responding in fear like I always tend to.
Clearly, David knows the power of his God. Instead of looking at Goliath and running scared he compared the size of Goliath to the size of his God and he could. not. be. intimidated!
This is the key to responding in bravery that I always miss. I keep my eyes focused on the problem in front of me and it seems so large compared to me, but compared to my God EVERYTHING is small. David knew what his God was capable of because he had watched God’s faithfulness in his life up to this point. Remember the story of shepherd David being delivered from previous run-ins with a bear and even a lion going after his sheep. David knew God had rescued him before and this time would be no different. I want that kind of firm trust in God.
Spoiler alert: David goes up against Goliath and kills him with only a stone. In the end, God wins.
If we change our view and put our trust in the right place, our living God will fight our battles for us. No hope in our own strength will lead us to bravery, but hope in the omnipotent God will.
Now go out there and conquer your Goliath with God on your side!