I’ve been known to have nightmares about the strangest of things. I watched an episode of Leave it to Beaver when the boys purchased a baby alligator through the mail. It lived in their bathtub, until their parents found out about it. That night I dreamed of a large alligator chasing my family.
So I work very hard to keep images of anything scary from joining the brain cells in my head. If I do, I can guarantee a nightmare is close behind.
I don’t know why I am this way. It could be that I’ve been frightened far too many times when younger and simply don’t want to feel that way again. Or it could be that I am a scaredy-cat at heart. I fit that definition.
Whatever the case, I’m not brave.
But Scripture calls those in the service of the King to be brave.
In the Old Testament, warriors were given the status of being brave. 2 Chronicles 5:24 speaks of the heads of the Half-Tribe of Manasseh as being brave.
2 Chronicles 14:8 tells of Asa’s army and that they were brave fighting men.
We see in 1 Samuel 14:52, Saul took a mighty or brave man into his service as he saw them.
In 1 Samuel 16:18 (NIV), David was described by a servant. “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the harp. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.”
Joshua was commanded to be “strong and courageous” on multiple occasions before leading Israel into the Promised Land (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9, 18). He in turn told the men of Israel to be “strong and courageous” (Joshua 10:25).
In the New Testament we see some encouragement to be brave. As Jesus spoke to His Disciples, He said these words. “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 – NIV) The New Century Version translates “take heart” as “be brave.” Be brave when troubles surround you.
As Paul encouraged the Corinthian Church, he wrote these words. “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14 – NIV)
We can take these words as advice for ourselves. Be brave and courageous when troubles come our way.
And here’s the good news. God is with us through it all. Regardless of what we’re going through, He will be there to strengthen, lead and surround us with His love. Just like the men of the Old Testament and the early believers, we can depend on victory because God is with us.
There is no reason to be afraid or fearful. Johns tells us that in 1 John 4:18 (NIV). “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drive out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” You see, God is love and when we are in Him, there is nothing to fear.
I am not saying that I will watch a frightening program…I’m 100% certain that I won’t. What I am saying is that when troubles come, I will look to God for His strength and I will face it boldly because my God is with me.
When speaking the Gospel, I will not back down. I will be fearless because my God is with me.
When I am being attacked for my faith and belief in God, I will be strong and courageous, because my God is with me.
Will you join me? Are you willing to speak and live boldly for the cause of Christ? I pray that you are. I pray that collectively, with God’s help, we can take back what Satan has stolen. I pray that others will see Jesus shining through us as we go about our day-to-day lives. I pray that God will honor our efforts as we share His Gospel with those we speak with.
Be bold. Be courageous. Be brave. Be fearless. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31b – NIV)
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,