Today I Am Brave Because I Made a Choice

be brave

“So what are y’all declaring?”

The middle-aged man paused in front of me, his thick Texan accent hanging in the air. It was a logical question. My nametag had the name of the conference emblazoned across it in bright purple: Declare.

“We’re declaring our love for Jesus,” I said without hesitation.

Fidgeting a little, I looked at him and secretly hoped he wouldn’t start an argument. I was in unfamiliar territory. Were Texans friendly?

“Well, that’s a good thing to be declarin’,” he said, and walked off, a single male in a sea of estrogen and high-pitched conversation.

My body relaxed but my head raced. What if he hadn’t been so agreeable? If he’d started an argument, would I have remained unmoved?

I’d like to think so. After all, we were in America and this man was a complete stranger. I wasn’t in a country where people are imprisoned for their beliefs or fearing for their lives because they are Christians.

What if I was?

In this brief moment I was bold, but so often I am timid and insecure. I miss opportunities to share the love of the Gospel because I am afraid of judgment and isolation.

I let my feelings dictate my behavior. My self-conscious, flighty feelings tell me I’m not good enough or well-versed enough, so I stay quiet.

As I sat outside in the first crisp breezes of a new season this morning, I read Psalm 42. Sheer poetry jumped off the page and I soaked it in the poignant descriptions, but one facet of the Psalm stayed with me throughout the day: Instead of letting his feelings dictate who he will become, David commands them.

He commands his soul to hope in God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,

Why are you in turmoil within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise him,

my Savior and my God.

 Psalm 42: 5-6 NIV

Even though David is overwhelmed by the circumstances of life, he commands his soul to give thanks. He directs his soul to place hope in the only One who stands firm and secure when his situation is rocky and uncertain.

Hope placed in a fickle feeling will never satisfy, but hope in an unchanging God will not disappoint.

Where is my hope? Where is yours? Is it in your abilities or the temporary high you get when you accomplish something on your to-do list? Is it in the praise and affirmations of others?

The truth is, regardless of how I feel God calls be to step forward in obedience. Even if the man at the conference hadn’t been friendly, God’s Spirit would have been present, guiding my words and guarding my heart.

Sometimes we have to place our feelings aside and step out in faith.

Being brave doesn’t mean not having doubts. It means trusting God more than our emotions.

When step out, we see the faithfulness of a loving God who never leaves us or forsakes us. He transforms our weaknesses and insecurities into evidence of his power.

Today, I’m commanding my soul to be brave even when my feelings say I’m the opposite. I’m doing the next new thing, because of where I put my hope.

Through his strength alone, I am an unstoppable force.

 

*Photo credit

*Linking up with Grace & Truth and Dance With Jesus.

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19 thoughts on “Today I Am Brave Because I Made a Choice

    • Oh yes, Christy. I question myself about this often, especially when I hear news of all the tragedy taking place around the world. It’s only through his power in me that I am bold and I have to remember this. Love you too, friend. xoxo

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  1. So true, Abby. Lord, help us to be brave, bold, and ready to declare your love to anyone you place in our path. Blessings, friend!

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  2. Great post and I can relate! I tend to run from conflict, but totally agree with you, that through His strength alone we’re unstoppable. Christ in us, what could make us braver? Reading your post is a great way to start the day!

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  3. “He transforms our weaknesses and insecurities into evidence of his power.” Praise God. Well said, Abby, thanks for sharing. 🙂

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  4. Abby,
    It’s been a long road for me to learn to trust in God’s facts and not in my feelings and emotions. Like you, I’ve learned they can lie. I also thought I had to be well versed in apologetics to go toe to toe with non-believers, but in reality God calls for me to share why I have the hope that is within me…and sometimes if we just don’t have the answer it’s okay to say so…learning to be brave along with you…
    Love you,
    Bev

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    • Oh yes, I have fallen into that trap too, Bev. I believe the enemy makes us think we’re not qualified so we’ll say quiet. Thanks for your encouragement, dear friend. Have a great weekend.

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  5. Abby, after a week when “cast down” and “in turmoil” have been my frequent companions (for no real reason other than uncertainty), your words are both convicting and refreshing. Joining you in trusting God more than my emotions today …

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  6. I am so often fearful and insecure. I have been fighting it for years, but I never thought of Psalm 42 in regards to insecurities. I have always related it to depression, but after reading this post, I see it. Thank you so much for sharing your heart!

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    • I had never thought of Psalm 42 in that context either, Heather. As I read it, I was struck by the way David commanded his soul. So awesome. Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful weekend!

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  7. What an encouragement to be brave. My feelings and fears so often get in the way. But when I am weak then I am strong as Christ’s power is perfected in my weakness. I’m so glad that we have hope in Christ.

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  8. What is it about the smallest things that can cause me to just get over it and be brave? I’m praying for boldness as well. Kindness comes easy but finding that bridge to share God’s love is harder. Visiting from Grace and Truth *and* Write 31 Days.

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