When Fear Unnerves Us, Everyday God Makes Us Brave

By Janet Thompson @DiAnnMills

Guest Post: Janet Thompson @AHWministries

We’ve all experienced a time when we thought, or maybe said aloud and sincerely believed, There’s no way I can do this! Then we find ourselves doing what we thought was impossible.

Bravery isn’t about succeeding or failing; it’s about not letting fear imprison you from trying.

We tend to categorize “brave women” as those who are in the international mission field or the military. Police officers, firefighters, first responders. Any woman who chooses a dangerous career, willing to lay down her life for a job, cause, or belief, is superhero brave in our eyes. We admire her courage.

Typically, we don’t consider that “ordinary” women like, you and me, display real bravery and courage every single day, often in the routines of life. We may not realize it, but a courageous heart makes us “superheroes” to those who know us and especially to God.

And we would get our brave on in a heartbeat during situations that involve something or someone valuable to us. I read an article about a mother who jumped into her car and pulled out a gun when a carjacker at a gas station was trying to steal her car with her two children strapped into car seats. Risking danger or overcoming our fears reveals what is immensely important to us to protect or accomplish.

Since the Greek times of philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, most people consider war as the setting that defines bravery. In battle, will a soldier be willing to overcome his or her fears, even if the circumstances become desperate? Current stereotypes regarding courage and bravery follow this same contour. Our heroes are those who can rise above adversity and face an enemy with force. A turning point in many movies and novels is the conversion of an uncombative person—a doctor, scientist, mom, kid, preacher—into a fighter in a cultural, physical, philosophical, spiritual, or political battle.

We read books or watch on the screen stories of brave heroines and even though we know it’s fiction, we still wonder where did they get that kind of courage to stand up against an enemy force?

But bravery doesn’t always require an epic battle, a spiritual war, or a mighty victory. Sometimes the most impactful acts of courage can be found in those of quiet virtue, measured by our faith, our quiet moments of love for God and others, our trust.

When I asked women what the bravest thing God ever asked them to do, many answered wait and trust God. Who hasn’t waited patiently for and trusted God to answer a prayer request, but how many of us considered waiting as brave or courageous, even though there are many verses like, “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous” (Ps. 27:14 nlt).

Haven’t we all experienced times in our lives where it took sheer grit to wait on the Lord patiently, without impatiently taking matters into our own hands? Some women mentioned surrendering their will to God’s will as the bravest thing God ever asked them to do. Often that means agreeing to do what He asks, even when we don’t want to do it.

We discover our assignments for each day through prayer—one-on-one conversations and connection with God. Then we have a choice: Courage or fear? Healthy fear in awe of the Lord, or disabling fear holding us back from completely trusting God?

Remember, “God’s there, listening for all who pray, for all who pray and mean it” (Ps. 145:18 msg—emphasis added). Prayer changes things. Through prayer and studying Scripture, we glean God’s will for our lives. He helps us understand situations and guides us to the action He wants us to take. He gives us the courage to do His work on earth, even when it’s difficult or seems impossible. He won’t put us in danger or ask us to go places where He won’t go with us. The key to trusting God is sincerity and willingness to follow Him, even if we don’t want to go where He leads.

When you prayerfully push beyond what you think you can’t possibly do, you’re braver than you know.

What has God been asking you to do for Him, but fear is holding you back?

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Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, and award-winning author of 20 books. Her passion is to mentor other women in sharing their life experiences and God’s faithfulness. Janet’s new release is Everyday Brave: Living Courageously As a Woman of Faith available at Amazon, Christianbook.com, Barnes and Noble, and signed at author’s website.

Janet is the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries.

Visit Janet and sign up for her weekly blog and free online newsletter at womantowomanmentoring.com.


About Everyday Brave: In Everyday Brave, Janet explores the extraordinary bravery of fifty ordinary women in the Bible. Twenty-eight women of today also give testimonies of realizing their strength and courage through God’s love. As Janet shares the stories of these women, she reminds us that the real heart and substance of bravery comes from unconditionally placing our hope in the only One who can give us the courage to stay the course.

Thanks Janet!