They often call it ‘courage’ or you may have been told to “just back yourself!” So that is often how we were motivated to do ‘big’ things, or ‘out-of-my-comfort-zone’ things when we were young. However, the older and more experience we get, we come to realise that being brave is not so much about believing that you can do something but rather about stepping out in faith even though the immediate outcome is uncertain.
So at the deepest level, being brave and having courage to act is actually a deep exercise in reliance on God to protect and be sovereign and make things happen. We are so schooled by television, movies, books to believe that choosing to be brave looks and feels heroic. However, it actually begins with a realisation that we can’t do it in our own strength and ends with a gratefulness that God can! Being brave is putting down our ego and asking God to be the hero.
For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
Moreover, that is why we need others to be brave with us, to hold us up when we feel we don’t have the strength within ourselves for whatever task God has set before us. That is probably at the heart of the passages which encourage us to continue meeting together
[L]et us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrew 10:22–25)
And today, more than ever at St Phil‘s we need to be brave – you would have heard about the challenges we face as a church in 2020! It’s a challenge to have bravery that flows from our relationship with God –a bravery that is generally quieter than what we are used to seeing, but more valued in God’s eyes, and more needed in this world.
Yours in Christ,
Loves Jesus and loves telling people about Him.