All week, I’ve been thinking about bravery. What makes us brave? Do we do brave things every day, or is bravery reserved for the big, scary things?
Certainly, bravery and courage are needed for the step-out-in-faith, outcome-not-certain, actions. Perhaps that’s changing jobs, starting your own business, or deciding to leave your job to be a full-time homeschool parent.
Brave is even for the times of doing something outside of your comfort zone – leading a Bible study, speaking to your new neighbor, or volunteering in a place that’s uncomfortable.
But, today, brave took on a new look for me.
As I sat in another waiting room with my loved one, I stared out the window. I watched cars go by and people walking to where they needed to be. I felt numb and I thought again about what brave is.
I felt it in my soul before it became clear in my mind. Sometimes brave isn’t a physical act, but rather an emotional and spiritual one.
Brave is allowing yourself to hope again.
Honestly, I hadn’t fully recognized that I was losing hope. I think I sensed it, but didn’t want to admit it. Until that moment. And then, as I sat there blinking back tears, I knew.
To fully hope again would take bravery and courage.
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24 NKJV
I know it – to hope and wait on God. But when my heart gets weary with disappointment and discouragement, waiting patiently is so much harder. And hope feels so out of reach.
I guess I didn’t realize just how tired and weary my heart had become, but God knew. He always looks at the heart. And I was losing heart.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27:13-14 NKJV
I can’t strengthen my own heart, but God can…and He will.
How can we keep disappointment and discouragement from draining our hope and our hearts?
Believe you will see God.
In the craziness of our days, sometimes all we can see is what is right in front of us – the to-do list and the problems we have to solve. We scroll through social media throughout the day, knowing we’ll see what everyone else is doing.
But, how often do we look around to see what God is doing?
That might mean walking away from media devices and giving our minds time to clear. Look for Him. God is at work and when we’re expecting Him, we will see Him.
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14 NIV
Wait on God.
We don’t like having to wait. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, waiting feels like an inconvenience and a hassle. We are an instant gratification society with the internet bringing everything to us with barely the lift of a finger.
But, God does not work on our time. Knowing that allows us to take a comforted breath. When something doesn’t happen right away, it doesn’t mean God has left us. When the waiting goes on for years and years, it does not mean God has walked away.
God waits patiently for us. Waiting on Him should not make us lose hope.
This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. Habakkuk 2:3 NLT
Unlike courage that we draw from ourselves, God’s courage is never ending. He’s never drained at the end of the day. He doesn’t need to recharge His battery. Drawing from His courage strengthens us in ways we can’t explain, and often don’t even know about.
This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 NLT
God promises to always be with us. We can be courageous, not because of ourselves, but through Him.
When the wait is long and weary, bravely allow God to strengthen your heart.
Bravely expect to see God at work.
Bravely wait patiently on Him.
And, bravely let yourself hope again.
*First published 10/30/16 at laurarath.blogspot.com.
LAURA RATH enjoys writing to encourage women in their walk with Christ. She shares stories of her own faith journey on her blog, and is a regular contributor for several Christian websites, including God-sized Dreams, LifeLetter Café, and Christian Devotions. You can also find Laura on Twitter and Facebook.
Radical hope. Compassionate change. Equipping those affected by chronic physical and mental illness through community and education rooted in Jesus Christ.