The Bridge to Becoming Brave: How to Confront Fear with Faith
I would have never described myself as brave. I’m a calculated risk kind of girl. I make plans. I can be flexible, but very rarely would I say that I do things that require bravery. I just couldn’t see myself as brave.
An opportunity came about on our one day of sight seeing while I was in Ireland on a mission trip with my church. During a briefing for the next day the lead pastor of the church we were working with asked, “How many of you are interested in going across the rope bridge?” He went on to explain that it was a rigorous hike to get there. He then asked for a hand count of how many were planning to go. As he counted he saw my hand raised and repeated, “This is a VERY difficult hike. It’s not easy.” I didn’t lower my hand, others did. “Okay, ” he scolded with a raised eyebrow. That evening I talked to my husband. I shared with him that I was thinking about making the big bad hike and crossing the rope bridge. We discussed it. I admitted to him that I wasn’t sure if I had the physical stamina to “keep up with the group.” I doubted myself. He reassured me with these words, “You can’t say ‘I can’t’ until you’ve said I tried.” He told me that I could do it. And if I had to stop it was ok. Go at my own pace. I even talked to one of the Northern Irish ladies to make sure she would give me a ride if it took me waaaaaay longer than the rest of the group. With my contingency plan in place, I decided I would go for it.
Recognize the voice of who is speaking!
Fear spoke: “You can’t hike it. Even if you can, you will be the last to cross. You don’t even know if this structure is stable. You don’t know if it can hold YOU or YOUR WEIGHT. You will probably get scared. Don’t cross it. Don’t try it. Don’t do it. You don’t do stuff like this. You shouldn’t do stuff like this. You aren’t athletic. You aren’t adventurous.” Fear spoke, and told me everything I’m not. And some of it was true for that moment, but it wasn’t final! I was able to recognize that this was a voice of condemnation, not a voice of conviction.
Confession breaks the stronghold of fear.
As we began the hike there were people that I felt that I should confess to, “I’m scared. I really want to do this, but I don’t know if I can.” I asked them to pray for me. They did more than just pray. They encouraged me and inspired me. One friend, who I had only met a few days before stood by my side like a sister the entire time. I loved the fact that through the whole hike you could see the goal. I set my sight on it from the beginning. Fear responded by creating scenarios of everything that could go wrong – but confession broke the stronghold of fear.
Worship that Works
A wonderful thing happened while we hiked. A song from our worship during the week welled up in my heart. It was right on time. Like a button switched on that came against the fear and empowered me to please the Lord with this journey. The words are, “You make me brave. You make me brave. You called me out beyond the shore into the waves. And Your love, wave after wave, crashes over me/ crashes over me./ You are for us. You are not against us. Champion of Heaven you made a way for all to enter in.
That became my theme song. Step after step – He literally MADE ME BRAVE. He MADE me brave. He made ME brave. He made me BRAVE. Oh, my goodness! When I reached the bridge, I felt overwhelmed with the victory of yes. Making it there was so much of a battle. But when I got there. I felt protected, empowered, brave. I looked down. I watched others cross. If elt my legs shaking under me. I lifted my head and let the rain cover my face. I lowered my head and looked through the rope. I saw the water crashing against rocks and I knew that He wouldn’t let me fall. He wouldn’t let me fail. Then I took the first step. I felt like spaghetti all over, but I finally told fear that faith is a winner. I silenced the what ifs, the condemnation, the doubts and I stepped out. I folded my umbrella down. I held on to both handrails and I stepped out. The smile spread over my face, and I kept stepping across until I reached the other side. I lifted my hands in victory and the song blared in my heart. You make me brave. This was a moment when I did what I never thought I could. My worship went to work for me!
I responded to the truth fear told me, to the power of God to change my situation. God made me brave. He inspired me to do something brave. Then the most crazy thing happened. My eyes were opened in so many ways. He had made me brave before, but I allowed fear to discount it. My eyes opened to His track record when I responded to fear with faith.
So, I don’t know who is reading this. I don’t know exactly what you are struggling with, but I’m going to call out a few things that I feel led by the Spirit to share: Fear has been whispering to you. Fear has been telling you a twisted truth about what you have never done, and who you are and the condition you are in. Then fear is lying to you about who you will NEVER become. Let me challenge you to respond to fear by letting God make you brave. If you have never been brave – that just means that today is your day. Go back to school, try to conceive, believe that you can. BE BRAVE! Climb a mountain, run a 5k, start a new eating plan. BE BRAVE! Walk right up to what fear told you you could never do and sing a song to the Lord with your actions! Fear can’t stand it.
I cried when I retold the story. To others it might have just been a tourist attraction. For me it was a life changing event. It was a day that I went into it believing a bit about what fear told me I was… and I came out knowing who God says I am! He made ME brave and my heart melted walls that had been holding me hostage for years.
What do you believe about you? What is God calling you to do, just to prove to yourself that fear is not your King? Christ came to set the captives free and you don’t have to live in the chains of fear. It looks impossible. It is scary. It may be something you’ve never done. Others may count your out, BUT IF GOD CALLED YOU TO IT… HE WILL BRING YOUR THROUGH IT.
I am brave, in Christ! You can be too!
Be Brave. Step Out! You are Brave! You are Beautiful! You are HIS!
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What have you been fearful about? We will pray for you. How has God made you brave? Please leave a comment below.