THE ONLY TIME YOU CAN BE BRAVE, IS WHEN YOU HAVE FEAR.
BE COURAGEOUS. TRUST GOD.
It’s encouraging to know that the only time we can be brave is when we fear. If we live our lives and navigate so that we don’t fear, we live in fear continually, in avoidance. Often, when something is causing fear, that’s an opportunity for growth, experience, and progress.
I Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.”
I’ll address a few specific scenarios that I have walked through.
Buying a house.
How can I know if I should buy a house or not? This is likely my largest expense (and asset if you consider your home an asset - some people do not). So I should seek some good, truthful information. Personally, my first most trusted source on this subject, which I feel has a good Biblical foundation, is Dave Ramsey: www.daveramsey.com. This guy has been consistent over time. I’ve read many of his and his organization's books, been to his conferences, and I’ve heard him and his organization's podcasts. I have spent a lot of time and have a lot of information to evaluate to know if I should trust him or his organization. I trust the information he provides. If you take all of his advice, you’ll likely be very wealthy after some time. You’ll for sure be financially stable. Concerning a house, you might check out this website: https://www.daveramsey.com/get-started/home-buying
It gives you some guidelines: Have all your consumer debt paid off, have an emergency fund of 3-6 months, and have 10-20% (he’d recommend as much as possible so lean towards the 20% plus) down payment saved. Then he’d say something like, “never have a mortgage payment that is more than ¼ of your take-home pay on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage.” So that means if you bring home $70,000 a year and you pay 20% taxes, then your take-home pay would be around $4,700 per month. 25% of that would be your maximum mortgage payment on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage after paying 20% down, which is around $940. So that’s one source of many and I think a highly trustworthy source. Consider motive as well. A mortgage lender will tell you something different than Dave Ramsey, but their motives might be different and likely are different.
Not screaming in fear when I’m outside around a honey bee.
I’m not picking on you if this is your reaction. I am using this as a great example of irrational fear. We can look up information (which would have to be filtered through your trust filter) about the chance of getting stung by a bee. The chances are extremely small. The first Google search I see lists about 6 million to one. I’d say that’s higher than what I would list but hopefully, the source did more research than me. What I know is that growing up, I was around bees and wasps a lot. Yes, I have been stung by bees. The times I’ve been stung by bees is if I was doing something like catching them as a kid on the playground or stepping on one. Even with that, I have only been stung a few times. My grandfather would have me and my brother go up into the loft in a barn that was full of wasps. We had a fear of them but after a while, we realized they wouldn’t bother us. Later in life, at a sitter's country house, we would take supper soakers out and blast all kinds of wasps and hornets. I’ll say that if you see a hornet, especially a hornet’s next, you might want to have more fear. But with a honey bee flying to the next flower, you’ll be okay.
If you have a trustworthy source, then take it to the bank. Don’t make big decisions based on irrational fears. Use truth (good, consistent, resourceful, and accurate) to inform you so you can make great intentional choices regarding your children’s school, your career, your vacation destination, your doctor, your weather, your diet, your home purchase, your goals.
Here are some great truths and words of wisdom to follow from The Way, The Truth, and The Life:
Joshua 1:9 says: “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Matthew 6:25 says, “This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?”
I John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.”
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.”
Just like I said above, the only time you can be brave is when you face fear, that’s also when you have more opportunity to trust Jesus. The Bible encourages us to trust Him always, not just when we feel we need His help.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 HCSB
Here are a few verses to encourage you to trust Him.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding;”
Proverbs 3:5 HCSB
“The man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed.”
Jeremiah 17:7 HCSB
“How happy is the man who has put his trust in the Lord and has not turned to the proud or to those who run after lies!”
Psalms 40:4 HCSB
I’m encouraged by those Words. I hope you are too.
With Christ in your corner, even when you face death, you know you have life everlasting!
Thank you, Jesus!
Intend to Live