START HERE

Today’s Truth

“…but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm."

Proverbs 1:33

Friend to Friend

Let’s face it. Life can be scary.

We watch the news and feel like Chicken Little. The sky always seems to be falling.

We lose sleep over our loved ones, our lost ones, and our little ones.

We worry about the economy, finances, and employment.

We shake and shudder when more medical testing is required or the diagnosis is not favorable.

We are anxious with “what ifs” and “whys.”

It’s understandable that we wrestle with the opponent of fear. The world is broken and life isn’t a Hallmark movie or a fairy tale. (Although I do love a good Hallmark movie!) In the same token, while I realize it’s completely normal for us to process emotions of anxiety and unrest, the Bible says that it is not God’s plan for us to crumble in its wake. (2 Timothy 1:7)

We can’t let fear run our lives. Fear was never meant to control or consume us.
The good news is that God doesn’t just tell us to suck it up and deal. He gives us the tools we need to help us in the fear-fight.

Proverbs 1:33 says, “but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” I sure do like the promises in this verse. Yes, please. I want to live in safety and be at ease. Order me up some of that, God! (You want this too, right?)

So how can you and I have a brave faith when life gets scary? Let’s consider the text and break down the promises found in Proverbs 1:33 by looking at the: who, what, and why.

…but whoever listens to me

WHO is the “me” we need to listen to? The context of the chapter lets us know that the me is God’s wisdom. I listen to God’s wisdom when I go to Him with my fears instead of allowing them to grip me. When I pray and place my anxieties in His care. When I reflect upon God’s Word, power, plan, and strength more than on the words of that analyst on the news channel.

God is the source of the wisdom I must listen to.

WHAT does it mean to “listen” in this verse? The Hebrew word shama’ is used. Shama’ means to hear, listen to, yield to, obey. (Strongs H8085) So to listen to the wisdom of God does not simply mean that my ears need to process His wisdom. It means that my heart needs to process and implement His wisdom. It is not just about hearing audibly, it’s about hearing spiritually … and responding accordingly.

…will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.

WHY does it matter if I accept and walk in God’s wisdom verses my own? My own wisdom is limited. (1 Corinthians 1:25) It’s subjective and faulty. And while the implementation of earthly wisdom can and often does bring some benefit, it will not always lead me to the safety and ease I long for deep inside.

God’s wisdom is perfect. It leads my heart, mind, and soul to safety and rest in a world that is filled with scary realities and uncertainties. And it’s free for the asking! He gives us wisdom when we ask for it. That promise is found in James 1:5. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

When we ask for and listen to God’s wisdom – when we hear it, yield to it, apply it and obey it – we will live in peace. Not the world’s peace – God’s peace. We will be at ease in Christ. Not with perfect lives, but with lives that are led by the Spirit of God, not controlled by fear and anxiousness. We can and will experience calm in spite of the chaos.

I hear your push back. Really? That seems too easy. It’s just not that simple, Gwen.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to tap an easy-button here. The Biblical instruction might be simple, but the implementation of it isn’t. If you and I are going to live with a brave faith we need God’s help. Remember? Jesus said that without Him we can bear NO fruit. (John 15:5) What does fruit have to do with this conversation? Glad you asked…

And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace… (Galatians 5:22)

Peace. God’s peace is more powerful than the fears of this earth and His peace abounds in His presence. It is evidence of the Holy Spirit at work within us.

When you and I spend time with Jesus… when we look beyond our fears to God’s sovereign strength… when we trust in the wisdom of God and set our hearts on His Word, we find the peace our hearts long for.

Let’s Pray

Dear God, I need Your peace today. I know that in order to be at rest I have to stop juggling fear with faith. So I ask for Your wisdom. Help me to be brave. I come now and hand over these concerns (pause to personalize this). Fill me with Your love, joy and peace instead, Lord.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:15) What would it look like for you to bear the fruit of the Spirit today when it comes to the worries of your heart? {Grab your journal and write out a response or meet me on my blog or Facebook wall for deeper discussion.

More from the Girlfriends

C’MON OVER! I’VE GOT A GIFT FOR YOU! Since we are rebuilding our home after a house fire I figured I’d also rebuild my cyber home—my website. Why not? I’m already going a bit crazy. Might as well go all in! My home is still several months away from being livable, but my website is all ready to move in. I’d love for you to come by GwenSmith.net for a visit. I’ve got the welcome mat out just for you! I can’t serve you coffee and brownies, but I can offer you another goodie that’s even better…a 25% OFF coupon. And you don’t even need to take your shoes off. Use the COUPON CODE NEW25 and enjoy 25% OFF any purchase of $20 or more from the new store!

10 Responses to “How to Have Brave Faith When Life Gets Scary”

  1. Lynn says:

    God is always on Itime. I have been having some health issues lately and fear has been taking me to a place that I do not want to be. Your message today really put things into the proper prospective for me. Thank you and God bless you and your faithful ministry.

  2. lisa says:

    Crazy how much I needed this TODAY. My son & I left my husband, after many messages from God to do so. Yesterday was a rough day, missing my husband..or what used to be the husband I love. Your message today about obeying, then being safe and at peace, I can attest all came to pass. It was tough to believe God wanted me to leave, but he kept adding more signs! I’m not the smartest, but I do listen for my father. It’s only been 4 weeks, but the peace has been miraculous.
    Ty
    Ps sorry about your house fire. What a mess. Will add you to My prayer list. ♡

  3. Mandy Foley says:

    Such a beautiful message. As a Christian I like to think that I have faith to move mountains, but truly in today’s society that becomes a difficult process, so your message reminds me that if you simply “BELIEVE “, God takes care of the “REST”, we just have to be tuned in to the right channel! I too am sorry for your present struggles but God is right there! I saw him this morning in your message!!Blessings.

  4. Dawn S. says:

    Every morning after my husband and son leave for work, I take my coffee and phone and sit outside to have coffee with God. And every morning it seems He joins me through your daily devotions. I can not tell you how many times your devotions have been right on point with whatever I am dealing with. I thank God for your ministry! Not sure if this is appropriate but if I can ask for prayer financially. For increase and mostly wisdom. Also for good health for my husband and I. And that our son is able to keep his job and be able to be hired as a perm. God bless you all and again thank you for your ministry.

  5. Susan says:

    Gwen,
    Sorry to hear of your house fire. I always think it won’t happen to us because we are so careful, but life does happen despite our vigilance.
    So, the purpose of this fire? God’s plan?
    Thank you for your message today, my son & I were just discussing this last night. I am going to send it to him to increase his faith. He is only a teen & is finding his way to God.

  6. Agnes says:

    I too sit with my coffee and GiG devotions every morning to start my day. Mostly I thank My Heavenly Father for all His blessings and pray for everyone I know who is hurting. I have three grown children my daughter is 43 and a sociopath, alcoholic, heroin addict. My twin sons are 42 and raging alcoholics. It a struggle even to breathe for me every day. My Christian girlfriends, love me. They help sustain me. God is with me on the pathway to eternal peace. He is my Father protecting me. I just love Him so much. GiG devotions always fit my daily need. Amazing!

  7. I was thinking about being the vine and He the branches. And how the little foxes, spoil the vines. Song of Solomon 2:15. I’m trying to not let these little pesky things bother me.

  8. Hallie says:

    I have been struggling with my relationship with my fiancée. There have been many trust issues and fears, and I long to work hard and try to work things out. I struggle with codependency and am working on improving that as well. I have been praying like crazy for God to direct my steps and thoughts. This message helped me and to remind me to put my trust fully in the Lord. I ask you, my sisters in Christ, please if you wouldn’t mind, keep me in your prayers for guidance and resoration. Thank you

  9. Tina says:

    In this chaotic world that we live in, we are “normally” living in a lot of worry and fear…for ourselves, our families, our future, our career, our environment, etc. Thanks for this great reminder, Gwen, especially when it prompted me to go back to 2 Timothy 1:7 “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” I am reminded that God is in control and that I prayed for Him to make me braver each day. I worry so much everyday about the tons of work I need to do in the office but starting the day with a devotion and prayer, I feel more secure that God’s got my day in order and His favor abounds in my life. Thanks again for this, Gwen. Blessings to flow your way! 🙂

  10. Angela says:

    This reminds me that I can do all thing through Christ who strengthens me. My strength comes from the Lord, the vine, and Him alone. Thank you for sharing this.

Leave a Reply

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8