How Biblical Bravery is Relevant Today
How Biblical Bravery is Relevant Today
“The Bible’s outdated.” “I prefer the New Testament.” “Those stories aren’t relevant anymore.”
There are several examples of bravery in the Bible, but how do their stories influence or impact ours (or do they even)?
Esther is a fantastic example of someone who chose to be brave in an uncertain situation, knowing that her act of boldness might not have a favorable outcome. But she did the courageous thing anyway because it was the right thing to do.
We can all learn from that! The right thing and the easy thing are often at odds, and it’s tempting to choose the easy way out, but that’s never the best option in the end.
If Esther would’ve refrained from talking to her husband, the King, her people (the Jews) would have been absolutely decimated. She risked her life to speak up for them, and her brave actions spared their lives (and exposed the evil within the kingdom at the same time).
My favorite verse in the story of Esther is this:
“If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” -Esther 4:14
Help might come from somewhere besides from us, but what if we are where we are right now to do something, to step up, to be brave— for such a time as this?
We probably aren’t in a position to save an entire people group from being slaughtered, but maybe we are in a place where we can support a cause we care about, stand up for someone being bullied, stop the gossiping around us, reach out to make a new friend, or take some other brave action.
Mary could have trembled in fear or ran and hid when she heard that she was pregnant with the Savior— and pregnant outside of marriage. I mean, who really would have blamed her?
But she didn’t react that way.
And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.” - Luke 1:46-55
Mary chose to believe in God’s promises conveyed by the angel Gabriel. She didn’t understand how it all happened or how it would unfold in the months to come, but she trusted God and understood that she was chosen for a purpose. Even though it didn’t make much sense, she was grateful and honored to have been chosen.
We, too, can be grateful and honored to be chosen to be part of God’s plan, even though our roles won’t include bringing the Savior into the world the same way Mary did. They very well might involve bringing the Savior into different parts of the world or people who could use an experience of the hands and feet of Jesus.
Have you ever stood before a giant with only a measly little slingshot and a few stones as your only weapons?
I haven’t physically, but there have been a few times when I’ve felt like that in a figurative way.
David had seen how the Lord had come through for him in the past, helping him defeat other foes and overcome other obstacles, and he trusted Him to continue to be faithful in providing protection and victory over his enemies.
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lionand the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” - 1 Samuel 17:34-37
It would have been easy for David to cower in fear like the rest of the Israelite army, but he stood his ground because he knew he had God on his side.
No matter what we’re facing, we can rest knowing that we’re not alone. God is always on our side. And because of that, we can face our enemies, obstacles, and challenges head-on. God is greater than them all!
SHADRACH, MESCHACH, ABEDNEGO
This is one of my favorite stories of bravery and steadfastness in the Bible.
Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego (or Rack, Shack, and Benny if you remember the Veggie Tales version) courageously refused to bow before anyone but God, and they were thrown into a furnace for their disobedience.
For those of us living in the United States, it’s unlikely that we will be forced to enter a furnace for not bowing to a gold statue, but that doesn’t mean we won’t face challenges.
It would have been easy for these guys to compromise their beliefs to save their lives. After all, there was a real chance that they would burn! But they stood their ground because they knew what was right. They weren’t willing to compromise their principles or their loyalty to God.
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” - Daniel 3:16-18
When we’re presented with opportunities to partner with people who don’t do everything above board or to engage in activities or conversations that make us hope nobody will find out, we can summon our courage and respond the way these men of God did. We can stand by our convictions, no matter the risk.
Which one of these stories resonated with you the most? Let me know in the comments!
And to get more encouragement, clarity, direction, and action steps to live more bravely, let’s set up a call to chat about what bravery looks like for you!