The Formula For Bravery

How do you know what to do when life calls for a courageous decision? 

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a formula for bravery, a formula for making courageous decisions?  A formula where you could plug in all of the variables, solve the equation, and get the correct answer as to how you should respond. It would be even better if there were an app you could load on your Smartphone or tablet. At any moment, you could just plug in the data and let the app solve the equation.

As cool as that sounds, it wouldn’t really solve our problem. Bravery is not found simply in knowing the right thing to do; it is found in doing what we know is the right thing. We would all have those moments, like Moses at the burning bush, where we would stare at the answer, shake our head, and say that can’t be right, I can’t possibly do that. We would ask the app to solve the problem again, hoping for a different answer -- or perhaps contact tech support to report an issue with the app.

Since there is no formula or app, the question remains: how do we know what to do when life calls for a courageous response?  Go with me to the Upper Room. Jesus has just told the twelve that He will be leaving, something they are not prepared for. They sense that the coming days will require courage and in the absence of their Teacher. Little do they know how much bravery will be required. In this context, Jesus promises the coming of the Holy Spirit.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:26-27)

For the believer, the formula for bravery is to tune our hearts to the voice of the Spirit, and listen for His direction. In those moments when you shake your head and think I can’t possibly do that, remember this:

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3:3 ESV)

The question is not about your ability; it’s about your availability. 

By Jesse Smith

Jesse and his wife, Melanie, reside in Lexington, along with their son, Zak.

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