How to Have Brave Faith When Life Gets Scary

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Devotions, Encouragement, Faith, Fear 13 Comments

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 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 apart from 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)


God’s peace is more powerful than the fears of this earth and His peace abounds in His presence.

It’s evidence of the Holy Spirit at work within us.

When you and I spend time with Jesus… when we look beyond our fears to His 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.


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



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.}

Peace and grace,



There are endless opportunities for us to worry, wander, and wonder. But that’s not God’s best for us. Though we remain broken and impacted by an imperfect world, you and I can get through anything in the power and hope of Jesus. Download this FREE ebook today and join me as I share Biblical truth, honest struggles, and practical help.




Comments 13

  1. Thank you for being obedient to God and sharing this devotion. My 15 year old son got angry and depressed on new years day and tried to commit suicide. Thank God I found him in time. He is now getting help in a local mental hospital where they are trying to find out what happened and help him to not try that again. I am missing him being here at home desperately. I know where he is is where he needs to be right now, but my whole soul aches right now. I do not know what haitppened or why. I feel helpless and alone. I know I have to trust God and I long for the peace only He can give me and my son in this time of need.

  2. I am craving God’s peace again in my life! I’ve been attacked from every angle and I’ve been in a tailspin! I have lost my home, vehicle, and job. Five weeks ago the Lord lifted me out of a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship. I’m staying with a friend and her husband. My friend is my prayer partner, but her husband is so negative. I’ve submitted 50 resumes with no replies. Im an intercessor, or I should say I was until this past year. I’m in the Word constantly but haven’t been able to break through in my prayer life. I can’t seem to put worry aside this time. The Lord has been my deliverer and I’ve walked in His grace for years. I want peace, joy, and love again!

  3. This is a message I need daily. Life gets out of control and I can spend endless hours planning, preparing and stressing over how to make things “right or better”. I work on fixing things or analyzing situations for understanding in the car, the shower, while trying to sleep. The fact is, I am exhausting myself. The simplicity of going to God’s word almost seems to easy. I am 44 years old and I still revert back to my way even though I have NEVER been let down by God’s word or my quiet time with Him. I always end up grounded with the PEACE of the spirit. I am not saying my situation is fixed but my perspective is.
    Thank you Gwen for your dedication to us girls. I have followed your messages since our womens retreat in January 2015 at The Cove. So many times I do not know where to go in the Bible. If I read your message I have a start!

  4. The Scriptures gracefully explain it all-
    Proverbs 1:20-33
    “20 Wisdom calls outloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares, 21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateway of the city she makes her speech; 22 “How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? Hiw long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? 23 If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you. 24 But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, 25 since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, 26 I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— 27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. 28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me and not find me. 29 Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, 30 since they would not accept my advice and apurned my rebuke, 31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. 32 For the waywardness of the wicked will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” ” ☆

  5. I know God loves me and I try so hard to stay positive, but just when I begin to feel great and i think things are getting better reality hits and my family starts to fall apart again ever year at this time my grown son makes it a point to disrupt what should be a joyous time for us he so hateful and selfish towards me I’ve been a single mom for 35 years I Know I wasn’t a perfect mom but they had the best .I’ve asked him time and time again to forgive me for the mistakes I made, I try to detach myself from him but soon as I do he calls with some issue and I fall back into a trap of him abusing me emotionally then I regress And start to feel that my life will never worth living that I was mistake I know God dosnt make mistakes but that how I’m feeling. How do I let go and let God?

    1. Hi Robin, I am so sorry that you are being emotionally abused by your son.There are two books that I recommend to begin to understand the cycle of abuse and what healthy boundaries are. You can buy these on half
      com for a good price. The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans and Boundaries by Henry Cloud. Praying for you Maureen

  6. Thank you for your commitment and caring heart to seek Him diligently in order to write about from the spirit leading for he knows what we need before we ask. This word today is what I needed for I’ve lived a life of fear and although, I am a Christian it is not easy for me to know the path I need to take specially now.. But, this confirms that I will need once again to have brave faith and a strongg heart to what he may be calling me to do. This will be 3rd attempt to reunite with my boys for they need me desperately as much as I need them. God will have to walk me in the process as he is already showing me and by faith will make each step at a time. I’m awAre that I will have opposition and will need to stay firm and not waiver missing the blessing and trust in him. Need your prayers! Thank you.

  7. I am so thankful that we have a God to cast all our cares upon! As the new year approaches, we need to ground ourselves in God’s Word . As woman of faith, mother’s and wives…we need to pray for our families and rebuke all the darkness of this world, seen and unseen. Let’s agree to stand on God’s promises together and allow him to work through us!

  8. Thank you so much for this message. I recently came across this devotional after the death of a loved one. I was looking to God for peace and comfort during this time and this message has really helped me.

  9. This devotional was great. I’ve been reading Girlfriends in God since April and it has helped me stay grounded in my faith. This is exactly what I needed to read on this last Monday of the year as I look towards the future and remember that faith is powerful.

  10. Thank you, Ms. Smith for this devotional. I am so heatsick and worried over my dad’s illness. Your devotional was exactly what I prayed about this morning. Now I am on the train going to work reading this. Thank you, Lord and God Bless you, Ms. Smith


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