Living With a Brave Faith in a Scary World

Gwen SmithChristian Living, courage, Faith, Fear 16 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, when the test comes back positive 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 it is not God’s plan for us to crumble in its wake. (2 Timothy 1:7)

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. I want to live in safety and be at ease.

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. So to listen to the wisdom of God does not simply mean 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.

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. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5).

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 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)

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.


Dear Lord,
You are the Peace I need. Help me to stop juggling fear with faith. Grant me Your wisdom. Put my heart at ease. I come now and hand over these concerns (pause to personalize this). Please fill me with Your peace and perspective.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Read 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? Write out a prayer or a response to this question on the wall of my blog so we can encourage one another in community.

Peace and grace,


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Comments 16

  1. To bear the fruit of the Spirit for me would mean to honor God with my faith and trust that He is in control. That I would not give into fear, which is from the enemy, and not from the Lord. Father, please help my faith to increase so that any fears that try to breakthrough are diminished immediately! Amen!

  2. This came at a very good time , struggling with concerns over a leaky roof and no means to get a new one, Damaging the drywall etc praying 🙏 God will make a way for us .
    James 1:5 Ask God

  3. Thanks for this devotion, my anxiety runs rapid and often consumes me. But I keep reminding myself that with God all things are possible. And I must remember faith over fear.

  4. Beautiful break down of Proverb 1:33! I especially loved “ It is not just about hearing audibly it’s about hearing spiritually … and responding accordingly.” as I was meditating on this concept earlier today. One of our most beautiful expression of reverence and worship is obedience. Furthermore your undergirding of James 1:5 and John 15:5 are perfect bookends for this lovely exhortation and encouragement. Thank you and my God continue to bless and heal you and yours

  5. Gwen,
    So much is going on it seems with everyone. Thank you for your time and love. God is working in my life and I need to remember Faith over Fear. God is in control.
    Have a blessed and wonderful week.

  6. This is so very timely. Thank you for your words and scripture references. My mind races and I lose perspective. This post has brought it into a place of peace.
    It is reassuring when I read the responses of others, to be reminded that others are dealing w anxiety and sleeplessness. ” I must be aware but not afraid”… Blessings to all.

  7. This was a refreshing reminder that I can leave all my cares and concerns with the Father and He will take care of it all. My heart is so heavy for my loved ones who need to become more committed to Jesus.

  8. Thank you for this timely devotion as I wrestle with anxiousness that keeps me awake, raises my blood pressure and at times consumes me. Reading John 15:5 is a reminder that abiding in Jesus resting and being nourished by His living water inspite of my fears & anxiety there is peace, love, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness. There is no room for anxiety. I just need to seek Him constantly and abide in His presence.

  9. Dear Father God,
    I pray that I will love You immensely, overriding any fear-1 John 4:18
    I pray that I will know the fullness of joy in You-1 John 10:10
    I pray that patience will guide my steps and peace will rule my heart-Philippians 4:6-7.
    I pray that I will be kind-hearted to all.
    I pray that Your Goodness will be evident in me as Your Holy Spirit works in me.
    I pray that I will be faithful to You in all circumstances and situations.
    I pray that all I will be gentle in deed and manner.
    I pray that I will be temperate in all areas of my life, always being mindful of moderation.
    I ask these things in the Name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.🙏🏾✝️

  10. Thanks So Much. If anyone needed this Devotional it is ME. Thanks So Much for the WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO LIFT MY SPIRITS. GOD BLESS YOU . THANKS AGAIN.

  11. Esther
    It’s 2am Gwen and this hits home. Thank you for the perfect message to guide me. My loss of sleep is everything in that line ,our loved ones lost ones and little ones.
    God bless 🙌

  12. Esther
    It’s 2am Gwen and this hits home. Thank you for the perfect message to guide me. The loss of sleep is everything in that line ,our loved ones lost ones and little ones. Now maybe I can sleep .

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