People hurt. Life hurts. I have had my heart smashed and made the brave decisions to get up again. I would like to help you live slightly braver so you can live a larger story. That’s why there are lots of words on this website. We also have God’s word of encouragement to cheer us on to make those brave decisions. I have pulled 30 of my favorite Bible verses from my own Bible reading that I believe encourage us to live slightly braver.
I define bravery as your decisions to actually trust God. That is full of vulnerability because with God there is not the guarantee of the controlled outcome you want. Can you trust God for that larger story even if it is different from the outcome you want?
I have learned from years of God’s faithfulness that I do not need to fear feeling vulnerable but that I can brave up and walk into life because God always carries me through. God’s promises are rich with this. I have learned to trust this Larger Story God.
A broken heart is always a beginning. This pain is a beginning or this pain is a door to distrusting God. I choose these promises.
The Bible is this long up-and-down story of God always being faithful. This is found in the overcomer stories that the Bible includes. This is also found in the dark stories that the Bible also includes.
Reading the Bible takes you low and takes you high and you see God’s faithfulness throughout. Sometimes when you read the Bible you are amazed that God stayed faithful. You read about a God you can trust.
This is why I so often refer to God as the Larger Story God. There is always a larger story unfolding and God is faithful all the way through.
I often learn this on the other side of my pain. Though I am getting better at trusting this while I am in the messy middle of pain.
30 Verses About Living Slightly Braver
May my learned wisdom give you hope to make those daily decisions to live slightly braver. Because I know that God has not abandoned you either.
No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. John 14:18
God is for you. God is not angry with you. God is not aloof. The Bible is clear about this.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Romans 8:31
God is for you. And he will help you. I wish I could tell you that he will help you in the way you expect or the way you want. This is where the larger story comes in. You do have help because your story is larger than you realize.
Yes, the Lord is for me; he will help me. Psalm 118:7
I want you to notice something about all three of these next verses. What is God’s position? He is drawing nearer to you, even stooping down, because you reached out. God is not a stupid God, he is a stooping God.
I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. Psalm 17:6
He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. Psalm 18:16
I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! Psalm 116:1-2
God’s hold on you is stronger than your hold on him. And he has no intention of letting you go. God is in this with you to the end of this larger story.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Ephesians 3:18
God’s hold on you is stronger than your roller coaster. You know your up-and-down and in-and-out decisions. Why would God continue to hold on to inconsistent you?
Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? Romans 2:4
God has a bigger purpose for you and your life than whatever you are going through. Your life is a story that goes way past the chapter you are in now.
The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way? Proverbs 20:24
The Lord is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3
Pain is not a mistake to fix. Pain is temporary and redeemable. God redeems every bit of it.
I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears. My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies. Go away, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer. Psalm 6:6-9
God cares that you hurt so much. How close does God have to be to you to catch your tears? How much can be redeemed when every tear is recorded?
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8
God promises to you a love and peace beyond understanding, even in the depths of your pain.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
This promise may be my favorite promise in the entire Bible. I wish I was exempt from pain, especially as a Christian, but God hard-wired us to handle pain. And this is the promise that tells me that I am made to grow.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
What do I mean by being made to grow? That I can live slightly braver from brave decision to brave decision to brave decision? Pain is my beginning.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5
Do you see the progression of pain to endurance to strength of character to hope? Whether you have read a biography or know the story of someone you respect, you see this progression from pain as the beginning in their larger stories. This endurance and strength of character and the hope they give you is why you want them in your life. You also can live your life this way. Consider your pain your beginning and grow.
God is close to you in this pain. This is a promise oft-repeated throughout the Bible, like in the very popular Psalm 23.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. Psalm 23:4
This is another favorite Psalm. God has always remained close to me through my larger story which has lots of pain. Or is it because I make these slightly braver decisions that God feels close to me? This is his promise after all. Do those who dare to live slightly braver also know deep down that God is close to them thus they can make those brave decisions?
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18
Five more promises for you that God is on the side of the broken.
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. Psalm 147:3
God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3
I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. Psalm 31:7
The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. Psalm 34:19
Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. Psalm 55:17
Speaking of those long haunts of the night, God is with you in that darkness too.
As the people stood in the distance, Moses approached the dark cloud where God was. Exodus 20:21
Because God is with me in my decisions to live slightly braver, I can dare to love and dare to forgive.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:9-10
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13
May you feel the possibility. May you start making that brave decision to brave decision to brave decision. This is how you live slightly braver.
Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9
God sees your larger story and has you in mind.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8
God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1
My 30th promise for you is my blessing to you as you decide to live slightly braver.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
In my life of choosing to live slightly braver, I have learned a lot about hope. Hope is not a wish nor is it a prayer. God is the source of hope but hope can’t be off-loaded to God. Hope involves me and my vulnerability. Hope doesn’t ignore fear, anxiety, and doubt; hope confronts them. You can see the markings of hope in my bloody fists as I’ve hung tightly to this Larger Story God.