Editor’s Note: Sum-sum-summertime is here and we couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce our inaugural Summer Book Club choice — 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs! We’ll take 100 days (June 21-September 28) to read 100 devotions discovering along the way that we are braver than we know and stronger than we ever thought possible. It took us a whopping three minutes to pick 100 Days to Brave for our very first book club because it is a walk towards faith and boldness for the life God ordained for us that we all so deeply need! It’s time to kick fear to the curb and start the journey towards being brave. We’re excited! Enjoy today’s exclusive excerpt and get all the details on the book club below…
What Is Brave?
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. – Isaiah 41:13 NIV
Brave. What is it?
Truth is, there is no formula and there are no rules. There is the Bible, our guidebook for all things, but other than that, being brave is organic and spiritual and a unique journey for each person.
I won’t be saying, “Here is exactly what courage looks like” or “If you want to really risk in a way that impacts the people around you, do these particular things.” I don’t think that works. I don’t think you need me to tell you what to do. I think you know. (Or if you don’t, you will.) I think you just need a little pregame warm-up. A little something to oomph you along. An understanding of the map you are holding.
For the next 100 days, I want to show you that you are braver than you know, and with that knowledge in your back pocket, you can change your world.
Courage is doing things even when you’re scared. Being brave isn’t something that happens when you’re not scared anymore.
Brave people don’t stop hearing the whispers of fear. They hear the whispers but take action anyway.
Being brave is hearing that voice of fear in your head, but saying, “Okay, but the truth is, God made me on purpose and for a purpose.”
I can tell you that the moments of my greatest fears — those times when I was sure I was going to wimp out under the pressure of it all — have also been the open doors to the greatest changes in my life. So I step out, full of fear, but trusting that God is on the other side in new and wonderful ways. And so far? He always is.
He will be for you too.
Be Brave: Tell one person (a friend, a spouse, a coworker, a mentor) that you have begun this 100-day journey toward a braver life.
Why Be Brave?
We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work. We had nothing to do with it. It was all His idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it. But we know it now. – 2 Timothy 1:8-9 MSG
I got to travel to Honolulu, Hawaii, to speak at a conference. One afternoon I walked into the Kailua Starbucks to write for a bit and saw zero tables available. I didn’t really have a plan B for where to write, so I got in line for my drink anyway.
A table opened up between a vacationing couple and three tan and adorable surfer dudes. The surfers were talking about their marriages, so I tuned out because, ya know, they had wives already.
I began to unpack, and just because of proximity (the tables were close, y’all), I couldn’t help but check back into their conversation — and I heard them talking about absolute truth and how God is the only thing that is absolute, and suddenly I realized I was watching two of them share their stories of Jesus with the third.
My heart began to race. That conversation takes courage. Sharing your story takes guts.
I know. Maybe you think I’m being dramatic, but listen. That guy? Hearing how Jesus is the answer? His life is forever different and his future is forever altered because those two surfers were brave enough to say the things about Jesus that they know to be true.
Seeing other people be brave makes me want to be brave too. It’s a domino effect.
I felt it in me as I listened to them — the want to share my story. That’s why you’ll see rational adults going down a loopty-loop waterslide even if they don’t want to — because they want to show their kids it isn’t scary.
That’s why we have to start. That’s why we have to go first. That’s why we have to be brave — so that others will be inspired to be brave along with us.
We can be brave because we were always meant to be brave.
It is scary to be who you’re meant to be. It doesn’t feel easy because it’s not. But we were made for this. Like today’s scripture says, we have holy work. Why be brave? Because when we’re brave enough to share the God stories in our lives, it changes the people around us. It changes us to share them.
Be Brave: Think back on your day. Where can you see God working on your behalf? Or just showing up for you? Tell somebody.
Excerpted with permission from 100 Days to Brave by Annie Downs, copyright Annie F. Downs.
Watch the Trailer for 100 Days to Brave
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Is fear whispering in your ear? If so, the good news is you can act anyway. You don’t have to wait to feel courageous to push ahead. You are stronger than you think. And, you were made to be brave! Come share with us your thoughts on being brave. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily
And, join us for the 100 Days to Brave Summer Book Club! Learn more here.