Throughout this week we will be talking about courage!
Today we are going to talk about the courage to go forward in faith. Even and especially when the answers are not what you intended them to be. What do we do when we are faced with a challenge that we did not expect and the answers we get are hard to accept and maybe even a bit scary?
I heard a quote once that I love, “ You can’t be brave if you’re not scared”! Courage itself means the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain etc. without fear. To act in accordance with one’s beliefs especially and in spite of criticism. So think of tenacity, firmness, fortitude, grit, spirit, valor, audacity and bravery.
I mentioned that I would talk more about the KJV study version of the bible and I didn’t really get to it on Friday. But today the scripture that I want to share comes from the New Testament, so I think it’s appropriate at this point to talk about why I love it and recommend it, alongside your other King James Version that we follow as Latter Day Saints. They are really such good companions. And help us to learn and draw more from the Bible. I first started reading it when it was suggested by Emily Belle Freeman on her instagram feed. If you don’t follow her, you really should. She has a podcast called “Don’t Miss this” that is about things that you should not miss in the scriptures. It is phenomenal! And she is also a popular speaker in Time Out For Women and a wonderful author. I got to hear her speak in person a few years ago when I attended Time Out for women. I even have a photo with her. I’m a big fan.
The scripture that I want to share with you today is in 2 Timothy 1:7. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
In this book of Timothy the author introduces himself as Paul the Apostle of Jesus Christ. It is disputed though, that this letter could have been written by one of Paul’s disciples after his death. It is believed to have taken place while Paul was imprisoned in Rome and was a letter to Timothy and probaby was a reference to the last time they were together before Paul was imprisioned. See why I like the KJV study version? I learned all of that from the study listed before and within each chapter and verse.
When I originally read this passage I noted in my Bible at the top of the page “I can learn to live with bipolar and I drew an arrow pointing to the word sound mind. I must have been really struggling at the time that I wrote this, with my personal diagnosis, of bipolar. It was unexpected and very hard for me to accept and move forward with. I was in denial for a long time. I had fear that my life was going to change so drastically and not in a positive way. And you know what? I was right but not in the way that I thought. Yes it did change drastically but definitely not in a negative way. It has ended up being the source of so much strength in my life. Believe it or not. I actually, at this point in my life, feel grateful for it because I have grown and learned so much about myself, about others, and about how the Lord comes to us in great times of need.
Yes I had fear. But through that scripture I learned that God has given us the power to overcome fear. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be scary. But the opposite of Fear is faith. And in order to move forward we must do so with Faith and trust in the Lord. We need to let the love of the Lord seep into every part of our lives so that we can fight the darkness and paralization that comes with fear of the unknown.
He gave us a sound mind. Which, knowing that bipolar is a sickness of the brain, I think that is why those particular words stood out to me. I thought my brain was broken. I thought life would never be as good as it was before my diagnosis. But this scripture helped me to move forward in faith believing that the Lord would keep his promise of giving me a sound mind. It has not been easy and it has been super scary as I have struggled along the road to recovery. But “you can’t be brave if you’re not scared”.
So my invitation to you today is to remember that God has not given you the spirit of fear. But of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND. Go bravely into your challenge knowing that the Lord will be by your side. He promises! And His promises are always kept.
Have a great day my friends and I’ll talk to you again tomorrow!