How To Be Brave When You Are Not

Gold Brush Stroke

This life is not for the weak. Okay, maybe it is. We all want to be strong and be brave, but maybe that looks different then we thing.

Whether we feel powerful or wimpy, life will at some point knock us to our knees. You can count on it.

And the ones who can admit their weakness tend to be the bravest in the end. 

brave in weak 1


Knocked Down

I entered adulthood confidently. I had extensive family support from both sides. I had attended church all my life. I was healthy and strong. I had plans, good plans.

Yet a few years later, when I heard the words, “I can’t find a heartbeat,” no amount of personal strength or extended support could keep my knees from buckling. I retreated in heartache, confusion, anger, and disbelief as my baby and my dreams slipped away from me.

When the unimagined happened, my courage and confidence quickly disappeared, to be replaced by fear, anger, and emptiness.

baby due not pin

Your World Will Be Rocked

Most of us begin adulthood with stars in our eyes, thinking we can tackle the world. Yet almost without exception, at some point we all get knocked to our knees.

It may be the death of a loved one or a health crisis or a messy relationship. Or perhaps it’s a financial hardship or addiction. It may even be that the daily has become too mundane.

Whatever it may be, live long enough and your world will be rocked.

Deep down we’re all desperate—desperately in need a source of courage that can withstand the strongest, most unexpected assault.

Courage that will allow us to stand our ground when we feel like retreating.

Courage that is not dependent on the direction or speed of the winds.

And we have it. We have a well-spring of strength and courage in our Lord.

He’s promised to provide (and has provided) all we need to stand against the fiercest storms. The problem is we often use Him as a last resort to bolster our sagging courage.

We allow ourselves to be buffeted and knocked near senseless before we are willing to admit our need. And we call that courage?

Only after we are knocked to our knees do we think of turning to Him.

Be Brave

It’s tempting (exceedingly so for some of us) to try to manage our circumstances on our own. Our culture screams for us to do just that. But there are several reasons such behavior is foolish:

  1. We don’t know what’s coming so we’re often caught off-guard. God never is.
  2. We weren’t created to be living apart from God. That’s one reason the Fall was so devastating.
  3. We can’t control all of our circumstances. But God created the world and everything in it. With a word or a nod, He can add or take away from our situation.

The pain in this life can be searing. Often to the outside world, things look grand, but inside we are shriveling up in hurt, fear, and isolation.

We try to be strong, to be brave. We search to find the courage to continue to battle.

But to find the strength to fight well requires we first willingly go to our knees.

To find the strength to fight well requires we first willingly go to our knees. It's found in humility and surrendering, in reaching for the Lord's strength. Share on X

True bravery is found in the recognition of our vulnerability and the acknowledgment of God’s love, sovereignty, and omniscience. It’s found in humility and surrendering.

We find ourselves the bravest when we are at our weakest, because it’s then we reach for the Lord’s strength and quit trusting in our own.

What a paradox! But isn’t that just like the workings of the Lord. Who can understand His ways?

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! Romans 11:33-34

Lasting Courage

Many years ago before I heard those devastating words that shattered my world, I thought I was brave—a fallacy I so badly wanted to believe.

What I discovered was that apart from God, courage is fleeting. Lasting courage to handle all this world has to throw at you is found by dipping into His well.

It is only when we realize and admit our vulnerabilities, that we can find bravery that circumvents circumstances.

So don’t wait until you are knocked to your knees to go there. Surrender willingly.

Exchange your limited strength for God’s infinite power. Let your days be filled with Him.

Only then can you truly be brave.

We find ourselves the bravest when we are at our weakest—then we reach for the Lord's strength. Share on X

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

Reflections: In what circumstance are you needing to be brave? Have you surrendered your little strength for His infinite?

By His Grace,



  1. Heather Hetchler on April 23, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Julie, your words speak to my heart. I too entered adulthood with one plan but God had another for me. Releasing control and giving it to Him has made me feel braver and bolder than ever. Life is not easy at times and I walk through tough seasons but I know He is with me and that makes me brave. Thanks for sharing your heart. – Heather

    • Julie Sunne on April 23, 2015 at 9:21 am

      Walking with Him is the only way to be brave in this broken world, Heather. Grateful to be sisters in faith.

  2. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) on April 23, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Julie: I have had to learn and re-learn that I am not in control.GOD IS. All the experiences I have had as an adult were not what I thought my life would be like. God has made it better.

    • Julie Sunne on April 23, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      Oh wow! Sounds familiar, Cecelia. I’ve been there, done that.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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