The world can be a scary place, and the fear it produces can spiral us into a sort of paralysis that keeps us from speaking truth, living boldly, and encouraging others. To spur us back into action, life coach Kelly Johnson has written a devotional, Being Brave: A 40-Day Journey to the Life God Dreams for You (Abingdon Press/December 19, 2017/ $14.99), to help fan the flame of bravery that lies in wait within everyone.
The most often repeated command in scripture is “Do not fear.” In fact, the Bible provides hundreds of scriptures about fear and courage, and each is paired with a reminder of God’s presence. It is because of God’s presence that people can defeat the power of fear in their life and live in the fullness of who God made them to be.
“God has made us brave, not fearful beings. Remembering we are brave reminds us of our identity as children of God and sets us free to do the next right thing with confidence,” notes Johnson.
The book takes readers on a voyage of discovering the biblical truth found in 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (ESV).” It invites them to consider a new way of thinking about what it means to be brave and challenges them to seek a greater intimacy with God and the people God has placed in their life.
Through Scripture, stories, prayers, and thought-provoking questions, readers will recognize the seeds of divinely inspired bravery and learn the strength found in community. Using letters of the word brave as a guide, Being Brave highlights what God’s Word has to say about the six characteristics of bravery: Bold, Resilient, Authentic, Vulnerable, Engaged, and Empowered by the Spirit. “Along the way, we will also find inspiration from Jesus and his brave followers during the final weeks of his ministry, in addition to examples of courage from my own community,” adds Johnson.
“It is important to name one another as brave. When we call out the brave soldier in each other, we speak out loud a message of solidarity and inspiration. It voices that we see their struggle, bravery, and hard work. It also involves letting them know that we believe in them and are there if they need help,” shares Johnson. “When we are reminded of our inherent, God-given courage, we can turn down the volume on the voice of our inner critic and turn up the volume on God’s voice. Remembering we are brave helps us tap into the part of ourselves that is creative and resourceful.”
Johnson continues that “God has named us brave. Being brave is our birthright as a child of God. We already have everything we need to live a life of passion, sacrifice, meaning and purpose. We don’t need anything else to be ready. Many of us have been playing it safe when God wants us to be bold and hiding from one another when God wants us to live in community. Courage is more often experienced in community and naming one another brave is the path back to God and to the bigger, braver life we desire.”
Whether looking to bravely step into the new year, giving up being fearful for Lent as a catalyst to living an emboldened life of faith, or simply looking for everyday encouragement, Being Brave serves as a companion for readers to explore God’s vision for life. It seeks to encourage them to hear his voice more clearly, identify the barriers to fully embracing a braver and fuller life, and banish the fears that may be holding them back.
“Kelly Johnson leads us through a forty-day journey of living boldly through the power of the Holy Spirit. She offers thought-provoking stories and questions that are sure to get you thinking about bravery in a fresh way. This beautiful devotional journey is inspiring and uplifting.”
~ Micah Maddox, author of Anchored In
“In a world of struggle over prejudice, comparison, anxiety, sentimentality, perfectionism, and injustice of all kinds, this is just the prescription we all need. Pick up this book and stop. Breathe. Rest. Reflect. Pray. By the end of your spiritual journey you will find yourself rolling up your sleeves empowered to join God’s movement again.
Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Church.”
~ Dr. Tobin E. Wilson, pastor, author, and thought leader
About the author
Kelly Johnson is a counselor, coach, writer, speaker, retreat leader, and human rights advocate. She has a Masters degree in Social Work and worked for years as a counselor in the mental health and addictions field. She is passionate about social justice issues and believe Jesus calls us to take care of the vulnerable and fight for the oppressed. Johnson leads a weekly bible study and serves on the Board of Directors at The Lamb Center, a day shelter for homeless individuals in her community.
A blogger since 2005, Kelly maintains a following of readers on her monthly contributions to The Glorious Table and her church blog, Today I Saw God. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Today Parenting. Being Brave: A 40-Day Journey to the Life God Dreams for You is her first book.
She has been married for more than 30 years to her high school sweetheart, Steve, and is the proud mom of two daughters in their twenties, Alexandra and Brooke. In her free time, she likes to sing, garden, read and spend time with friends and family. She also loves to travel and is always up for an adventure to a new place!