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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - How To Be Brave

Joyce Meyer - How To Be Brave

Joyce Meyer - How To Be Brave
TOPICS: Talk It Out
Joyce Meyer - How To Be Brave

Ginger Stache: Hi, friends. Come on in here. I'm so glad you're here. You will be, too, because our friend, Annie F. Downs, is here with us! Yay! Oh, it's so good to have you back.

Annie F. Downs: Oh, I love being here. So, thank you so much for having me.

Ginger Stache: We are gonna talk about so many things. We're gonna talk about being brave and all the reasons that we need to, but more importantly, all the ways that God helps us to do it, when we're not feeling so brave. Can I tell you guys something so dumb first before we get started?

Jai Williams: We love dumb things.

Ginger Stache: So, dumb. So, we just got back from Africa, day before yesterday. And I have this weepy eye, like I got something in it, or I got some sort of, I don't know, dirt or something. And so, I've been waking up with my eye matted shut and swollen. And then, I'm also a little jetlagged, so if I fall asleep, just nudge me. But the point of the story is today is mine and Tim's anniversary.

Ladies: Ohhh!

Annie F. Downs: How many years?

Ginger Stache: So, it's like, "Happy anniversary, baby".

Jai Williams: It's a wink! You're flirting.

Ginger Stache: I'm asleep at six o'clock in the evening, so it will not be the party he's hoping for. 37 years.

Annie F. Downs: 37.

Erin Cluley: Congratulations!

Ginger Stache: Thank you.

Erin Cluley: You're an excellent winker, already in your life. So, this just adds a little something.

Ginger Stache: It'll be one hot anniversary.

Erin Cluley: "Let's celebrate next week". Maybe that'll work better for you.

Ginger Stache: Tim's gonna have to be brave tonight. Well, Annie, of course, is a podcast host. She's author. So many things, the that sounds fun podcast, so many people know and love. And your book, "100 days to brave," has ushered so many people into the understanding of how God helps us to be brave. That it's not just all about "There's something missing in me, and I can't do this".

Annie F. Downs: Yeah.

Ginger Stache: So, that's what we really want to focus on today a little bit. So, let me begin by asking all of you this. What is an area that you really needed God's help in to stir up your bravery at some time in your life?

Jai Williams: You want to go?

Erin Cluley: Yeah, mine's not serious, though.

Jai Williams: Ok.

Erin Cluley: One time, I went to Disney world with Ginger, and she made me ride tower of terror, and that was terrifying.

Erin Cluley: Like that's a fun like, children were on this ride. So, I thought, like, "Erin, you're a big girl, you can do this". And I was terrified. But after I got off, I thought, "I'm so brave. I did it"!

Ginger Stache: We were so proud of you. So proud of you.

Annie F. Downs: I think you really need those.

Erin Cluley: Yes!

Annie F. Downs: We actually really need the easier "Wins". We need to say, "I ran half a mile," so that when you run a 5k, you're like, "I think I could actually do a 5k because I've been doing a half a mile". You know what I mean? So, we could laugh at your tower of terror, but I also want to say to you that actually this is putting a deposit in a bank account that you needed to do.

Erin Cluley: Thank you.

Annie F. Downs: Really, I think so! I think those really matter.

Erin Cluley: Because it, honestly, felt like I had defeated...

Ginger Stache: Like a win.

Erin Cluley: Yeah, yeah. Go ahead and share yours, it might be more difficult.

Ginger Stache: And your hair looked fantastic afterwards because it had lots of volume.

Annie F. Downs: You go down fast.

Jai Williams: Well, mine was, we just talked about, like before, when we were getting ready is I needed bravery to get back into the dating world.

Ladies: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Jai Williams: Like, I needed to be brave enough to... Because I hadn't dated in like 25 years. I don't know, like, since college, so it was a long time ago.

Ginger Stache: It's a big scary step.

Jai Williams: It's huge. And then, the thing that I think was the most terrifying was understanding how dating works now. You know, like, it's...

Annie F. Downs: It's a new game.

Jai Williams: It's... You're not really gonna meet people in a grocery store anymore because most people are instacarting, you know, like, it's not the same... The same thing.

Ginger Stache: Don't you wish you could instacart the right man?

Jai Williams: Exactly, but you kinda can, now.

Annie F. Downs: Oh, yes.

Jai Williams: So, I needed to be brave to, like, step out and do online dating. That was something that was really daunting to me because I was just like, "I don't want to tell..." you know, like, the first question that people ask when you're dating, that I'm learning now, is like, "How'd you guys meet"? You know, it's like, "On an app," you know? I didn't want to be embarrassed about that possibility. You know? So, it was a lot of fear. And it was just fear of, like, the possibility of investing myself into someone, and then, the potential of what happened to me, happening again. Will somebody be unfaithful to me? Will I invest and then be disappointed again? You know, so. Yeah, I needed to be brave with that.

Ginger Stache: Big step. Good for you.

Jai Williams: Thank you.

Annie F. Downs: I think it interesting, thing... I'm glad we get to say these back-to-back because I think one of the interesting things about courage is sometimes courage is leaving and sometimes it's staying. And sometimes it's saying, "Yes," and sometimes, it's saying, "No". And I'm thinking of the situations I'm in currently. There's a lot of like courage to stay where you are, instead of leaving for an easier thing, whether it is your church, or your job, or a relationship, or even the city you live in. Right? There's so many times where I think... I live about three hours from my family. And there are things come up that I go like, "I should just move back home and do this other job". And then, I just... When I sit and pray or think about it, I go, "No, you know what? It actually takes courage to stay".

Ginger Stache: It does.

Annie F. Downs: To stay and to keep going on this path instead of a path I think I know. We don't actually ever really know, right? Like, we think it's easier back there, but if you actually go back there, it usually wasn't what you thought, anyway.

Ginger Stache: And that's the most scary thing isn't it? The unknown, anyway.

Annie F. Downs: Right, right.

Ginger Stache: I mean, that's the underlying thing through all of it.

Annie F. Downs: You know, that's the funny thing. People... When we read the Bible, people talk so much about like, "Man, Noah was so brave," or, "Mary was so brave". And... "But they knew how their story was gonna end". And it's like, "No, they didn't".

Annie F. Downs: They didn't know any more than we know today, on our story. And so, then, when we read the Bible with the remembrance that no one in the Bible knew how their story was gonna end either, except Jesus, those are... I mean, those are some brave people that we get to follow the example of.

Jai Williams: You know, I think about it... The courage to stay, because I was so ready to get out of dodge, after I had... After I got divorced. I was ready to get out of the city that I'd been in, that I was born and raised in, even though I've lived other places. But this is where I've spent the majority of my time. And so many people knew me and our family together. I was ready to get out. And so, when I got this huge opportunity to work at a very popular place, I even had announced... I think we may have even announced on the show that I was leaving. I don't know. But I was supposed to leave.

Ginger Stache: I don't think we did.

Jai Williams: You don't think so?

Erin Cluley: No, because Ginger and I, we were praying against it.

Ginger Stache: We were pretty sure that we could will you here.

Annie F. Downs: That's right. You did it.

Erin Cluley: Look what we did!

Jai Williams: Your prayers are really powerful.

Annie F. Downs: Praying for husbands for us.

Jai Williams: But I was gonna leave but I was still gonna come back and do the podcast. But I was ready to go, like to the point where I didn't even, like, renew my lease or anything. But then, I like, all of a sudden, I got this check in my heart and my spirit, and I was just like, "I'm not supposed to move". Even though the opportunity was huge, and great. It was glamorous. It was what I wanted to be: a smack in the face to my ex to be like, "Ha-ha, I'm doing better without you". But I had to stay.

Ginger Stache: Easier to take that step away, yeah.

Jai Williams: It was easier to do that because then... Because I was worried that I was going to bump into people that may have been affiliated with what had happened, or people that knew things about it, like, I just wanted to... I didn't want to answer questions. I wanted to go. And so, that bravery to stay was... Is something really powerful. And then, fast forward, not even a whole year later, it was like, that was totally a God move, because I would have been in a very, very bad situation had I had gone ahead and gone. So, yeah, that's right. It takes a lot of bravery just to sometimes, stick it out.

Annie F. Downs: It's interesting to hear you say not even a year later because you go like, a year's a long time before you have confirmation that you've done the right thing. I mean, that...

Ginger Stache: Sometimes it's many years before you get that.

Annie F. Downs: Yeah, exactly. Ann Voskamp, who I'm sure you all know and love, as well, she always says, "I want deep roots and lots of fruit and none of that happens fast".

Jai Williams: None of it.

Erin Cluley: It takes forever.

Annie F. Downs: And so, being brave, a lot of times, requires you to go, "I'm gonna jump and I do not know how long I fall. But I know God's invited me to jump, and so I jump. But I don't know how long until I get safely landed".

Jai Williams: Yeah, "And I don't know if it's gonna be a safe landing".

Annie F. Downs: Right, right.

Jai Williams: You know, like it might hurt a long way, so...

Annie F. Downs: So, Ginger, it makes me think... Can I ask a question back to you?

Ginger Stache: Of course, yeah.

Annie F. Downs: As a woman who's been married 37 years, as we get into our forties, fifties and are in long term relationships with our job, or our spouse, or our church, are there still opportunities to be brave, or does it get easier?

Ginger Stache: You know, I think there are aspects of it that get easier. There are things that you become, of course, familiar with and comfortable with. But what takes bravery in all of that is keeping it fresh and not getting so familiar that you take it for granted and then it becomes a disaster.

Annie F. Downs: Interesting.

Ginger Stache: So, I think it takes a lot of courage to step out and find the new things, find the excitement and, you know, let your eye puff up and say, "Happy anniversary. Hey, baby, here we go". Whatever it takes. But so, yeah, in some ways it gets easier. Some ways it gets harder. Because you have... You go through hard things in life, and you have to find the way to do that together. And sometimes it works really well. Other times it doesn't, you know, it can be really challenging. My brave thing, the area for me that's been more difficult, more recently... And I'm so much better about this than I used to be. I'm glad that, you know, we're all making progress. But for me, it is to stay in faith when I've seen the opposite happen, when I prayed for something, it didn't work. You know, when things went badly, to stay in faith. And that is a choice. And that really, for me, takes courage to say, "Ok, God, I'm gonna trust you". When I'm saying it, because I mean it, but I don't feel it, yet.

Erin Cluley: I think that's one of the biggest ways to be brave, becoming a Christian. A Christ follower is a brave move because you are trusting your whole life into something that you can't see it. I can feel it.

Ginger Stache: Can't control it.

Erin Cluley: Right. "This is all... I'm giving it all to you. And I don't know what that means". So, that's the most brave you can be.

Annie F. Downs: I had this experience with God. Ginger, you can correct me if this is bad theology. All of you can.

Annie F. Downs: But I had this experience where that kind of happened where I thought we were going down the path of praying for a thing. And this thing was gonna work, and then it all fell apart. I said to the Lord, "If a human would have done this to me, it would take some time for me to earn back trust. So, I'm gonna be a little slow coming back". Not coming back to God at all, but just coming back in that faith, "I'm gonna pray and believe". And so...

Ginger Stache: Think that's ok, yeah.

Annie F. Downs: It took a little courage for me to be like, "Hey, I feel like you broke trust with me, God". Even though I understand that's not his character, "But that's how I feel today. And so, we're just gonna have to rebuild trust for a minute".

Jai Williams: Yeah, and that's totally where I've been with God and for a long time because I literally... And I know you just recently with the passing of your loved one, like when my marriage did not, like, work out, you know, and I was really believing, and fasting, and praying, and declaring.

Erin Cluley: And you were in ministry.

Jai Williams: Yeah, we were both in ministry together. So, "Of course... Of course the Lord was gonna..."

Ginger Stache: This is gonna be a great testimony.

Jai Williams: And also like, because so many people... And this is why I'm like, you know, I feel some type of way about people that have all these prophetic words. But so many people I've spoken so many things over our lives, as a couple.

Ginger Stache: Be careful, be careful with that.

Jai Williams: Yeah, just be very careful with that because I was standing on that. Like, I was standing on like, the future of what was gonna happen, even when my daughter graduated, the ministry that he and I were gonna do together. And so, I was standing on that, believing on that, and saying like, "God, I know you're gonna bring this through," he has to. Like this... My faith... And then when it was like, "Uh-uh," it was like, divorce papers were delivered to me. And then, after that, then, we had the actual divorce, you know, confirmed, and then, he got married. "Oh, we done, done". You know, so me and God have had to go through this season of like, I mean, I'm... "I love you and everything, but we beefin' a little bit".

Annie F. Downs: "Not going anywhere else, but..."

Jai Williams: "I'm not going anywhere else. But we goin' have to work..." it's a relationship. "Because I feel like you failed me". You know, like... And that's why even... I know he hasn't, but that's one reason why I couldn't be a worship pastor at the time, because it took courage for me to stop doing what I was naturally doing. To step down and say, I can't sing like, "Our God has never failed," when I kind of felt like he did, even though I knew he hadn't. I knew my ex did. But I was conflicted with how I was feeling.

Ginger Stache: What's so beautiful through that whole thing is I remember you talking about it and us all agreeing that this is going to be a big testimony, you know, when your marriage is put back together. And yet, now, with hindsight of what happened, it's still a huge testimony for what God is doing in you.

Jai Williams: It is.

Ginger Stache: And that is what is so beautiful, is there's always a testimony in what we go through. There's always something that God wants to bring out of it. But for me and the same things that we're all talking about, I go through a lot of times where I'm like, "You know, God, if I was gonna do it, I would do it this way, instead".

Annie F. Downs: Oh, that could be half my journal.

Erin Cluley: It is half mine!

Erin Cluley: "Lord, I've got your plan here. You just follow step a, b, and c, we'll be good".

Ginger Stache: Well, let's jump in. We're gonna let Joyce talk to us a little bit.

Annie F. Downs: We need it.

Ginger Stache: We can use this. So, listen to what Joyce has to say about taking that step of faith and how that takes real courage.

Joyce Meyer: "So the Lord said, I will destroy, blot out, and wipe away mankind, whom I have created from the face of the ground... Not only man, [but] the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air... For it grieves me and makes me regretful that I have made them. But Noah found grace and (favor) in the eyes of the Lord". Can I tell ya something? No matter how bad things look, God's always got a man, he's always got a woman, and it only takes one. And it could be you. It only takes one, what one person can do. One man, Adam, sinned and sin was passed on to all men. One God-man, Jesus Christ, became righteous and righteousness was passed on to all men.

Let me tell ya, if you'll stand up and pay the price and not care who likes it, God can use you to do something beyond the ordinary. I don't want to be ordinary. I don't care anything about being average. I want to be all I can be in Jesus' name and make a difference. You've all got greatness on the inside of you. If you're a believer, you have a desire down deep inside of you to do something extraordinary, don't you? It's in there. It's like and then the devil will come against your brain, "Well, who do you think you are? You can't do that". It only takes one and God uses some of the most ridiculous people.

I mean, 1 Corinthians says that he uses the weak and the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. What the world would throw away, God chooses and uses for his glory. So, let me just say this, do not discount or disqualify yourself. Do not insult God by saying that he cannot use you. God chooses the weak and the foolish things of the world so that no man can take the credit. I just love for people to look and say, "Well, that's got to be God".

Ginger Stache: Isn't that the best?

Erin Cluley: I think that's one of my most favorite things. If I could pick something to tell somebody, maybe, who doesn't know Jesus, I'd be like, "Do you know what you can do, if you know him"? Because nothing makes me more sad than someone to say, "I can't. I'm not qualified. I can't do that. I don't know how". "Yeah, you can! You sure can". But if you don't know who you are in Christ and you don't realize that you have authority in him, it's not you doing it, it's him, you can do anything. I'm very passionate about that one.

Ginger Stache: I can tell. I love it!

Jai Williams: I feel it. You feel so brave.

Ginger Stache: It's that area that most people will be the first to flinch in fear. "I've had this dream, this desire. Nothing's happening. What if I step out and it doesn't work? What if I'm missing God and it's not him and it's just me"? There all the what if's that suck our courage away.

Erin Cluley: And then what if? Like, what if you did fail?

Annie F. Downs: You just gotta work all the way end. Yeah, what if? You'll go find another job. What if? You'll get in another relationship. What if this fails? Ok, you'll survive. You will actually survive. Every one of us sitting here and everyone listening and watching with us, like the thing you didn't think you survived, you survived. You'll do it again. You'll do it again. And so, just be brave enough to try and see what happens.

Ginger Stache: Why did you write on this?

Annie F. Downs: Because I wasn't naturally brave at all. It is not easy for me. I'm naturally in my own like, Annie-ness, especially, in my early twenties, if it's hard, I wanna walk away. If it requires a lot of me, "It's probably not from God". You know, like. And then, I moved to Nashville. And when I moved to Nashville, it just kind of changed my view of my life and of the world. And so, I... The first one I wrote was "Let's all be brave". And it was my story of moving and leaving a job teaching school to pursue this full time and moving to Nashville. And after I finished that book and people started reading it, they were like, "But tell us what to do". And I was like, "Ew, my bad. I left that out". So, I was like, that's gonna take a hundred days, that's gonna take a hundred days. So, that's why I wrote "A hundred days to brave" is, I thought, "Oh, after you read..." so, this happens to us all time where you go, "Hey, me too". We had a conversation backstage. I was like, "Oh, yeah, how did you do that"? Or even when Amanda was doing my lipstick, I was like, "What color is this"? Right? When someone else hears your story. They want to be brave, or they want to jump in. And so, that's why... That's where "A hundred days to brave" came from was, "Ok, now, if someone else's story has inspired you to be braver, here's 100 days' worth of trying to find it for you too".

Jai Williams: And I love that. I love it that it really just speaks to the fact that everyone has bravery inside.

Annie F. Downs: That's it. That's it. So many people think they need to have a new life. Like, "Well, ok, if I'm gonna be brave then I'm gonna move to this foreign country". "I'm gonna move..." "I'm gonna change everything". And maybe that is right for some people. But the majority of people, there is this opportunity to be brave in the life you already have, and that will actually... I talk about confetti poppers a lot because I love them. But it like kind of confettI's your people. Like, if you're brave in the life you have, that gets on other people. And somewhere down the chain is the person who's gonna move to a foreign country for an important reason. But that's not goin' to be me. But I'm gonna be brave in the story that God's given me and then hope that, that confettI's other people.

Ginger Stache: Yeah, what is your definition then, that we're working with here, of brave. Because you know that we're all so different and that the courage that we need, the issues that are harder for us are varied widely. So, we all need different types of courage. What is the definition of bravery?

Annie F. Downs: Oh, do you all have one in your head?

Erin Cluley: Well, you wrote the book on it, so...

Annie F. Downs: I did.

Ginger Stache: Uh, excuse me. That's why we invited you.

Annie F. Downs: You know what? I'll take this one.

Ginger Stache: You can ask anybody that you want.

Annie F. Downs: I'll take this one. You know, for me, when Webster dictionary defines courage and defines being brave, it says: "Doing a thing that seems really hard or impossible without fear". But what we all know is, I don't know anybody who done anything without fear. It just isn't reality. And so, my Annie-International definition is, "Is doing the thing, even when you hear the whispers of fear, you just don't listen to 'em anymore". Right? Cuz... So, we're all gonna hear that "You're not good enough". All of us, at some point today, could have heard, "You're not good enough to do this thing". And we have just had enough practice that we go, "Yeah, ok, pfft...I don't listen to that anymore". And it gets quieter sometimes. It get louder... Gets louder other times. I was telling ya'll that we had a photoshoot a couple of weeks... Or last week at work, and those aren't easy days for me, all the time. There's just a lot of fears and lies that whisper in my head. And sometimes, they are yelling. And it is different ten years in, than it was when I started. They get a little bit quieter. And so, I think it is doing the thing, not expecting there to be, "Ok, I'm not scared at all. Now, I'm brave". It's like, "No, no, no, no". The whispers are still there, you're just not listening to 'em anymore.

Erin Cluley: I love what you said too, how it is... It is so different for every person. So, mike and I were talking about it last night. I said, "What do you think brave is"? And he automatically jumps to, "Like a soldier who goes to war is brave". I said, "Yeah, that is brave".

Jai Williams: That's big brave.

Erin Cluley: Yeah, that's big brave. I said, "You know what's brave for me? When a kid throws up on me, and I still clean it up". Like, that is brave to me because I think it's disgusting.

Ginger Stache: Without gagging and throwing up, yourself, especially.

Annie F. Downs: While still parenting.

Erin Cluley: And loving, and love them.

Ginger Stache: Parenting is the bravest thing.

Erin Cluley: It is. But I think what... Just through this conversation, like what causes me to rise up to fight against that fear is so different from somebody else. But those feelings of wanting to pull back and pushing through that, is what... Where the bravery comes in, despite what it is you're being brave for.

Annie F. Downs: Can I...

Ginger Stache: Oh, go.

Annie F. Downs: No, go ahead.

Ginger Stache: Mm-mm.

Annie F. Downs: Ok, can I just say a really quick story?

Ginger Stache: Yes, please.

Annie F. Downs: I wish I could tell you this happened at like, whole foods, but it happened to dairy queen. So...

Annie F. Downs: I was at a dairy queen.

Ginger Stache: Not even trader Joe's.

Annie F. Downs: No, no, no, no. A girl walks in behind me and she's crying. And I have that ten second moment, that I know, I'm like, "Oh, Annie, don't talk to her. Let her just cry at the dairy queen".

Jai Williams: "Let her cry".

Annie F. Downs: "Let the woman cry at the dairy queen". And I get my blizzard. I'm going to walk away. And I just know. I just know. I'm, like, "On the off chance..." this is a sentence I say to myself, a lot, when it's time to be brave. "On the off chance it matters, there's more to lose if you don't talk to her, than the embarrassment if you do".

Ginger Stache: That's great.

Annie F. Downs: And so, I went back to get a napkin, ok, "To get a napkin". And I slid... I was like, "Yeah, you gotta have a napkin". And I just said, "Hey, I just wanna make sure you're ok". And she, like you, had said, "Had a drippy eye".

Annie F. Downs: And so, she just said, "Oh, I'm fine. It's just allergies," in like, January. And I was like, "Ok, well, I just don't think it's a total accident we're here at the same time. If there's anything I could do". And she said, "Nope". I said, "Ok". So, I went and got in my car. And I was embarrassed a little bit. And was like, "You should have just gotten in your car". But here's the fruit and roots thing, right? I might not know until eternity: I might not know for another two years if that mattered to her.

Ginger Stache: Mm-hmm.

Annie F. Downs: But the bravery was me getting on tower of terror, right? And having that moment of going, "I don't love this ride. But I'm gonna ride it because next time it could save a life".

Ginger Stache: That's right.

Annie F. Downs: "Next time it could bring someone to Jesus". This time she just said she had a leaky eye. She did not. She was crying, but you know. And so, I think those moments that you're talking about, that ten second thing is... Could be the tower of terror or it could be what changes someone's life.

Erin Cluley: Yeah, and you're building that muscle memory of what it's like to listen to the Holy Spirit, by you doing it.

Annie F. Downs: Yes, totally.

Erin Cluley: So, maybe, nothing happened then, that we know of. But now, you know, "Ok, I did it," and nothing happened. Nothing terrible happened.

Annie F. Downs: Nothing terrible, yeah, I lived to tell.

Ginger Stache: Yeah, I used to think that fear was not a big thing for me, honestly. Like, I'm kind of naturally a go-do-it person. Dragging my friends on the tower of terror or you know...

Jai Williams: Zip lining.

Ginger Stache: Paragliding, skydiving. I love that stuff. I love it! But what I've learned through all that and through just life and getting beat up a little bit and having things not go well, and other things go well, I've learned the things that we think are scary are not always as important as they turn out to be. Because some of those things that we think should scare us, and maybe don't, but it's the other things, the little things that are so important and that really matter, and that's where my fear can come in. You know, it's like, "Let me jump out of an airplane, before I have to go..."

Annie F. Downs: "Before I talk to the woman at dairy queen".

Ginger Stache: Exactly. I won't be going to dairy queen unless, you know, God tells me to, now that I know this is a possibility.

Annie F. Downs: The people show up there in tears, it happens.

Jai Williams: People cry at dairy queen, who knew?

Ginger Stache: But it is so much more about people and relationships, than it is about the big scary things.

Erin Cluley: Yeah, that's true.

Ginger Stache: Yeah, so... And I love the way God teaches me those lessons because taking those little steps, little by little. He doesn't ever... I shouldn't say ever because God can do anything he wants. He doesn't normally shove us off a cliff. You know, he lures us. He's so generous to us, and so kind and merciful that he's like, "Come on, come on. You can do this".

Annie F. Downs: Patient, yeah.

Ginger Stache: Exactly, one step at a time. And that's when I really find out. My fear is very real, it's just different types of fears. And following God when he's gently nudging us into who he wants us to become, those fears do start to subside, or the trust builds, I guess. You have more of a foundation that you're walking on. It gets a little softer along the way. When you fall, you don't fall quite so hard, but you still fall. So, I'm so grateful for what God has done in those circumstances. But we all need courage. We all need bravery.

Annie F. Downs: There are so many times where God... I mean, even the woman in the dairy queen, or if you're driving down the road and you normally turn right to go home, but the push in you is to turn left, and you're like... I mean, I can't tell you how many times I say to the Holy Spirit, "I mean, if you care, I'll care".

Annie F. Downs: Like, "If you want me turn left, I'll turn left". I'm gonna get home either way, right? But it is...

Jai Williams: "If you care, I'll care".

Annie F. Downs: "If you care, I'll care". I say it all the time. "If you care, I'll care". I mean, I have to say that about people. I have to say that about how I get home. I have to say that about the work we do, or the deadlines we have to hit.

Ginger Stache: "If you care about this person, I care about this person".

Annie F. Downs: "Naturally, not interested. But if you care, I'll care".

Erin Cluley: A few years ago, I was traveling with a job that I had here. So, I got to meet with our amazing partners. And so, one of these couples that I got to go visit said, "Can you speak at our church"? And I was like, "Yes, you're precious. I will. I don't speak".

Erin Cluley: "But you are sweet, and I will say some words". And it was awful. Like, I read from my paper. And the guy was like, "You're kind of nervous, weren't you"? And I said, "Yeah, I was kinda nervous". But I did it. And I was... Whatever. So, then, a couple of months ago, the old church I used to go to, they were like, "Hey, when you come in town, can you speak"? And I was like, "Oh, my gosh, I don't do that. I don't. No, I cannot do that". And I felt so clearly, God say, "Just do it. This is not about... This is not about anybody else except you just doing what I need you to do".

Annie F. Downs: Yes.

Erin Cluley: So, I was so nervous. And there's not like there was thousands of people, but it was an act of obedience for me to do this. And so, I prayed before. I said, "God, last time, this didn't go well. So, can you please kick in, because I'm terrified". And I cannot explain to you like, the anointing that kicked in. I was hearing myself say stuff, I was like, "Wow, Erin, that's so good"!

Ginger Stache: "Listen to me"!

Erin Cluley: I'm like, "Erin"! There was a girl, right here, she was writing stuff down. I said, "Did you write down what I just said"?

Erin Cluley: She was like, "Yeah". And so, all that to say that God showed me something in that, that was very brave of me. I recognize that. It wasn't about what I said, but it was an act of obedience. And I feel like God showed me in that, "See, I got you. When you do what I'm calling you to do, I will show up. Just do it".

Ginger Stache: And it's double brave because you failed, and I'm sure you didn't.

Erin Cluley: Oh, no...

Ginger Stache: I'm sure you did not. But in your mind, you failed the first time.

Erin Cluley: I did.

Ginger Stache: So, to step out and do it again, that was brave.

Erin Cluley: It was brave.

Ginger Stache: Good job.

Annie F. Downs: Actually, both, models something really important to us. That you were actually brave both times. And the result of courage is not always success. The result of courage is courage. And so, you did it because you were brave enough to even do it the first time, you at least had muscle memory of what it feels like to stand on a stage. And so, I wonder when we get to heaven, if we look at your tally sheet, if the Lord will Mark both of those as wins, right? Because the first one had to happen, for the second one to happen. But that's not why you're doing it. And that's not what we're promised.

Jai Williams: Exactly.

Annie F. Downs: What we're promised is his presence, and that's what you got, right? And so, I just think, I need to hear for myself, that bravery begets bravery, not bravery begets success.

Ginger Stache: Yeah. Well, Joyce points out some very important concepts, here. So, we're gonna check back in with her because she says, "When we step out in faith, we'll have to let go of the one thing," think the trapeze, "Before you grab on to the other thing". So, let's check that out, and we'll come back and talk about it.

Joyce Meyer: All right. Genesis 12, 1-3. "Now [in Haran] the Lord said to Abram, go for yourself [for your own advantage] away from your country, from your relatives and your father's house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with an abundant increase of favor] and I will make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others]. And I will even bless those who bless you [who confer prosperity or happiness upon you] and I will curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you: and in you will all the families and the kindred of the earth be blessed [and by you they will bless themselves]".

Now, what a promise. Wow! "Gonna make your name famous. I'm gonna make you wealthy. You're gonna have everything you need, you know. Man, you're gonna be so anointed and put together that even if anybody blesses you, they're gonna be blessed for blessing you". And it's, like, "Whoa"! But, you don't get all that unless you do verse 1. "Leave everything that you know and you're familiar with and go to a place that I will show you," once you have already walked off from everything else. And I see you're, like... Okay, here's the thing, really. Anytime that God is calling you to something else, you're gonna have to let go of something to take hold of the next thing. And very often, you're not gonna have all the details of this thing. You just know this one's done. And maybe you've held on to it a long time to make sure it's done. You kind of thought it was dying, but now you know it is dead with a capital "D". Amen? It's like, can't do that anymore. Or if you keep doing it anymore, it's gonna have no life in it at all for you. No anointing in it at all for you anymore.

Now, we all have that happen to us, but maybe you don't recognize it. Maybe you even miss it and you keep holding on to things that aren't fulfilling to you because you don't know what the next thing is. And a lot of people just have all this stress and all this pressure in their lives and God kind of gave me an example of what happens. It's like, if I'm over here holding on to this and I'm, like... You know, God will keep what the next thing is for you about that far from you. C'mon. You know, God is into mystery, big time. And so it's, like, eventually the only way you're gonna take hold of this is to let go. And that's where the faith comes in.

Ginger Stache: You guys ever just feel like you're reaching out and you're so holding tight, back here, that you can't quite reach it, and it's right there? Let's talk about some of those things that we do have to choose to be brave in. The things that are hard: risking rejection, really hard. We have to be brave to forgive. That's a big one. Trying again, when something hasn't gone the way, you wanted it to. Facing our faults. Eww, that's a icky one. That one... I think that one's really hard. Faith in general, like you're talking about all those things are brave. And Annie, you've talked about some everyday things that we can do to build some habits that grow courage in our life. What are some of those types of things?

Annie F. Downs: Yeah, I mean, I think truth goes a long way, right? Being brave enough to tell yourself the truth. And that's a daily practice of, "Here's what's true today". "This is what's hard today. This is what's gonna be easy today". "Here's who I'll see". I think it's just telling yourself the truth. Even as I'm listening to you, Jai, I'm thinking, "Man, there are so many people that the bravest thing is to pay attention at work," that those numbers don't keep matching up. There may be somebody doing something, and you don't wanna tell because you don't wanna mess up the whole system. And but something's not matching in your job. Right? Or you're seeing something going on with a friend and you're like, "I think my friend might actually have a problem with alcohol". But you don't wanna say anything because you don't wanna mess up and you don't wanna hurt your friend's feelings. Are you brave enough to say, "The red flags are very red, here"?

Ginger Stache: You don't want to lose a relationship.

Annie F. Downs: Right, right. So, I think that is a practice, is paying attention and telling yourself the truth. The other practice, for me, is having conversations like this, about courage. Because when you will sit with other people and kind of go like, "Hey, I've got this idea, should I even try this"? Like, do you have your one or two people that you say, "This is gonna sound crazy, but I'm gonna tell you the thing, I'm thinking I might wanna try next". Or that "I'm gonna tell you about this date I went on". Or "I'm gonna tell you that we're trying to get pregnant again. We just think we may want to do one..." and people are like, "What"?! And you're like, yeah, but I've got my safe people, right? So, I think those are some of the practices.

Ginger Stache: You guys are so good at that.

Jai Williams: Thank you.

Annie F. Downs: Yeah, being that for each other matters a ton. You need people that you can fail loudly in front of. The whole world is gonna see us fail quietly, right? But when it is a "Hey, we've been on two dates, and I really like him". The world doesn't have to know that. But you're up-close people are gonna know if that fails loudly, in your life. And so, have some people that you can fail loudly with. So... And who go, "Yeah, great. I bet that didn't work. We're gonna be fine. We're all gonna be fine". I think it's a practice, Ginger. I think it is... Courage isn't a thing that you get, and then you've got it. It's not a badge on the Peloton or a girl scout badge, right? Like, it's not like, "Once you've got it, you got it".

Ginger Stache: "Ding"!

Annie F. Downs: This is a practice, yeah.

Ginger Stache: "Glad that one's over".

Annie F. Downs: "Finally, I'm great". It just doesn't seem like that's what happens. It feels like it's a practice that we continue on. Like our practices of scripture reading, and going to church, and being in a healthy relationship, and reading other things that help us, and reading Ginger's books, and, you know, prayer, and fasting, and sabbath, and all the other practices that are a long-term investment in who we wanna be, courage should be the same.

Ginger Stache: Yeah, there are so many of those things that we learn and experience with God. Like so much courage that you're building right now. So much courage that you were building, Erin, when you got up in front of that crowd, again. And that's how God builds that stuff in our life. But, you know, I wish it was different. I wish it would be just, you know, pop the right multivitamin, and we get it. It would be so much easier that way.

Annie F. Downs: Or after five times of being brave, the sixth one's free.

Ginger Stache: That would be really nice.

Annie F. Downs: It just does not work that way.

Ginger Stache: So, when we come back... We're gonna go to Joyce one more time. But I wanna talk about some of those scriptures that we hold on to. What are some of those things that really give us a foundation of courage? But right now, Joyce is gonna talk about the fact that it is so much more than just the word brave. It really is a bravery that comes from the right foundation, from a trust in God, alone.

Joyce Meyer: I'll tell ya, I'm encouraged every time that I go back and read about Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Daniel said, "I will not defile myself". And there was a couple of different things that happened. I'm just gonna tell you about them to conserve some time but one of the things that happened was Daniel was... They passed a law that anybody who prayed to anybody other than the king will be put in a lion's den. And I love what the Bible says. It says, "And Daniel, with his windows open, continued to pray three times a day just as he always had done".

Now, you see why that's so important? He said, "I'm not gonna compromise one little bit. I'm not gonna worry about what you think you can do to me. I'm gonna continue to be who I am, fully myself. I am a Christian. I'm not gonna apologize for it. I'm not gonna be quiet about it. I'm not ashamed of it. And you'll just have to do whatever it is that you do and I'll trust God". Well, sure enough, he was put in the lion's den. Laid down, had a nap. God sent an angel to shut the lion's mouth. And the king actually didn't want to see Daniel hurt because he actually really loved and respected him. But because he'd given his word that he would do this, he had to do it. And if you read the whole story, it says that when Daniel came out, the king rejoiced and he made a rule that nobody could serve any God but Daniel's God.

So, what's the message there? The message is that if we will stand up and be who we're supposed to be, people are gonna believe in Christ because of our witness. Are you there? Oh yeah, they may make fun of you. They may talk about you. They may reject you. But when push comes to shove, honey, they're gonna know who they can go to, to get answers for their life. And we are coming into a time in our society where people are gonna be desperate for answers and you wanna make sure that you have paid the price to be somebody that they feel like they can come to in a time of need.

Ginger Stache: Lion's den does not sound like a comfortable place. I mean, how many times have we felt like, though, you know, not in reality, of course, but that we've been thrown into a place that we felt that uncomfortable, that we were that afraid of the situation around us, just didn't know what God was gonna do. And for me, one of the things, I'll find myself, out loud, just saying over and over, "I trust you, God. I trust you God". 'cause you don't know what else to do. And so, you know, what are you gonna trust in? You can choose to trust that, that lion looks really hungry and he's gonna take a big bite out of me. Or, you know, you can shift your focus, and I think that's something really important. Because when we have fear, when we need to be brave, we need tools to know how to do it.

Erin Cluley: As I was reading Hebrews, recently... I think, I was in Hebrews 11. I feel pretty... Mostly confident that's where it was happening. But it was Hebrews. So, it's this passage of scripture that's all about all these heroes of faith. And so, I mean, there's just so many of them.

Ginger Stache: Just the right one, too. You're good.

Erin Cluley: Was that right? Hebrews 11?

Ginger Stache: Yeah.

Erin Cluley: Yes, I did it! So, anyways, I thought, "Wow, there's so many of 'em, I'll never be like that". And then, all of a sudden, something stood out to me so strongly that they didn't just become that. Like, they were this, and then all of a sudden, they are a hero of the faith. God called them to do a thing. So, they took a step. And I can take a step. I don't have to be the... Be brave for the whole thing. I don't have to decide today that I'm going to do all of this. Today, I have to decide to do the one thing that God called me to do, today. And that made it feel more like doable, more possible. I can do one thing.

Annie F. Downs: When you think about Isaiah writing that, "By his stripes, we are healed". I mean, our pastor just taught on it, that truthfully, he was writing about nail scarred hands, and the whole... Describing the crucifixion before crucifixion was a punishment. Right?

Ginger Stache: Wow.

Annie F. Downs: So, the courage of Isaiah to go...

Ginger Stache: So, the crucifixion wasn't even a thing, then.

Annie F. Downs: No.

Ginger Stache: That's astounding.

Annie F. Downs: It's unbelievable, right? And so, then, you go, "Man, he had the courage to write down exactly what he heard God saying, put it out into the world in a way that is still recorded for us, thousands of years later, and never live to see that Jesus was pierced for our transgressions," right? And so, you just go, "Man, the courage of that one step". None of those people lived, hoping they'd get in Hebrews 11.

Ginger Stache: "I wanna make that list".

Annie F. Downs: That's right. Like, "I hope I make it into the hall of fame of Hebrews 11". But they did their one thing. And Isaiah wrote what he heard God say, and then trusted that God would make right all that was there. And so, you just go, "Man, that is..." that's courage to me.

Jai Williams: But isn't that like every story in the Bible. Like even, you think of the Old Testament, them thinking of... Or like being able to prophesy that the Messiah was coming and look crazy. You know, like, to be that descriptive of who he was and just really stand on faith. And you just think about all of the... All the risks that they took. We talked about Noah. We talked about... You know, it takes bravery to stand on faith and not know what the outcome is. And that's what we're all living, right now. But because we have the Bible and we've read the outcome, we kinda put in our minds like, "Oh, they knew". "Mary knew for sure," you know, so.

Annie F. Downs: My mentor sends a verse every morning. Just like, text one little verse.

Ginger Stache: Oh, that's so nice.

Annie F. Downs: And sometimes she'll...

Erin Cluley: Will she, us too?

Annie F. Downs: Well, listen. Here's the funny part. My friend, Angie, and I were on a fight, and Angie meets with her, as well. And we are on a flight to... Who knows where, here, I dunno. And we get off the flight. And we've been talking about Nancy and how good Nancy is, and she always prays. And I was like, "Actually, while we were on the flight, she sent me a scripture". She was like, "Wait a minute. Me, too". Same one, same one! She... So, which I think is amazing. 'cause what she does is, every woman she invests in, she starts our day by going, "Here's what's true," right? So, like... And it's never like trying to hit our prophetic button. It is, "Hey, we're working through 1 Peter 1. So, I'm gonna to send you a verse from 1 Peter 1, every day".

Ginger Stache: That's great.

Annie F. Downs: And it is so... It is, that like... It gives me something to tie my balloon to every morning. And go like, "I can be brave today because whether I made time this morning or not, Nancy made time to tell me that scripture's true".

Ginger Stache: And I really love what you're encouraging people to do is to be brave enough to speak the truth and also to stand on truth. Because that is where we're in such a firmer place to be able to say that "God has not given me a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and a sound mind. I'm not going crazy". You know, "I've got love when I don't think I do". And just to stand on the truth of who God says we are, makes so much of that fear just melt away.

Jai Williams: And when I had my doubt, you know, once I talked... You know, I talked about the failure, you know, of everything, the scripture that really stood out, it's like, "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me". So, when you think of that scripture, you, of course, think of the "I can do all things". Right? But the part that was really difficult was, "Through Christ that strengthens me". Like, you have to have that "Through Christ". It's what you were talking about earlier. Like, when my faith was shaky, because, as a Christian, yes, I can, honestly... It takes bravery to admit that, that my faith was weak because I really did feel like, "Where were you, God? Like, why? Why... Why did you fail me"? But when that happened, I know that I can't do all things, if it's not through Christ. I can't be brave to do the things that I know I'm supposed to do, in this world, if it's not through Christ. And so, that's what anchored me in my faith, to be brave. And like, "I gotta have Christ in my life, in order for me to do those, all things, that I know he's put inside of me.

Annie F. Downs: And I think it matters when you... When we take that verse, I say a lot to the Lord, "You said..." "You said..." because he said, "Through Christ, who strengthens you". Not in this scenario, "Comforts you," or, "Holds you," or, "Positions you," but "Strengthens you". So, you go, "Ok, God, I can do this today, through Christ, who will give me actual strength. So, I'm gonna walk like I'm stronger than I feel because Christ is strengthening me to do this". And so, man, I cut those scriptures up and I say...

Jai Williams: You got pieces like a puzzle.

Annie F. Downs: "You got this part, this part". None of those words are accidental. None of them. And so, when you see it... When you see strength, and you go, "Oh, when I need to be stronger, I come back here, because it's through Christ who strengthens me".

Ginger Stache: Anything that you wanna close with just to encourage anyone who's got a particular issue, right now, that they need some courage in, what would you say?

Annie F. Downs: I would say, "You probably are braver than you know". You're braver than you know. If you sat down... Our friend listening, watching, who feels that, if you sat down across the table from any of us and told us your story, we could point where you're brave. We could go, "Actually, you know, everybody doesn't do that. Everybody doesn't do that. You, actually, did a really brave thing". So, you're braver than you know. And if you will let somebody in, they'll remind you. If we're not enough, today, but we're trying to be, to remind you, "You're brave enough," if you'll let somebody in, they'll remind you, "You're brave".

Ginger Stache: And then, just to think about what God can do with that little, tiny step that you give him. It can be astounding. You never know what God has in mind.

Annie F. Downs: That's right. That's right.

Ginger Stache: Sometimes, it takes that first little, "Ok, I'm gonna give you this tiny part because I'm afraid to give you all the rest". So, start with what you can. Annie, thank you so much. It's been so great to have you, here.

Annie F. Downs: I'm just sad ya'll do this without me.

Annie F. Downs: I'm always here, with ya'll when I'm with ya'll. But then, I go and ya'll keep doing it. I love getting to be here. Thank you, guys, for having me. It's so fun.

Ginger Stache: We are so appreciative. And I know that all of you out there are so glad that you've also had this opportunity. You can grab Annie's book "A Hundred Days to Brave". And just give yourself a hundred days to concentrate on this. See, what God will do in your life. And I have a feeling he will just blow your mind. We also have a free resource that we want to let you know about. This is a free online study, which is a great way to dig into the Bible to get that truth that we were talking about that you need so desperately in your life, right now. So, go to and you'll find the study called "Make every day count". You gotta be brave to make every single day count. But I'll tell you, God has something wonderful for you, in this day, and the next one, and in every single day. So, we encourage you, while you're there, check out all the other podcasts. Catch up. We hope that you'll subscribe and tell your friends about us. And we are so glad that you are here. You are strong, you are brave, and we'll see you next time.
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