“When God is Silent”

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.

The words of King David here in Psalm 22:1–2 seem all too familiar to all of us. If allowed to live long enough I would say that most Christians go through a season of their life, and their faith, in which they feel “left out in the cold” or all alone. Sometimes in the midst of our turmoil we feel like the Israelites roaming around in the wilderness apart from God for years. We see in Job 30:20 where Job, a man considered upright and righteous by God, even feels alone or forsaken by God. Job 30:20 says,

I cry to you for help and you do not answer me; I stand, and you only look at me.

Have you ever felt alone? Betrayed or abandoned by God?

Below we will explore some key ideas for “when God is silent.”

  • Evaluate.

I find it obvious, but difficult at the same time, to acknowledge that like the nation of Israel God may be silent according to our own doing or decisions. When God is silent the first thing we need to do is evaluate any sin or lack of faith evident in our life. We see this in Hebrews 12:10 where it says,

For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

Sometimes God appears to be silent when there is sin in our life. Now it is important to note that this isn’t always the case. In David’s case he recognized this, but sin wasn’t the case at all with Job. When we notice or feel a “separation” from God the first thing we need to evaluate is our own spiritual health because God doesn’t move… only we do.

Psalm 51:10-12 hints that our own “straying” or “drifting” can cause concern in our “connection” with God. It says,

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Another aspect we must explore when we feel that God is silent is the idea that God’s silence may be placed in our lives to bring back to light what is, and should be, important to us. In other words… God may be quiet to get our attention.

We have heard it said that, “absence makes the heart grow fonder” but “familiarity breeds contempt.” Why is that true? The only thing I can figure, we also see it made true in other worldly things, is that deprivation draws out desire. We see it in the pursuit of wealth or success here on earth that is never satisfied.

When is enough actually enough?

What we perceive as a lack causes us to long for that particular thing that much more. I would actually step out on a limb and say that absence heightens desire. Ultimately it is through the mourning that we will know the joy of comfort. Jesus actually says this in Matthew 5:4,

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Our longing makes us ask, our emptiness makes us seek, and our silence makes us knock. Luke 11:9 says,

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

We wouldn’t search for something we didn’t know we were missing. Sometimes God’s silence is necessary to let us know that we have drifted.

  • Seek Understanding.

It is also important for us to acknowledge in God’s silence that we aren’t God and we don’t always understand His ways… and that is perfectly okay.

Maybe sometimes God is silent because He isn’t ready to speak.

We don’t always want to think that way because it isn’t all that comforting… but too often we want to pray to God and have Him jump at our request. It comes down to a control issue. We have difficulty accepting and trusting in the God that is always in control and God does what He does according to His own timetable and not ours.

We live in a “fast food” world and we want everything fast and according to our time and plan… but God isn’t a fast food God.

I’m convicted personally of getting aggravated when there is a 15 second commercial that I can’t skip before my YouTube videos. Have we become that impatient? It’s hard for us to accept, but we operate and live according to God’s plan and timetable.

God is not on display to impress us… He is accomplishing His will throughout our lives.

It’s hard to keep pursuing God when we can’t see the “full picture,” but sometimes in the fog of life we can’t use the high beams… the dims have to stay on and it is for our own good. In these “foggy” times God only gives us a little at a time, and that little is all we need to keep on moving.

We also know that God is never “not with us.” He may be silent but He is still acting in our lives. Romans 1:20 says,

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

We can look around us and see God displayed so we should not be dismayed. In our time of trial God is still reigning on His throne. Our God’s goodness, power, and His faithfulness to His people is not determined by politics, current affairs, the money in our bank accounts, the sickness or disease in our lives, or any circumstance.

God is bigger than our circumstances, and He is working all things out according to His will.

  • React out of Faith.

Lastly, our reaction or handling of our attitude in times of silence reveals a lot about us, and how we view God.

When we get angry or frustrated with God we must be careful, because what that says is that we aren’t sure if we can trust Him. We are sinful, and there are times that we will be frustrated and confused. Instead of remaining in that state and blaming it on God we must instead take these times to God and recognize that although God seems to be silent He is the only one with the answers to or questions and/or frustrations.

In times of silence God may be testing us, and we are called to be faithful.

Job seemed to understand this idea of testing in the midst of his hardships. Our suffering isn’t meaningless or for God’s entertainment… He uses it for His purposes. We may never understand His purposes… or He may eventually bless us with understanding. But, either way we must trust. Job 23:8-10 shows this understanding when he says,

But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

From God’s point of view everything makes since and is according to His plan, but from ours everything can seem messed up. We must remember that the world isn’t always how we perceive it to be. We know that the world isn’t flat, but from our point of view it looks to be that way. Trust God.

Don’t doubt in darkness what God has proven to be true in the light.

Do you feel alone? What darkness are you facing?

Seek God. Trust God. Carry on.

Complaining: It’s what we like to do!

It’s easy to complain. Most of us are complainers…

Most of us probably don’t view ourselves as complainers… but that is part of the problem! We all want our voice to be heard. In fact I would say that part of this complaining epidemic spawns from the mindset that for some reason we deserve to have our voice heard.

Our nation is full of complainers. Our churches are full of complainers.

Many of us do well to make it to our cars in the parking lot before we have to voice a complaint or opinion about something on Sundays! How many of us have a running list?

What does your list look like?

Maybe like this: The music is too repetitious or doesn’t fit our preference, the sound system was too loud or soft, the pastor was long-winded or harsh, the baby that cried the whole service, maybe an annoying Brother or Sister in Christ?

I am guilty of this! Let’s ask ourselves… on Mondays do we remember anything about out Sunday service except our perceived negatives? Most of us if honest would have to say that we are masters in the art of complaining.

Why are we so quick to disregard the numerous positives about church, other believers, leadership, etc… in order to jump on the one or two negative aspects and complain?

Most of the time I think we would rather complain than actually work towards a solution to the problem.

You know what they call this? An armchair quarterback! Sporting events are full of armchair quarterbacks. An armchair quarterback is a person who offers advice or an opinion on something in which they have no expertise or involvement.

Is that us? Is this what we have become? Is the call of Christ on our lives merely just to complain? I think not.

It’s not that we really have it so rough, but rather that we don’t always have it our way.

I am convicted when I read verses like Philippians 2:14-15,

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.

We should be ashamed of ourselves.

I have done my share of complaining over the years, and you probably have too.

James 5:9 says,

Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.

Criticizing and complaining is not a spiritual gift.

What other reasoning do we need to rid the spirit of complaint from our churches and ourselves? Judgment will be passed onto us for passing judgment on others! Below we will discuss some of the side-effects of our continuous complaints in hopes to bring to light how we are only making things harder for ourselves as commissioners of the Gospel.

  • Tears apart community.

Complaining is easy to do! It is easy to listen to! Complaining is a universal language! It is something we can all relate to!

The first major issue with complaint amongst believers is the fact that it damages and destroys relationships and the unity we all share in Christ. Ultimately, complaining damages relationships.

Colossians 3:12-14 says,

And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against another, just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

Complaining encourages dissatisfaction, needlessly tears people down, and creates an unappreciative or unnecessary judgmental spirit within us.

Jesus says in Matthew 7:1-5,

Do not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye” and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye?

Let’s not be so quick to find the faults in every situation! God is still sitting on His throne even when the pastor aimlessly babbles for 15 minutes at the beginning of a service, or the worship leader doesn’t play that song that we like so much!

  • Draws our focus away from God’s goodness and promises.

How many times are we quick to forget all that we have been given by God? It’s funny how quickly the many blessings and provisions the Lord has blessed with us are forgotten with the perception of a single negative.

That is what our complaining does… it makes us quick to forget or to take for granted the goodness and blessings of God.

I immediately think about a time in Scripture when complaining and negativity shrouded out the goodness and promises of God. In Numbers the people of Israel are heading toward the Promised Land after they have been freed from the bondage of the Egyptians at the hand of Pharaoh in Exodus.

God has already provided greatly, and He tells them they will receive what they have been promised. But… when the Israelites hear that people in the last city that remains between them and their land are the size of giants, the people begin to grumble and complain and immediately forget God’s promise.

We see this in Number 14:1-4 when it says,

Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Despite God’s plan, promise, and His numerous provisions for them they allowed their complaining to lead them to appoint a new leader to go back against God. The Israelites allowed their negativity to outshine Christ!

How often do we fall victim to this mentality? How often do we allow our complaints, rants, negativity, and “soap-boxes” to become our leaders?

We see in the following passages in Numbers how God reacted to His people when this attitude arose.

Numbers 14:26-35 says,

And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me. Say to them, ‘As I live, declares the Lord, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and of all your number, listed in the census from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against me, not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have rejected. But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years and shall suffer for your faithlessness, until the last of your dead bodies lies in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, a year for each day, you shall bear your iniquity forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.’ I, the Lord, have spoken. Surely this will I do to all this wicked congregation who are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall come to a full end, and there they shall die.”

Geez! These are often the passages that we like to overlook or attribute to an Old Testament God in comparison to our perceived New Testament Christ. I hate to break it to you… but God doesn’t change. He is the same today as He was in the days of Moses and the Exodus.

God didn’t appreciate the complaints. What I find interesting is that the people weren’t necessarily complaining intentionally against God Himself, but rather their complaints seemed to be directed towards their situation. But in reality, God has ordained or days and a complaint against a situation is in actuality a complaint against God Himself.

Let’s think about it… what do we complain about?

What is our wilderness? What is our giant that we must face?

God has a calling for our life and sometimes that may mean experiencing things that we don’t understand or enjoy. We mustn’t “cheapen” the experience by complaining. Instead we must trust.

The promises and provisions of God that we see are only the tip of the iceberg! God has sheltered us and provided for us numerous times without our knowing it!

  • Consumes valuable time!

Complaining takes a lot of time and energy when we really think about it!

We should take a second to step back and ask ourselves: What good does my complaining do?

I’ve heard it said that, “As Christians, we are called to be the problem solvers, not the problem proclaimers.”

Sure, there are always going to be situations that frankly just stink. We live in a fallen world and we are a fallen creation. But, in the end, is any situation that we are going to face bigger than God? Obviously not. So we do we think our complaining is going to accomplish anything at all? It is a waste of time!

I immediately think of people in the customer service field. Anybody that has worked in this field is going to immediately understand or relate to this example. How about when a person experiences a problem with a product and calls the appropriate services to troubleshoot the problem and instead of taking the advice of the expert they would rather complain about the issue at hand instead of listening and working alongside someone else to resolve the issue and make it better.

It can be so frustrating! And ultimately, the problem just takes that much longer to be resolved because someone needs to “vent” or voice their frustration in an unhelpful way.

We’re supposed to be the troubleshooters. Not the pessimist that is totally comfortable sitting in the midst of a problem or situation without ever attempting to make anything better.

As believers we are supposed to be the encouragers, the motivators, and the accomplishers.

However, I do believe it is important to clarify that we shouldn’t confuse our decision to not complain with a lack of authenticity. As believers we shouldn’t be scared to admit that our lives aren’t perfect! When it comes to our witness, we don’t want to seem so fake and falsely cheerful that we’re no longer relatable. There ought to be room for anger and disappointment within the church handled or vented in a Biblical way. Ephesians 4:29 says,

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

What I love about this verse is how it point out that even when we are let down we are still called to build up and speak grace to people around us. This points us in a God-honoring direction… it acknowledges the bad stuff, where we fall short, but it places emphasis on the positives and works to create an environment of improvement.

The Christian faith isn’t about putting on a fake smile or pretending everything is skippy. Instead, Scripture asks us to surrender our frustrations to a redemptive God.

When things don’t go like they should and we are at our wits end and frustrated beyond belief, we could post a rant on Facebook and complain to our friends, or we can ask God how He might use this shortcoming or situation to shape us and glorify Himself.

Are you a complaining Christian? Do you have such a critical spirit toward others that you hardly realize that you complain against your fellow Christians? Would those who know you best say you are infected with a complaining spirit?

We mustn’t allow complaint to become our way a way of thinking.

You never know… maybe revival would come to the church if we stopped complaining against each other and worked together in unity to further the Gospel and troubleshoot problems!

I AM your portion.

We are, for the most part, a materialistic people. We live in an age of abundance.

We’ve all heard stories of families being torn apart over finances. Whether is debt or arguments over inheritance… it’s all the same. We all want what we consider to be ours!

As a child I can remember being concerned over equality of portions. It didn’t matter what it was: candy, cake, time, etc… Many times I robbed myself of my own enjoyment of whatever it was that I had just out of concern for what the other person had.

We’ve all done it! If you haven’t ever rushed to eat a slice of pizza as fast as you can so you can be the first to get up and get the last piece then you probably aren’t human… or a pizza lover like myself.

In fact, equality is a HUGE issue in today’s world.

When thinking about equality or “equal” portions my mind immediately goes to a story about one of the 12 tribes of Israel… the Levites.

We see part of that story concerning the Levites and their portion or inheritance in Numbers 18:20-23 where it says,

And the Lord said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. I am your portion and your inheritance among the people of Israel. To the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service that they do, their service in the tent of meeting, so that the people of Israel do not come near the tent of meeting, lest they bear sin and die. But the Levites shall do the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, and among the people of Israel they shall have no inheritance.”

We see it discussed in Deuteronomy 18:1-2 as well when it says,

The Levitical priests, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the Lord’s food offerings as their inheritance. They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them.

So… what is going on here? The context of these passages goes a little like this… the land is being divvied up and the Levites are told that they don’t get a share!

How do you think that went over? Imagine having 11 siblings and a piece of family property is being divided up amongst you. When all eyes turn to you for your turn to receive a “portion” or piece you are shot down and told that you are the exception and don’t get to take part in the sharing. Feelings are probably going to be hurt and you are going to leave with a variety of emotions: anger, sadness, disappointment, etc.

You may be saying… Tanner I know there is more going on here with these passages. Give me the context.

When diving deeper into this subject we see that the Levites were the tribe of Israel in charge of the tabernacle and the sacred rituals. They were the priests of their time making sacrifices on behalf of the people.

How does this apply to us?

We are more like the Levites than most of us know or acknowledge. A study of the New Testament reveals that now because of the work of Christ Jesus all of us Christians are adopted and saved into a priesthood of believers. Peter said in 1 Peter 2:5,

You too are living stones, built as an edifice of spirit, into a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Revelation 1:5b-6 says,

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The Levites were priests and now because of Jesus we are too!

Now that we have established our priesthood what is next? Below, we will break it down into some particular points for organizations sake and develop our idea of living as a priest.

  • We must offer a sacrifice.

Now, because of this “priesthood” we have been given all Christians can offer unto God spiritual sacrifices. In fact, it really isn’t that we “can,” offer sacrifices… we SHOULD!

Romans 12:1 says,

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

The good news is that we don’t need anybody except Jesus to mediate this transaction!

Hebrews 4:14-16 says,

All have the right to go directly to God through Jesus Christ, our High Priest.

So I hate to break it to you… but when it comes to offering sacrifices and living like the Levites (priests) our equality is tossed aside. In all actuality our sacrifice starts with “our” portion.

When we give up what we think to be “our” portion we actually gain the best inheritance of all… Jesus!

  • We must live as a Levite.

Some of you may glance at that sub-heading and say, “This dude is crazy. I’m not giving up everything I have (food, shelter, money) and managing a Tabernacle or “tent church.”

But if you will hear me out I promise you that it will be beneficial.

When thinking about my personal priesthood and the priesthood of believers I wonder… do we really understand the magnitude of importance in being priests according to the new covenant?

1 Peter 2: 9 says,

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Many of us when reading that passage immediately notice that we are chosen, but too many of us miss or ignore the purpose for which we have been chosen. The turning point in the verse happens right smack dab in the middle with the three simple words,

“that you may”

We have been chosen to fulfill the purpose of proclaiming Christ’s excellencies here on earth!

Therefore, what does it mean for us to live in accordance to our type of priestly calling? Worshiping, serving, and praying for each other is certainly a good start. Our ultimate calling is to walk as Christ walked.

The verse out of 1 Peter 2 continues on in verses 11-12 to present us with ways to live as a chosen priest. It says,

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Hebrews 13:15 says,

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.


One thing I do find important to point out is that not every Levite had the same role. When studying the Levites we can find out that there were four divisions of the tribe of Levi. Some handled the primary priestly roles and others fell into “supporting” roles.

Some Levites made the sacrifices and handled the sacred rituals and artifacts. Others served by doing the on-going maintenance, disassembly, transport, and erecting of the Tabernacle, etc.

An understanding of this can help us to avoid frustration. We are all chosen for the ultimate purpose of proclaiming Christ… but the methods may be different. Obviously all of us can’t be pastors, worship leaders, Sunday school teachers, etc. But, we all can be servants which is ultimately what a priest is.

  • We shall not want.

The Levites (priests) were called to give up their inheritance and portion to follow the call on their lives.

There is a story of a rich young ruler in Matthew who asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. In that story we see the dangers of trying to follow Jesus but hold on to our “stuff.” When Jesus told him to sell all he had, give to the poor, and then follow Jesus, the rich young ruler refused because he trusted his “portion” to satisfy his needs.

We see that story in Matthew 19:16:22,

And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

When the Day of Judgment comes which inheritance do you want to hold? The inheritance of Jesus or the inheritance of the world?

We know to live like Christ we must trust in Him solely to satisfy and fulfill our needs. Ultimately, He is sufficient.

In Luke 9:58 Jesus says,

“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

If Jesus is the ultimate high priest and we are to model our priesthood after His then I think the command and call is simple.

  • We must hold fast to our inheritance in Christ.

Hebrews 10:23 says,

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

We should hold fast to our inheritance given by Christ because out of the twelve tribes of the Israel the Lord chose one to be His own. The Levites. The priests.

Numbers 3:45b says,

The Levites shall be mine: I am the Lord.

Because we have been chosen we must hold fast because our inheritance is greater than anything we can attain here on earth.

Psalm 16:5 says,

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup.

Lamentations 3:24 says,

The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.

Why are we Confident?

A problem many people face today is a lack of healthy confidence… Christians aren’t exempt from this phenomenon. In a world that is so twisted and unpredictable it is difficult to be truly confident in anything. Fame can diminish in seconds. Fortune can dwindle at the snap of fingers or the stroke of a key. Success can change like the wind.

With all of these things completely out of our control how can we be confident? Why would we be confident?

Merriam-Webster defines confidence as:

  • a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something
  • a feeling or belief that someone or something is good or has the ability to succeed at something
  • the feeling of being certain that something will happen or that something is true

So… as Christians what does our confidence look like and where does it come from?

How can we feel confident as believers even though sometimes we feel as if we don’t even have a choice in the matter?

Psalm 44:6 says,

For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me.

The Psalmist in this passage could seem to have a “self-confidence” issue if we approached the passage without context and foreknowledge of what is really going on here. We see in Psalm 44:1-3 that that the Psalmist doesn’t trust in himself because his trust is fully in the Lord who has proven Himself to be worthy of our confidence.

Psalm 44:1-3 says,

O God, we have heard with our ears, our fathers have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, in the days of old: you with your own hand drove out the nations, but them you planted; you afflicted the peoples, but them you set free; for not by their own sword did they win the land, nor did their own arm save them, but your right hand and your arm, and the light of your face, for you delighted in them.

We see here that the Lord has proven Himself worthy of our confidence. Where else better could we place our trust?

Below we will talk about confidence in Christ and why we can and should be confident in Him alone. These things can serve as lessons or even reminders to help us maintain of confidence in the work of Christ in our everyday lives.

We are commanded to be confident in Christ.

The Bible tells us not to “throw away our confidence” in Hebrews 10:35,

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

Joshua 1:9 echoes this commandment to be “strong” and confident and provides a reason and way for to us to do so.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Deuteronomy 31:6 says the same thing,

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you He will not fail you or forsake you.

We are commanded to be confident in Christ not only because He is with us “wherever we go”… but also because He will not “fail” or “forsake” us.

It is totally unnatural for us physical beings to have confidence in something we can’t see. When we have confidence that a chair will hold us up part of that confidence is attributed to the fact that we can visibly see the chair that looks reasonably sturdy underneath us as we go to sit in it. But… on the other hand some of that confidence comes from past run-ins with chairs or furniture. They have held up their end of the deal in the past, and because of that we can be reasonably certain that they will do so again. It’s along those same lines that we can have confidence in Christ. The ultimate test of that that confidence was the cross, and we can clearly see that Christ held up His end of the deal! The price is paid in full… so why would He fail us now!

Proverbs 3:5-6 says,

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

There is no opponent bigger than God.

Psalm 27:1 says,

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?

Easier said than done…

When the world comes at us hard how are we supposed to maintain a sense of confidence that we are secure in Christ?

Job 11:18 answers that exact question when it says,

You will be confident, because there is hope. You will look carefully about and lie down in safety.

We can stay confident because there is hope in Christ! Like we stated earlier… the price has already been paid on our behalf. What else is left to fear? We understand that times will get hard but ultimately we will overcome because Christ himself overcame.

John 16:33 says,

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

We see an outstanding story of confidence in Christ in Exodus 14 when Moses has led the Israelites out of Egypt and the Egyptian army is pursuing them. That passage says in verses 10-14,

When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

When we face trials that test our confidence in Christ sometimes the thing we need to do is the thing that is hardest for us to do: that is to be silent and trust.

Our strength doesn’t come from ourselves.

Too often our lack of confidence comes from our memories of distant or even recent mistakes or failures. We all fall short and none of us can make it apart from Christ.

Philippians 4:13 says,

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Many times we place our confidence and strength on ourselves and our own abilities or skillset or on those around us, unfortunately, we know that we are all human and we all fail and fall from time to time. Confidence placed on any mortal cannot truly last the test of time because people will fail us. We will even fail ourselves.

Proverbs 3:26 does well to remind us as to what our strength and confidence truly rests on and comes from.

For the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

It is because of Christ and His perfection that we can securely place our confidence on Him and His work. It is enough. It won’t fail us.

Hebrews 4:16 says,

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

God hears and stands beside His people.

The last and most life altering point to increase our confidence is knowing that we do not stand alone. A soldier may think twice about walking into battle alone… but luckily for us we have an army of saints around us and are led by God into every trial we face.

Isaiah 41:10 says,

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

We can have confidence in knowing that Christ hears all the prayers of His people and doesn’t turn a blind eye or deaf ear to our need.

1 John 5:14 says,

This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

Psalm 55:22 says,

Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

We WILL face trial… and come out the other side victorious in the end.

Psalm 34:19 says,

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.

We can see that confidence in Christ and His work is something that can completely change the life of a believer. With the confidence that only Christ can give we can shake loose the chains of fear and inadequacy.

Colossians 3:3 says,

For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

So because our lives are hidden with Christ in God we can be assured that when that test of confidence comes that God is with us and is sufficient to “rise to the occasion” on our behalf. Romans 8:28 says,

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.