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.