Several years ago I heard a story about a little girl who was unaccompanied on a cross country flight.
Soon after takeoff, the pilot’s voice came on and calmly told the passengers, “We will not be serving the beverages at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is fastened.”
Pretty soon the turbulence increased. Lightning was flashing. Thunder was cracking. And the plane was shaking. Many of the passengers were concerned. The man relating the incident, a veteran of many flights, even confessed, he was feeling some discomfort.
Then he noticed the little girl across the aisle. She had tucked her feet beneath her and was reading a book, seemingly oblivious to the storm and the turbulence.
Finally, as the storm passed and the ride became smoother, the gentleman leaned over and said to the little girl, “You sure are brave. That rough ride didn’t seem to bother you.”
The child looked up, smiled and said, “Oh, I wasn’t afraid. My Daddy is the pilot. He’s taking me home.”
This story illustrates the importance of confidence in our lives when we face turbulent times. Confidence is easy when we have something or someone to trust. To believe in. And to count on.
I am repeatedly reminded as I read the epistles of Paul of his deep confidence in Christ. Although his life hung in the balance while imprisoned in Rome, three times in Philippians he speaks of his confidence as it relates to his relationship with the Lord. (Phil 1:6, 14, 25). Whether he lived or died all would be well. The Gospel was preached. God was glorified. And Paul would rejoice.
When writing to Timothy about the same time period he urged him not to be ashamed of his imprisonment. But rather be willing to suffer for the gospel. Then he wrote these encouraging, positive, assuring words:
“For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.”(2 Tim. 1:12)
Consider the words that speak to Paul’s deep confidence in Christ.
I know. Paul’s confidence was grounded in knowledge. The word “know” here means “to perceive with the senses.” He knew Christ. He had experienced God’s grace. And his walk with the Lord was personal.
How’s your relationship with the Lord? Have you known His providential care? His blessings?
I have believed. Faith is essential to confidence. Paul’s faith was founded in the Scriptures. He knew the Word. He believed. There was no doubt.
Your confidence is never going to grow apart from the Bible. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17). Get into the Word. Read. Think. Study. Meditate. And pray for wisdom, insight, and guidance.
I am convinced. Conviction is essential to confidence. There was no wavering. No questioning. No distrust. No misgivings. Only assurance.
Skeptics, critics, and agnostics are all around us. They will try to undermine your faith and tempt you to compromise your convictions. Don’t listen. Don’t be deceived. Be strong. Stand fast. And be assured in God’s precious promises.
He is able. Paul’s knowledge, faith, and conviction were firmly fixed on God’s ability to watch over Him. Paul was guarded by soldiers. But he was guarded by one greater–God. He knew the Lord would keep watch over him.
You know it too. God guided Abraham in his journeys. He raised up Moses to be a great leader. He empowered Joshua to conquer Canaan. He protected David when assaulted by Saul. And he provided for Paul’s every need. God is able.
Whatever your need. Regardless of your challenges. In spite of your circumstances. God will provide. He is able.
I have entrusted. This means a deposit one makes for safe keeping. The apostle had deposited his soul and spirit in the safekeeping of the Savior. He was convinced of Christ’s care and His faithful protection.
Trust the Lord with all your heart. Don’t doubt for a moment that your deposit is safely assured.
Whatever turbulence you face in life. Don’t fear. Your Father is the pilot. He will see you safely home.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman