Recently my friend and preaching colleague, Leland Ping, posted a short piece about confidence that is worthy of our serious reflection and application.
“There are a number of things that we can be confident in,” Leland observed. “Our abilities. Our talents. Our finances. The list can go on and on. But, the things we are confident in are often the very things that we truly, in the end, cannot really count on.”
Leland cited Philippians 3:5 where the apostle Paul “acknowledged this very fact.”
“If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.”
Yet with all of those impressive credentials, Paul said they were “rubbish” compared to “knowing Christ.”
Leland then offered these observations
“We can, for example, be confident in God’s word. The Bible is God’s inspired volume and is truly that which can be trusted. No other book matters like God’s. We must read it regularly and apply its teachings in order to fully satisfy our God and live life to the fullest. A failure to study the Bible is a failure to trust in that which truly matters.”
“We can also be confident in our Lord Himself. The apostle John wrote that we can be confident in His grace and forgiveness in 1John 1:9. We don’t have to “wonder” whether or not our confessed and repented of sins are forgiven. Instead, we take great assurance in the promise of our Father and the Son in providing us said redemption of all wrongs we have done.”
“Let’s be confident in God, His Son, His word, and His ways. Let’s never be overconfident in this life or our own abilities. The things that seem to matter to the world and, if we’re not careful, end up mattering to us, are truly unimportant. Let’s be confident in the Lord – today and always.”
Leland’s remarks remind us of another great Bible character whose confidence was in the Lord, and not his mighty position, power, and prominence. In Psalm 25 David wrote, “In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.”
In Psalm 71:5-6 David says that his confidence in Jehovah began from his very earliest remembrances. “For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord,
my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you…”
Leland’s thoughts plus Paul’s attitude and David’s example should challenge our thinking with these questions:
- In what or whom are you putting your trust?
- What messages are you believing that are shaping your decisions, words, and actions?
- Have material accomplishments or secular success undermined your total confidence in Christ?
The basis of our confidence ought to reflected in the words of the wise man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
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