June 20, 2021

Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence


            Confidence! A treasure of extraordinary value.

You must have it. Life cannot be lived well without it. Lose it and all your water will be bitter.

            What is it? Confidence is the belief or feeling that you can rely on someone or something. It is a feeling of certainty about the truth of something. It is feeling sure of yourself and your abilities.

Think of it as trust. When you have confidence in your boss, your pastor, your spouse or the team of people with whom you work, it means that you trust them. Having confidence in yourself gives you the self-assurance that you can accomplish a task assigned to you.

            When you are sick, you need confidence in your doctor, and in the medicine prescribed for you. When your car or truck needs repair, you seek out a mechanic you trust. In every arena of life, confidence is a necessary ingredient. You will cease asking for the services of people in whom you have no confidence.

            Friendships are often lost if we lose confidence in the loyalty of our friends. A relationship is weakened if you begin suspecting that a certain friend is speaking ill of you behind your back. 

            If you lose confidence in the faithfulness of your spouse, your marriage will begin to crumble. Cynicism may poison your mind if you lose confidence in the integrity of your boss or your colleagues. Without confidence in your own giftedness, you will not be able to work effectively. Confidence! You dare not leave home without it.

            Confidence is no less important in the spiritual realm. Christian faith, for example, is confidence in God. I ran across a delightful phrase in the New Testament book known as Hebrews. In chapter ten, the writer implores us to not “throw away” our confidence. And he explains why: so that our faith may be “richly rewarded.” He goes on to say, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

            J. B. Phillips provides us with this helpful translation: “Don’t throw away your trust now—it carries with it a rich reward in the world to come. Patient endurance is what you need if, after doing God’s will, you are to receive what he has promised.”

            The writer was addressing Christians who were being tempted, by persecution and suffering, to lose confidence in God and in what he had done for them through the sacrificial death of Christ. To persevere requires confidence in God, and unless we remain faithful to the end, we shall not receive the rewards God has promised. It blesses me to observe that the writer has confidence in the Christians to whom he is writing for he closes chapter ten by declaring with hope, “We are not of those who shrink back, and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.”

            My heart leaped within me when I read that! I thought, “Yes, Lord, I will not shrink back when suffering and death tempt me to lose confidence in You. I will stand firm with those who believe! So, I scribbled quickly a list of beliefs in which I have the utmost confidence.

            I am confident that God is love. He is not the author of sickness but hurts with us when we are sick. Because God is love, His mercies are new every morning – and available to all who seek them.

            God is faithful. He keeps his promises, all of them.

            God is like Jesus. When I look at the Jesus portrayed by the Gospels, I am looking at God, the Father of our Lord, and our heavenly Father. 

            God does not lie. Satan is the father of lies. What God says, I can believe and stake my future on its truthfulness.

            God can change a sinner into a saint. I know He can do it. He changed me. I have seen Him change broken sinners into devout disciples of Jesus. 

            I am certain the Bible is not just another book; it is THE BOOK. In it God gives us his guidelines for living. I am certain that Isaiah was right: “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”

            God sent Jesus into the world to die for our sins. God raised Jesus from the dead and ever since the Risen Lord has invited all people of every race to come to Him and be saved and be transformed into His servants.

Life at its best is life in Christ. And that life does not end in the cemetery but continues beyond the death of the body in the Father’s House.

            In all this I have unshakable confidence. If your circumstances are tempting you to lose confidence in God, I know how that feels. I have been in that dark hole of doubt. But Jesus led me out of that darkness! So, I plead with you, don’t throw away your confidence! Keep it! Nurture it!  Treasure it! Strengthen it! Hold on to it so that one day you can claim the rich reward God has promised to all who believe! You can do it – with His help! + + +