How to Have Confidence
My sweet little girl has all of the confidence in the world. In fact, she struts around the house in her mermaid costume like she owns the place. She fixes her breakfast and lunch with such pride. Her confidence is amazing.
Where is my confidence?
Paul warns in Philippians that confidence from the flesh is not of God. This means when we try to have confidence in our own abilities or accomplishments. The Holy Spirit has put a new purpose in our hearts, and our confidence will not come from the knowledge, or experiences we’ve had in the past.
As a young girl I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. It wasn’t from a deep pit of sinful behaviors Jesus saved me (although it was from a deep pit of a sinful nature). I could easily, like Paul, find my confidence in the following things:
My parents are Christians.
I had grandparents who were Christians.
I was saved at a young age, and I never did any of the “big” sins.”
I have studied God’s word for years.
I go to church.
Those things are only fleshly accomplishments. In fact, Paul says in Galatians, that we can’t even live this Christian life without the help of God. So God is our confidence in both salvation and sanctification – the renewing of our hearts and transforming of our minds.
Confidence is defined as: full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing: Full trust.
Where is my trust?
We would never say aloud: I trust my own abilities! But do we live that way? Do we go through each day, rarely a thought about God, or even a whispered prayer?
“Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:…..But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” Phil. 3:4, 7 (KJV)
According to Paul, in Philippians, my confidence will not come in whether or not I do those things. My conference is a heart issue. Where do I place my hopes, dreams, and trust for the future? If I’m looking back at all of the good things I’ve done, letting them out weigh the bed, I wonder – where is our confidence?
I’ll admit it: many times I think my check-list of Christian duties will give me peace of mind and a sense of confidence in my life. But they shouldn’t. And really, they don’t. Paul says we need to find our confidence in his knowledge of Jesus – not just about Jesus, but a relational knowledge. You know how you just “know” someone – Paul says that’s where his confidence lies: in knowing Christ.
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” Phil. 3:8-10 (KJV)
Paul wants to really have a deep relationship with Christ – so much so that he experiences the resurrection power of Jesus, but also comes with it a sharing of the sufferings. We might be tempted to skip that section, but we can’t escape the suffering in this world. It happens. Period. Life isn’t fair, and we all know it. But Jesus is more powerful than life and whether or not it is fair.
So, who do we have confidence in? It won’t be like the world tells us: money, friendship, and power. Our confidence doesn’t even come from the “good things” we’ve done for God. Our confidence will be in our relationship with God. If confidence means to “fully trust,” it makes sense then, doesn’t it?
If we fully trust God, then we will have confidence in a relationship with him. How do we do that? How do we develop a good relationship with Him? We read our Bible. We pray. We attend church and surround ourselves with good Christian people whenever possible. The things that we are tempted to “check list” are the things God uses to draw us to Him.
Don’t miss what Paul said earlier in Philippians 1:21: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Christ was everything to Paul. And if we want Him to be, He will be everything to us.