Confidence ”“ This World or the Kingdom World?
I read a sign this week that made me really stop and think, ”Hope ends when you stop believing”. How profound I thought and how true that statement is. If we feel we have lost hope then what exactly do we believe in and what happensÂ to the confidenceÂ in our trust? Have we lost our confidence or have we placed it in the wrong hands?
It is so easy in a world that consistently tells us that we should be self-sufficient to place our confidence in worldly things and not in kingdom importance. Through our head-strong way of wanting to be in control of our lives we often place our confidence in a DIY project involving other people, money, government, or material things to solve our problems. If you have ever tried to solve a problem this way you know that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but either way it doesn’t mean much in the kingdom world. It is so important that we place our confidence in the trust of God first and then let him use the other to help us.
Most of us get in our vehicles every day and travel somewhere for some reason and we have pretty high confidence that we will get there and back without incident. We place our confidence in our own ability as a driver, our vehicle’s maintenance, and maybe just a little confidence on other driver’s ability to at least stay on their side of the road. If we travel without incident or accident day in and out then our confidence gains and the hope that we will arrive to where we need to be is not given a lot of thought. However if a problem occurs then our confidenceÂ becomes shaken and our hope for safe travel often fades.
Many years ago when our children were in early elementary school I took them and my mother on a trip up in the mountains where we had rented a cabin. We traveled to my mother’s home picked her up and off we went. We spent a glorious spring week hiking, eating, relaxing, seeing, and experiencing all we could. We had traveled up and down mountains, on back roads, and all around. We had no problems as we had confidence in not only our own ability but confidence that our vehicle was well maintained. Our week ended and after dropping my mother back to her home the children and I traveled back to our home which is about three hours away by the Interstate system. Our ”stuff” filled the van with what we had carried plus the remnants of food, and anything we had acquired while gone. The tired childrenÂ complained and I grew wearyÂ with each mileÂ andÂ we all just wanted to be home as travel in the car is not a lot of fun with bored children. We were about an hour away from home, had just left a major city, and were traveling about 65 miles an hour down the Interstate when all of a sudden my van tilted and slammed into the road. I was in a state of shock as I watched my tire scoot out and bounce down the road heading to the median. It took all my strength to maintain the van in a straight line on my side of the Interstate lane as we skidded down the cement road on the metal rotor. I was finally able to maneuver the van to the shoulder before we were totally halted by the force of gravity. It was an excitement that I didn’t need to end my break with. Luckily no injuries occurred and no other vehicles involved themselves. We had two great ”Good Samaritans” who rescued us and one that just happened to have a car tow truck at his home which was nearby. He offered to get his wife, the truck, come back to pick us up, and take us to where we needed to go refusing payment of any kind. God was certainly looking out for us that day and although my confidence in man ramped up a notch or ten my confidence in vehicle maintenance fell greatly as my van had just been serviced with a tire rotation prior to us leaving. The results of the investigation concluded that the mechanic had not properly put this tire back on and with all the miles and mountain terrain it had chosen to dismount. Up to this point I had the highest of confidence in my van maintenance but that hopeÂ shattered with this event. Needless to say I never used that mechanic again and had other mechanics double-check everything before I left a garage from that point on as I no longer had confidence in their ability to follow through. This had not been an issue as long as there were no problems but now that there was an incident the confidence in trust was gone along with the promise of hope in safe travel.
When things do not go as we plan and expect our confidence can be shaken but this is where we must put forth our trust and boldly place it on the line. This week’s focus verse is about the confidence of placing our trust in God which gives us the hope to keep moving forward no matter what we may face. Jeremiah 17:7;
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and made the Lord their hope and confidence. (NLT)
Confidence ”“ The Blessed Hope of God
We have no doubt that God protected our family during this bizarre incident on the Interstate so many years ago and it provides a good illustration for this verse. This incident and others like it gives us the strength to place our trust fully in God and His faithfulness and not so much in human ability. Placing our trust in the Lord gives us a place to strengthen our emotions and build our spirituality giving us the hope and peace we so desire while on earth. If we tend to trust only in humans we will become weak in the ability to trust God fully which can lead to sin as we depend on other humans or ourselves to solve our problems.
It is important that we learn to place our real confidence in God during all times and really trust that God has our best interest at heart. Psalm 34:8;
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh the joys of those who take refuge in him! (NLT)
If we arm ourselves with this knowledge we will experience joy in Christ as this will provide the strength for us to draw upon when a crisis occurs not only in our lives but in the lives of others so we may help them. It is easy to think we do not need God when everything is going great and there are no problems and that is exactly what Satan would like us to do. It is Satan’s goal to steer us away from God through sin making us think that we do not need God. There is a wonderful clip from the movie God’s Not Dead that emphasizes this point so very clear as a mother who has dementia suddenly speaks to her son who is jeering and lamenting about how she trusted God and wore her faith all these years and now has this horrible disease while he has done whatever he wants and lives this great life.
Mother: Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble because he doesn’t want them turning to God. Sin is like a jail cell except it is all nice and comfy in there and there doesn’t seem to be any need to leave. The door is wide open until one day time runs out and the cell door slams shut and suddenly it is too late.
Eternal lives free of trouble are our promise, our salvation given to us through and by Christ. This is what should give us the confidence to place our trust fully in God’s hand. 1 Thessalonians 5:8;
But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. (NLT)
It is this truth that gives us the confidence that we need. (Titus 1:2)The Bible is our living weapon that backs our faith and gives us even more confidence to continue to believe and trust. (2 Peter 1:19) When we place our trust in God we have the strength to keep moving because we know the end results. Trust doesn’t mean that God will answer our prayers the way we wish now, He may say wait, He may say no but whatever he says we can know with confidence that He is with us forever. (Isaiah 41:13)
Grounded confidence in the Lord is where we will gain the strength we need when we place our trust in Him as it is there we will find the hope to move forward until He calls us home.
I pray all of you have a great week knowing your trust is in the Lord finding the hope to move forward in the confidence in eternal life.
Love in Christ,
What Are Your Thoughts?
Where do you place your confidence? Has your confidence in humans ever been shaken? Has your confidence in God been challenged? Do you place your confidence in money and investments? Does your trust lie in your material wealth? Can you use your experiences to help others learn to place their trust in God to lend them the confidence of hope? Join us in discussion; How God is working in your life?