When I see this scripture reference, my mind goes immediately to,
“For I know the plans I have for you,… plans to prosper you and not to harm you…”
Maybe that is your thought, as well. It IS a wonderful scripture!
New Thoughts Captured my Attention
This morning, as I was enjoying quiet time in Jeremiah 29:1-14, some phrases captured my attention in a startling way. I was blown away at the revelation that came to me as I read Jeremiah 29:5-7 (NLT).
“Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens and eat the fruit you produce. Marry, and have children. Then find spouses for them, and have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of Babylon. Pray to the Lord for that city where you are held captive, for if Babylon has peace, so will you.”
Suddenly, this thought hit me:
“What is your Babylon?”
And then, these questions:
What holds us in captivity?
How do we get out of it?
What can we do?
Sometimes, we come to a difficult place in life and we feel as if we are held captive in it. A serious illness, the death of a spouse, the end of a job, a career change, relocation, . . . the list is vast. Life happens. Many times what happens is out of our control, but it is NEVER out of God’s hands!
When life throws a curveball, it is too easy to become paralyzed, bitter, depressed, even frantic. God, however, says “Live life!” Re-read those verses. The Lord told His people to carry on with life, not to just sit or dwindle away. Keep reading, because the Lord also said,
“Pray to the Lord for that city where you are held captive.”
Pray for the company, the school, the country, the family…. whatever your “Babylon” is. When we offer up whatever has us down to the Lord, He can take that situation into His hands and deliver us from it. Remember this, though: God moves in His time and way. The solution to your dilemma may take time, but He does have the solution.
That familiar promise will come to fruition:
“For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not harm you…”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
This is the clincher:
“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,…and will bring you back from captivity.”
Jeremiah 29:12-14 NIV
Take every thought captive. Seek the Lord and His direction. Pray for the place where you are, that place that has you stuck. Know that the Lord has a plan, and he will bring you out better than before!
THAT is your confidence!
– Glenae Atchison
Last Chance to Link-up in the Legacy Link-upin June
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.
Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
God Chooses the Weak
Referring to verse 26, Lady Huntington, the rich and influential friend of Whitefield and Wesley, said she was going to heaven by an “m”: it isn’t any noble; instead, it is not many noble. Indeed, Jesus said it too when He expressed the point that it is difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 19:24)
It’s pretty obvious that God calls the weak.
He doesn’t look for the great or the wise. He chooses those who desperately need to depend on Him to make His call happen.
Consider the Patriarchs of the Bible.
Abraham was not even serving God when He was called.
Moses was a murderer and had a speech impediment.
Gideon was the youngest of the smallest and least important tribe of Israel but God used him in a mighty way to save the Israelites.
King Saul hid in the baggage when Saul announced him as the first king of Israel,
King David was a young boy when Samuel anointed him as the next king. Samuel thought his older brothers would make great kings, but God had other plans.
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Who Did Jesus Select to be Disciples?
Peter – a fisherman with no education who was always sticking his foot in his mouth. But God transformed him into a great leader and speaker.
James & John – brothers who fussed over who was the greatest. But God used them to write portions of scripture.
Matthew – a tax collector who overcharged his own people for his own benefit until Jesus got ahold of his life.
Who is Wise? Who is Foolish?
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
1 Corinthians 1:27
Early in life, I had no confidence in myself. I felt that God could not use me… even though I did have many talents. Surprisingly, when I married my pastor-husband, it somehow gave me “license” to speak; that maybe now as a pastor’s wife people might listen to my teaching. It gave me confidence. After my diagnosis of R.A. and chronic pain, I was again disturbed that now I really couldn’t serve God. But I felt I wasn’t finished. But I did still have something in my hands to give him … my mind, my computer, my knowledge was still available for Him to use.
God will use anyone who is willing. Just give him what you have.
When He called Moses, He asked him, “What do you have in your hand?” Moses replied, “a stick.” And wow! Did God ever use that stick? What do you have in your hand. Give God your stick! He’ll use it!
Fix our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
– Hebrews 12:2
Peter was sailing and in the middle of this storm he sees Jesus out on the water. He gets excited, The Lord of Life is coming! And he jumps out of the boat and onto the water and starts running toward The Truth. Then, his run slows and stops. His eyes lose sight of The Way and he sees the turmoil of dark storms behind Jesus. He looks to his sides and the waves are giants at war around him. As he looks back to the boat. He begins to sink.
I can’t blame Peter for this. I do the same so many times. But I have been made alive by the grace of God. I have in the past 11 years been to the ER more than 30 times, have had 5 surgeries, hospitalized 9 times, lost jobs, had several cars, I have migraines, neuralgia in my ribs as well as my leg, have wires with a battery in my ribs to help me breathe, and have lost a baby due to a miscarriage 8 years ago. It is hard when life is so unpredictable and we just do not know what is going to happen next in the middle of all that is happening.
Recently, my hearing loss was noted by my doctor and the specialist, the ENT. Last month I found that my hearing has drastically dropped in my right ear alone. I needed a hearing aid. Like, oh great, another thing has broken in this body. Just as I was finding my resolve in Christ, who alone keeps this mortal instrument held together by his love and grace for some reason, I get a call from the ENT.
‘Jon, I am worried about your hearing loss and the pain you have been experiencing on your right side of your head.’
(Nice, right, I already deal with major migraines that plague my left side. Now, my right side.)
He continued, ‘I would like you to have a CAT scan done to check for a tumor.’
I’m like well, ‘okay’.
A few days after this I get a call to schedule this CAT scan… about four weeks away. Nothing sooner available. Uuugh. Not knowing kinda sucks. My mind races through ‘what ifs’.
Stressors Tug at my Confidence
Consequently, everything around me: all the stressors of my five children being homeschooled, my masters classes, and yet more car problems start turning my little world darker. The blankets that I sleep under become so tossed and turned at night that it looks as if I slept in a tornado.
Oh, wait! I know the Truth!
Yeah, it slips my mind at times and I have to remind myself that come whatever the doctors say God is my God who loves me.
Come whatever scenario that washes over my mind, God has got me.
Come whatever breaks down in this body. God holds me together.
Come what may God has my wife and children and me.
What is Confidence?
Let’s consider it. Confidence is a kinda funny word. It comes from Latin, meaning ‘have full trust.‘
In giving trust I ponder who it is I am focusing on.
Is it myself?
Am I one of those people who walk through the world with my chest full of air and carrying oneself with trust in one’s temporary place in this world?
Or do I fix my eyes on God, the author of me?
In all of this, I have learned confidence in looking beyond the veil of ice-piercing pain, beyond the thunder cracking its whips in my ears, and I see Jesus. Even when the waters under my feet are pulling me down, I know Jesus and I find myself fixed in determination beyond the condemnations of this world and broken body to trust in the one who gives me real life.
Who do you trust in your storms?
P.S. How do you find confidence. Come write about scripture that gives you confidence today. Contact me or click to learn more about guest posting for us at Mandy and Michele – Just Holding it Together.
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”
Isaiah 40:7-8 (Berean Study Bible)
In our Cancel Culture, we can get a bit fearful about what is going to happen. We get concerned because the world doesn’t want to hear The Truth anymore. And we wonder what’s next…
Canceled~left and right
Christians are being threatened to be canceled and losing their businesses because of their beliefs. They are being banned from restaurants and schools because they won’t change what they believe. They have been verbally abused for no reason at all other than a cap they wear or a statement they make.
Events, and even some churches, are canceling preachers from coming to speak because of their message. Books and authors are being censored; taken off library shelves and even bookstore shelves. Our national heroes are being canceled by tearing down statues and changing the names of buildings and schools. Even social media is CANCELING our posts on our own accounts and disallowing us to post what we believe. Stores are being shut down for their “wrong” beliefs.
Cancel Culture Can’t Stop the Fire
But all through the ages, we have seen that God’s message continues no matter what happens. Even in the days of Daniel, the kings said stop praying or stop worshiping God. If you don’t, we will CANCEL you, literally threatened to be put to death. I love how the Hebrew children responded,
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
In this case, God saved them from the fire. And later he saved Daniel from the lions. But even if we are persecuted for speaking the Word of God, His Word will still go out. They may cancel the person, but they CANNOT cancel the message!
The Apostles and Believers Knew about Cancel Culture
Jesus proclaimed to Peter that “on this Rock, I will build my church”. It didn’t take long for the masses to turn on the disciples for the things they were preaching. The Early Church faced great persecution in their day. All but one disciple were killed for their faith. And history books tell us about Nero and his feats against the Church. The Apostle Paul was many times stoned, imprisoned, and finally killed for preaching the Gospel but listen to what he says,
And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the Word of God cannot be chained. 10 So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.
2 Timothy 2
Paul was willing to endure CANCELING for the sake of Christ.
God will Strengthen and Protect us
Jesus said, “in this world, we will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.” Don’t be fearful of what man can do to you. Jesus’ death and resurrection have overcome death and evil. We may experience physical death, but we will live on forever! (Revelation 20:6) As I have mentioned previously, Paul encouraged the Thessalonians that “God is faithful and He will strengthen you and guard you”. We can take that promise to the bank.
Remember what David said,
2 I am constantly hounded by those who slander me, and many are boldly attacking me. 3 But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. 4 I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?
God will guard us and strengthen us no matter what we may go through.
Don’t Think it Strange
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you … If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you”.
1 Peter 4:12, 14, NKJV
It’s not strange that society wants to cancel us. These trials only make us stronger. They cause us to lean hard onto the Lord.
We will be Rewarded in Heaven
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.
God sees us. He helps us. And He will reward us if we persevere. Together with God, we’ve got this.
History Proves Canceling Does Not Work
There have been many throughout history who have given their lives for the Gospel. Consider how believers were persecuted in the Bible. But persecution actually caused the Word of God to spread all over the known world.
19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
Many nations have tried to suppress the Word of God by making it illegal to worship God or to evangelize pushing the Church underground. But later when missionaries returned to these places, they found that the Church had multiplied and strengthened during those years of persecution.
God is Busy About His Plan
So though it may be scary to think about the course of our country and our own lives. We can be comforted to know that God is still working. He is either preparing to spark a new fire of revival in the land or…
it is just possible that He may be at this time, rising from His Throne to call His Church home. If you aren’t certain about this, take time to read Jesus’ discourse on the end times in Matthew 24:3-31
There is ONE THING I am glad got CANCELED
No matter who has canceled what, I can depend on one thing. My sin debt has been canceled and I look forward to my citizenship in Heaven. Praise God! Jesus canceled my debt.
He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.
Life is hard. It’s tough. And it’s definitely not fair.
Life seems to be tearing so many of us apart inside. Somehow, we must learn that our God is enough for all our needs. I know in my own life, that God’s graces are the only thing that has brought me through. In recent years, I have been fighting auto-immune diseases that are causing me great pain. But through it all, God’s graces have been enough for me. (My story was written several years ago HERE.. However, I am planning an update of that series beginning in May.)
Certainly, there are times that I am discouraged
I wonder how much more I can bear, but then if I get my eyes back on Jesus and His graces, He carries me through. Just like the poem, “Footprints” says when things are the toughest, that is when Jesus carries me! Then when we look back, we can say as Jacob did, “God was here, and I didn’t even know it!” (Genesis 28)
One of the Best Gifts from God is Faith
One of God’s greatest graces to me has been the gift of faith. Thankfully, through every trial, my faith has pulled me through. I have been able to rest in his sheltering arms to get to the other side of the mountain.
To begin with, we have enough faith to believe that God exists.
Secondly, we took the step of faith to believe He sent His Son to pay our debts.
And now we just have to grow that faith until we have a victorious life. Just as the hymn by John H. Yates says… “Faith is the Victory that Overcomes the World!”
The Apostle Paul told Timothy that his mother and grandmother had the gift of faith and that he (Timothy) had the same gift and he needed to “fan the flames of that gift“. (2 Tim 1:6). We need to work at building our faith. When God gives us a gift, He plants the seeds in our lives and we must do our part to make them grow. He often places us in situations that make our faith grow IF we take the right actions.
Let’s consider some actions that will grow our faith.
F – Fear Not
(or worry not, or fret not, or doubt not, you fill in the blank) (2 Timothy 1:5-14)
Paul continued in verse 7, “God has not given us the spirit of fear and timidity, but the spirit of power, love and self-discipline.” We have to use that self-discipline to stop worrying and start believing the God can work it out. God saved us and he has brought us through so many things already. We need to lean on those facts, rather than worrying about the future (which, by the way, we have very little control of).
So take on the Australian attitude .. “No worries!” or
maybe the Bahamian idea “No Problem, Mon!” or
the retro theme “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!”
Choose what you may, just STOP WORRYING!
A – Acknowledge our Concern & Ask God for help.
Did you ever notice that the base word in “confidence” is “confide”? So … maybe in order to have confidence, we should confide in the Lord about our fears and concerns. God wants to know about our concerns. 1 Peter 5:7 And we can have confidence that God will help us!
Matthew 11 says “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Invoke seems a hard word. Maybe indicating the forcing of something. But isn’t that what we must do? Sometimes praise is hard. Hebrews 13:14-15 says “let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God“.
Continual Praise .. that means, at times we must praise the Lord, even when it’s hard.
Even when we don’t want to.
I am reminded of a time in college. Easter break was coming and I was so ready to get home for a few days. We woke to snow on the ground that Friday and I received a phone call from my father saying I should not come home because the roads between us were too dangerous. I was heart-broken. I went to my final class that morning with a heavy heart. We began class each day with prayer, and guess who the professor called on to pray… ME!
I didn’t want to pray.
What could I say to God at this moment?
I was bummed.
We bowed our heads and the words came from my mouth. “Thank you for the beautiful snow.” Wow! I really couldn’t believe the words were coming out of my mouth! Where did that come from? But guess what … staying at school brought new opportunities and a wonderful Easter weekend.
I think if we can muster up a bit of praise and singing, we’ll soon have forgotten the worries and find the joy.
T – Trust His Promises
We’ll never understand what’s going on in the world, but God knows. He sees the whole picture and He knows best. When you feel worries and struggles coming your way. Get into the Word.
Better yet, live in The Word always.
Memorize His promises and lean on them.
Sadly, too many of us never pick up our Bible, open its pages and read. And those of us who do, do it way too little. There are so many ways to get the Word into your mind. You don’t have to sit down and read it anymore; now you can listen to it on a CD or MP3. You can carry a little scripture card in your pocket. You can tape verses to your mirror or your computer monitor.
We need to memorize it. Hide God’s Word in our hearts.
We can’t trust His promises if we don’t know what they are.
H – Hide in the Shelter of His Arms
After we do the aforementioned things, we can then rest in his arms. No Worries.
God’s got our back.
He’s got our future.
He is in control!
I love the illustration we were given in the Online Bible Study, A Confident Heart by Renee Swope; we’re in a God Sandwich! The Psalmist said, “You go before me and follow me. You place Your hand of blessing on my head.” (Psalm 139:5)
That’s when we know that GOD IS ENOUGH.
Rest in this truth today. We can rest knowing that God is all around us taking care of the details.
When we accept Christ’s wonderful gift of salvation, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is like earnest money. His indwelling in a believer is the proof of God’s guarantee that He will follow through with His promise and bring us home to dwell with Him forever in Heaven.
This is our confident hope!
One glorious day we will be fully alive and free from the temptation to sin as we live eternally in God’s physical presence. We have a guaranteed inheritance through Jesus. Paul wanted the Ephesian believers to know the great magnitude of this rich inheritance in God’s people.
We are HIS Inheritance
We usually think only of our inheritance as salvation, righteousness, or Heaven, but Paul wanted the Ephesians to understand they were so precious to God that He considered them His own inheritance. Knowing our spiritual poverty, we wonder how God can find anything of value in us, let alone His own inheritance.
His Investments in Us
Yet God creates unspeakable riches out of poor men and women because He invests Himself in them. He has invested riches of love, riches of wisdom, riches of suffering, riches of glory, and riches of holy transformation. These things accrue to a rich inheritance in the saints. (Enduring Word) He has invested Himself in us and His return on that investment will be magnificent!
“Because of His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” (1 Peter 1:3-9)
It’s a Glorious Hope!
What a glorious hope we have! I urge you to read the entire passage in 1 Peter! No matter what we face in life, hope in Jesus is certain and sure, never fading away. This confident hope comes from the sealing of the Holy Spirit. We know, that we know, that we know, that God holds our lives and our souls for eternity, sustaining us through His Word.
We can trust Him with eternity, with our next breath, our next celebration or tragedy; He will never change or abandon us. We can remind ourselves of His faithfulness by
Hold Tightly to Your Confident Hope
Holding tightly to our assured hope is hard, but if we keep a written record of God’s specific blessings, we can remind ourselves of His faithfulness when our faith is weak. In my own life, there have been many trials, but my hope is found in knowing God is faithful and never fails.
I like to use Psalm 136 as a template to write my own blessings from God; repeating after each blessing, “His faithful love endures forever.” I pray you have this confident hope in Christ! It is yours by giving your life completely to Him. Leave everything in His hands and you will find peace, hope and security.
This is just an excerpt of the Bible Study I wrote for Gracefully truthful. Follow this link to read more.
As I began thinking on verses about confidence in the Lord. I was reminded of a dear hymn that speaks of my confidence in my salvation through Jesus Christ. I wanted to share a bit about this hymn today.
The Story Behind the Hymn
Here, in Major Whittle’s own words, is what took place that night: “I dropped on my knees and held the boy’s hand in mine. In a few broken words I confessed my sins and asked Christ to forgive me. I believed right there that He did forgive me. I then prayed earnestly for the boy. He became quiet and pressed my hand as I prayed and pleaded God’s promises. When I arose from my knees, he was dead. A look of peace had come over his troubled face, and I cannot but believe that God who used him to bring me to the Savior, used me to lead him to trust Christ’s precious blood and find pardon. I hope to meet him in heaven.”
Years later, James McGranahan put music to many of Major Whittle’s hymns, including I Know Whom I Have Believed. The chorus of the hymn is based on 2 Timothy 1:12…
Thoughts on 2 Timothy.. I Believe!
Paul wrote this letter from his second Roman imprisonment, and soon after he wrote this letter he was condemned and executed in Rome at the command of Nero. Paul sensed this; therefore 2 Timothy is not only the last letter we have from Paul, there is also a note of urgency and passion we might expect from a man who knew he would soon be executed.
David Guzik, Enduring Word
Last Words of Confidence
Last words are always important. Knowing that this was Paul’s last letter encourages even me that he was first concerned about encouraging his mentorees. He talk about how he was certain of the faith of not only Timothy but also Timothy’s mother and grandmother. It’s something to remember that we too should encourage the faith of those around us and those we are mentoring.
Have No Fear
Then he reminds Timothy to not let fear take hold in his life because God has given us so much more to remain confident.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 TImothy 1:7
When we lose a loved one, at times, we wonder how can we go on? How can we even continue without the prayers of the Saints to whom we look to for guidance? I’ll tell you that I believe, the prayers of the saints continue on much longer beyond their death. I have seen it. My grandmother was a prayer warrior. Her prayers still go up and down between heaven and earth. A former pastor shared that he wondered who would pray for him after the death of his mother. Low and behold, his sister stepped in as an amazing prayer warrior. So don’t lose faith. The prayers of the faithful will continue to surround the throne of Grace.
Don’t Be Ashamed
Paul encouraged Timothy also to be strong in His faith and in sharing God’s Word with unbelievers. Oh, in these last days we must remain bold to win as many as possible before His Return. Recall that it is only through the blood of the Lamb that we even have faith and through the Holy Spirit that men are called to righteousness.
We must remain unashamed. Don’t water down the gospel to make it easier. There isn’t time. We must shed the light in the darkness that only God can make things right and remove sin in our lives.
We all need confidence; however, the question is… is this true confidence? From where are you getting your confidence? Unfortunately, self-confidence often comes from our success, our education, comparing ourselves to others, and the list goes on. So where can we get confidence?
Self-Confidence vs. God-Confidence
Webster says self-confidence is confidence in oneself and in one’s powers and abilities. The word will tell you this is what you need to be successful. But depending on our own abilities and strength will let us down. Because our own abilities are fleeting. In a moment, life can turn on a dime and leave you with nothing.
Consider these verses…
Hebrews 13:5-6 “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Proverbs 11:28 “Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.”
My family knows from experience that your savings account will not keep you safe. Money can be gone in an instant for many reasons. For us, sickness and loss of jobs loss widdled away at our savings quite quickly.
We had to depend fully on God because there was nothing else to depend on. We didn’t have that much to fall back on in the first place but It gave us a kind of false confidence to have a small nest egg. We learned quickly that trust in God only truly comes when you have nothing left but Him to depend on. That is true confidence.
This verse came alive for me as I lay flat on my back for months.
Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.”
Confidence in Beauty?
1 Peter 3:3-4 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornments, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
We can’t depend on our good looks. Some of us don’t have much to begin with but beauty is fleeting. Now that I am pushing 60, I can see that this is definitely true. Age takes its toll and gravity does the rest.
But we can lose our looks at a young age also. One fleeting moment can change everything.. a car accident, cancer, a burn, an attack. You can see we won’t go far if we depend on our beauty.
Micah 7:5 “Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with the woman who lies in your embrace guard the words of your lips.”
How about Friends and Family?
We can’t rely on people. Quicker than a flash, people will turn on you without even blinking an eye. Think about Samson. He trusted Delilah and lost his freedom, his eye-sight, his strength, and so much more. There is only One Who you can trust. That would be God, Himself.
True Confidence Comes from God
When we depend on God for our success, it doesn’t really matter where our strengths and abilities lie. God can do amazing things when we rely on Him.
I am Confident in this…
Psalm 118:8 “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
I’ll be breaking these verses down in the coming months. I encourage you to follow us through notifications or through our newsletter. We want to help build your confidence in God.
But to get you started in God-confidence, start with meditating on this verse.
1 John 4:16-18 “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world, we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Our confidence comes in first trusting Jesus Christ as our Savior.
Acknowledging Him as the Son of God. And acknowledging our sinfulness. Believing that Jesus came to earth to live a perfect life and to die in our place, taking on our punishment and rising again to defeat death and the grave!
And Finally, we must confess our sins, admitting that we have turned away from God and now will repent, turn from our sins and back to God.
Have you done this?
If so I implore you to search the Bible and find the answers. Here is a good place to start… Knowing God
Recently, the Lord has been waking me up early and making a specific request. Sometimes to pray, sometimes to read. Today, He said read Acts 3 & 4. I wondered what God might have for me in Peter’s first sermon to the crowds and their first astounding miracles.
As you read this verse that jumped out at me today, keep in mind my ONEWORD this year is Confidence.
Now when the men of the Sanhedrin (Jewish High Court) saw the confidence and boldness of Peter and John and grasped the fact that they were uneducated and untrained [ordinary] men, they were astounded and began to recognize that they had been with Jesus.
Acts 4:13, AMP
They had Confidence and Boldness
Ogilvie states that “The word boldness means lucid and daring statement. In Greek, the word is parresia, ‘telling it all’, translates as boldness or confidence”. It was very notable that the disciples had a new confidence after they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
I can relate to Peter, being a Type “A” person, I have found myself sticking my foot in my mouth more often than I care to admit. Even at times when I was trying to be encouraging, words just came out totally wrong. This in itself caused me to be less confident or bold. But God has been changing that in me. A few years ago before I was blogging, my ONEWORD was Bold.
But, oh, the change when the Holy Spirit takes over our lives. Suddenly Peter became a great preacher with so much wisdom. It wasn’t really Peter speaking, it was the Holy Spirit speaking through Peter. I have held tightly to the promise that God will give us the words to say!
“When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
And later, He said,
“When they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.”
Mark 13:11, Matthew 10:19
Uneducated and Untrained
The disciples were just ordinary men who loved Jesus. God loves to use people with no education or training because all the glory goes to God. I’m sure you have heard of such servants of God like Charles Spurgeon, D.L. Moody, William Carey, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Hudson Taylor.
Mind you, this does not mean God doesn’t use the educated. There is a long list of greatly educated and trained people used mightly by God; Moses, Daniel, and Paul are all Biblical examples. Augustine, Martin Luther, and Billy Graham are just a few historical examples. It’s just as wrong to think that formal education disqualifies someone for effective service as it is to think that it automatically qualifies someone for effective service. (Guzik)
But for me, I am encouraged that God can use anyone. I have a degree. But I certainly don’t count myself among the above-mentioned leaders. My point is that God can and will use me if I allow His Holy Spirit to work in my life. Since I have been blogging, I am sometimes amazed to see the words that He gives to me. And all the glory has to go to Him. I was never much of a writer, but God is astounding even me by how He inspires me.
People were Astounded and Realized they had been with Jesus
Now that’s where the Glory of God comes in… when others can see Jesus working in you. That is my desire. I want my confidence and boldness to come from the Holy Spirit within me; not from my own vain-glory.
Seeing the Good Things of God in the Land of the Living
Oh! How I truly believe that God has so many good things in the land of the living. Don’t you love that word “lavish”? Webster says it means “extending or bestowing profusely.” Wow! that is cool! That is a lot of goodness, my friend. And I am choosing to look for it this year.
Hidden in His Shelter
I am hidden in the shelter. this reminds me again of Psalm 91. God has us in his pavilion. We are protected from all the evil that is going on all around us. That gives me such a feeling of peace inside. I know, no, I am confident that God is going to protect me this year from whatever may come across my path. I am safe in the arms of God!
What About You?
Are you confident that You are His? Do you fear the Lord? This is not a fear of being scared of Him. This is a fear that reverences God. You see the awesomeness of His character and you believe fully in Him. It the love we have for him mentioned in the SHEMA.
Trust in God today with all your heart. If you need more information about following after Him, just follow this link.
Confident in Him;
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