While confidence is a quality that everyone desires, self-confidence suggests one trusts primarily in his or her own abilities. We all know the “self-made” person, who has a firm trust in their education, professional abilities, athletic skills, looks, health, or material resources. Their belief in themselves produces a state of mind and manner that is visibly marked by freedom from uncertainty, self-doubt, or embarrassment.
But as believers we should desire another kind of confidence. This confidence is based on trust. Rather than a trust in “self”, it is a trust in God and who we are in Him. Who better to demonstrate the confidence that comes from trusting God than God’s only Son, the Lord Jesus? Even at the early age of twelve, when he was found by his parents teaching at the temple (Luke 2:41-52), Jesus was confident in His identity as the son of God.
He made you a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and gave you a fresh start. Your past is forgiven. The slate of your sins is erased. Your present is empowered by Jesus’ Spirit. And your future is guaranteed for all eternity. You are one with Christ. Therefore, you have no reason to be fearful of anything. Oh, you must have a healthy respect for the fragility of life and the need for wisdom and safety precautions. But there’s no reason to be anxious about your normal activities.
If your confidence is wavering while in a difficult situation, or you are seeing others suffer around you, remember who it is that you can trust. While trust in yourself is unstable, trust in Jesus Christ builds your life on solid rock. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:7).
The chances are good that, while you are reading this, you are sitting down. Before you took a seat, did you question whether or not the seat would hold you? Did you examine it for possible weaknesses? Did you ponder all of the things that could go wrong if you sat in it?
Most of us would agree we didn’t do any of those things. So, why do we trust an innate object more than we trust our Lord? The short answer is, we don’t. Instead, we have placed trust in our own knowledge, life experiences, and self. We’ve trained our minds to trust certain things - a chair, for example - based on how it has held us before. The good news is that we can also train our minds to trust the truth of God’s Word.
1. Believe and Know that His Word is Truth
We should renew our minds with His Word on a daily basis. Ephesians 4:21-24 teaches us that as we die to the old self, we put on Christ and become more like Him. A daily reading of scripture or spirit-filled literature will fill your mind with truth. The more you read it, the more that our mind will be renewed. As your mind is renewed, your faith will take root and grow.
2. Be Prepared to Defend the Truth
No matter how hard we try, corrupt or faithless thoughts will pop into our minds. In these moments, we must train our thoughts to line up with the Word of God that we’ve deposited into our hearts. 2 Corinthians 10:5 teaches us to take those thoughts captive and command them to line up with God’s Word. A thought only becomes ours when we begin to meditate on it. Instead, meditate on His Word.
We must remember that God’s Word doesn’t return void-it will accomplish what it’s sent out to do. God does not change, nor does he lie. Continue to remind yourself of these truths.
3. Remember All that He Has Done for You and Others
Our thoughts and actions rely heavily on experiences. This is why it is important to live a life of gratitude and love. When we are bombarded with doubt, it helps to recall the blessings He gave us, the trials He walked us through, and the stories of triumph He gave us in His Word.
As you continue to do these things, your confidence in Him will outweigh the confidence you’ve placed in yourself. God places great value on you. Savor this truth! In fact, you are so valuable that He sent His only Son to die for you (John 3:16). And because of God’s love, you never need to be afraid of personal challenges or difficult trials. Yes, times of trouble will come, and sometimes seem to be all around us, but rather than hiding in fear, have the confidence to trust your all-wise and loving heavenly Father. The wolves are out there, but the Good Shepherd knows that you are one of His sheep. He is always there with you and for you!
Lord, forgive me for putting more faith and trust in myself than in you. You are my father, my creator, the love of my life. Forgive me for thinking that I am the only one who had my best interests at heart. I will wholeheartedly try to die to self each and every day and grow in you. Please help me to do that. Thank you for being such an awesome and loving example. Amen.
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How have you seen God’s care for you demonstrated to you in the past? Does this bolster your confidence for you present circumstances?
Live a life of gratitude and love. Write down the things God has done for you. Meditate on them daily.