Have Confidence in God
Life can involve all kinds of problems and struggles. Each day presents a series of challenges for us to work through. How can we meet and solve these challenges? We can have complete confidence that the outcome will be good.
But it is not self-confidence or trust of our own abilities that we should rely on. Instead, we should have confidence in God -- confidence that includes trust, courage, faith, comfort, and expectation. We can trust and have faith in God. We can get strength and courage from God. We can find comfort and the promise of safety with God. These give us the confidence to expect good from God.
With this confidence in God, I've found four good ways to make a positive difference in my life. You can try them, too.
- Leap for your goals.
- Speak the word of God.
- Run towards the enemy (rather than be afraid of it).
- Remember that your confidence and strength comes from God!
I recently had an experience that illustrated to me how free we are when we have confidence that we are constantly safe in God's arms. I was at summer camp and was doing an activity that was specifically designed to test a person's trust. It's called the "Leap of Faith."
First, I put on a harness and a helmet. Then I climbed up a tall pole, which was about as big around as a telephone pole, using metal rungs on the sides. When I got to the top, I tried try to stand up. This was hard because the pole was swaying slightly in the wind; there was nothing to hold onto as I tried to stand up; and there was just a little bit of space on the top on which to stand.
Once I stood up, I had to get off the pole on to a trapeze that was suspended in the air. But the trapeze was far enough away from me that I had to jump to get to it. If I didn't jump far enough, I would fall. But the harness would keep me from hitting the ground -- as long as the person securing the harness with a rope could hold me up!
I had watched other people do the activity before me. Some of them stood up on the pole for a long time and said that they were too afraid to jump. But I resolved to be confident and jump without fear. And I did! I had no fear when I jumped and was able to reach the trapeze.
It was fun afterward to see a picture that was taken as I jumped. I was completely outstretched, eyes fixed on the trapeze. I saw my leaping experience as symbolic of the way we try to reach our goals in life. It takes confidence and trust to jump for your goals. This is only one of many times that I have been faced with a challenge and been able to trust in God and overcome it. Taking a "Leap of Faith" in our lives can be hard, but is not impossible with God.
The Bible has many examples of people who were confident because they trusted in God. When Moses was afraid to talk to Pharaoh and free the people of Israel, God told him that he would put the words into Moses' mouth. We read in the Bible, "And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say" (Ex 4:11-12). So Moses learned how to have confidence and do as God commands.
Run to the Challenge!
David also had a lot of confidence in God. When he went up against Goliath, he knew that God was protecting him. David had no doubts at all. The Bible says, "And it came to pass, when the Philistine [Goliath] arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine" (1 Sam 17:48). Notice how David didn't reluctantly go to fight; he ran! That's confidence.
Psalms 91 says, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.... For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all the ways" (1-2, 11). Placing trust in God to kept David safe and gave him the confidence he needed to face and defeat the foe.
Remember Your Strength Comes from God!
Jesus clearly demonstrated the result of placing full confidence in God and explained how we can find strength in God. When talking to his disciples, Jesus said, "With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible" (Matt 19:26) and, "I can of mine own self do nothing" (John 5:30). Jesus knew that God was the source of all power, so everything he did was actually God's work. We don't rely on our own strength, intelligence, or insight. We rely on God.
Since God is All-powerful, we have nothing to fear. We have every right to go about life without fear or doubt -- to live confidently. God has a plan for us. So if we ever feel as if we're straying from the path, we can trust in God who guides us.
If we put faith and trust in our own abilities, we might be just fine. But in order to truly have confidence in our lives, we need to place our full confidence in God. We will go far if we leap, speak, run, and remember!