Remember the feeling that comes when something is new or just starting? Perhaps it was a new diet or exercise program, or maybe it was a new job or relationship. You didn’t care what other people thought, and you felt confident nothing could stop success. You also might have felt that whatever “it” was would finally make you happy.
Unfortunately, feelings tend to fade with time, and eventually enthusiasm wanes.
As Christians, we know that our spiritual lives are not immune to this fading of feelings, and the writer of Hebrews (10:32-39) calls for a return to that original confidence. This portion of scripture encourages us to find that excitement again. What instructions does it hold for regaining our confidence in our faith?
- Don’t throw away the confident trust (v. 35). Instead, nurture it through spending time with the Lord and in fellowship with other believers. Realize that the best way to lose this confidence is to do absolutely nothing.
- Remember the rewards (v. 36). What are the rewards? Ultimately, eternal life in Heaven with Jesus. This side of heaven, we receive the rewards of His blessings, rewards that are as numerous as the stars in the sky.
- Endure with patience (v. 36). Endurance shows that faith is real, and our confidence grows by enduring the struggles of living in an imperfect world.
- Continue to do God’s will (v. 36). Even though our feelings may pull us other directions and toward wanting to fulfill our own wills, continuing to focus on His will builds confidence. And as our confidence in Him grows, our fleshly desires weaken.
- Live by faith (v. 39). Faith means that we have confidence in that which we cannot tangibly see. It means we trust what the Word of God says, and we trust His working in our lives for good.
While David’s entire life provides a terrific example of confidence in God, let’s look toward the beginning when his life intersects with Goliath’s. (You can read the entire story in 1 Samuel 17.) David was in no way Goliath’s equal, but David played to his strengths as well as to the element of surprise. He let God take care of His weaknesses.
David knew he could defeat Goliath because he had defeated the lion and the bear when caring for his sheep. He remembered what God had done for him in those situations, and he knew He would do it again in this one.
Just like David’s confidence was built by spending time with God, our confidence is built the same way. When we read our Bibles and learn about His long history of faithfulness, redemption, restoration, goodness, mercy and grace, we become increasingly confident that what He did for the people in the Bible, He’ll do for us too.
Confidence, ultimately, is a matter of focus. We can focus on self or others OR on who has been, is and always will be. Have confidence in others where appropriate, but avoid letting anyone but God be your source of confidence.
And remember, that just like with love, confidence cannot be based on a feeling. It will fail you if it is. Confidence must be built and earned, something that our loving God has done tirelessly for thousands of years and continues to do for us still today.
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