This past Saturday I received one of the greatest compliments that I have ever been given. I was at a Beth Moore conference in Sioux Falls, SD. The place I called home for nearly a decade. It was such a precious experience to be there, but the greatest gift that I received was not even in my realm of comprehension. I could not have dreamed something so wonderful. It was a blessing straight from God in Heaven.
At the conference I ran into a friend who lives in Sioux Falls, who I have not seen in such a long time. Seeing her was a joyous surprise. Then she said the most amazing thing. She said she was recently thinking about me because her Bible group was studying confidence. She told me when that she thought of me, because I am one of the most confident women that she knows and the confidence that shows through me could only come from God.
Wow, a compliment of that magnitude just took my breath away. As it has been soaking into my heart, it has just made me cry. It is so wonderful that I keep thinking about it. Isn’t that just a beautiful thing to say?
This compliment has got me pondering confidence. What does it mean? What is it? Where does it come from? Where should it be? This got me to go searching and inspired me to do some comparisons.
Before I even began digging I wrote down some thoughts that I already had about confidence. If you are going on a journey it is always good to know where you are starting from to help you map out how to get where you are going.
I want to be confident. I think of confidence as being able to face fears and challenges in a bold manner. It is not letting those fears, worries and anxieties overcome me. I think it is also about having hope and knowing to the depths of my soul that in the end it is going to be alright.
I should say, right now, that I do not see myself as a confident woman. I see myself as a very weak woman who is struggles with insecurities and fears. I get very nervous. I battle with my fleshly worries. I compensate for this by trying to plan everything, control circumstances to the best of my ability and tend to the tiniest of details.
Let me give you an illustration. Do you like candy bars? I am a big fan of Kit Kat bars. I enjoy the chocolate and the crispy crunch. There is something about the blend of flavors and textures that I think is just yummy! Kit Kat bars come in a variety of sizes. There is the regular classic size. The bar that will break into four sticks. There are the snack size packages that will break into two sticks. There are tiny Kit Kat minis that are about the size of half of one stick. Finally there are the king size packages. King size Kit Kat bars are like taking two regular size bars and setting them side by side.
Now if confidence were to come in sizes like a Kit Kat bar, I would think of my confidence as barely being mini sized. Wouldn’t it be great to have king sized confidence?
What is the going definition of confidence? Webster.com offers up these definitions:
- a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances
- faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way
- the quality or state of being certain
- a relation of trust or intimacy
- reliance on another’s discretion
- support especially in a legislative body
I don’t know about you, but the moment I got finished reading the first bullet point I got a very uneasy and yucky feeling. These definitions about confidence do not seem right to me. As I read the definitions it makes me feel as if confidence is putting one’s hope in abilities or circumstances and of having certainty.
I know for sure that I have very little hope in my abilities. I do not have certainty about the circumstances of my life. Most times I doubt that I have the talents to act in the right, proper or effective way. I am going to chalk this up to the world’s definition of confidence and go searching for some Biblical truths.
I continued my search by going to the concordance or topical index in the back of my Bible, looking up the word confidence. Here are some of the verses that were referenced.
“For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.” Proverbs 3:26 (NIV)
Isn’t it absolutely amazing what the Lord will reveal when you ask and seek? This verse seems to be a pretty short, straight and to the point answer. The Lord shall be our confidence.
“The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.” Isaiah 32:17 (NIV)
This verse tells us that becoming righteous will inevitably bring about quietness and confidence.
“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” Jeremiah 17:7 (NIV)
To have confidence in the Lord is to find blessings.
“For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.” Philippians 3:3 (NIV)
Worship by the Spirit. Give Christ the glory. Put no confidence in my flesh.
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)
God gives us the confidence to approach His throne of grace so that we may receive help and mercy.
We should not be confident in ourselves, our abilities, or our circumstances. We should not put our hope in finding certainty in the world around us.
Our hope, our confidence, should be in God, in Jesus and in the Holy Spirit. God is unchanging. He is stable. God is mighty and powerful. God is outside of the constraints of our circumstances. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
So if we want to stop cowering, if we want to get out from the weighted burden of worries that bear down upon us, and if we want to move forward with our heads held boldly high, we have got to put our confidence in the Lord.
My dear reader, if you are feeling like you will never get there. If there is shame or hurt that is heavy on your heart and it is keeping your tear filled eyes facing downward. I am lifting you up in prayer today. I am standing in the gap for you and asking God to gently place His hand below your chin and lift up your face to look upon His glory. He has mercy in abundance waiting to pour upon you. It’s not because of something you have done or have not done, but instead, it is simply because God loves you. Yes you, specifically you. Out of all of humanity, the Lord desires you because He loves you more than is humanly possible.
It is God’s perfect love that will drive out fear, doubt and insecurity. It is His love that will overcome. It is God’s love that will see you through no matter how uncertain the circumstances are. When we receive His great love for us, then we shall have King sized confidence and oh how sweet it will be.
Thank You so much for Your love. Thank You for being constant and stable and certain through all circumstances, that we may have You to place our confidence in. Please help us to choose You, Lord, over placing our confidence in ourselves, in other people or in the world in general.
Lord, I specifically lift up to You those who feel weak and weary from the burden of fear and doubt. Please pour Your tender grace and mercy upon them. Please lay Your healing hand upon their hurts and bind the broken hearts. Send them the sweetest messages of hope to remind them that it is safe to place their confidence in You.
In Your Precious Name, Jesus, amen.