Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Confidence in a confident God...

There is a wonderful verse in the Bible that I'm sure you're familiar with:

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil. 1:6)
In this verse, Paul says He is confident in what God will do.

But have you ever thought of why he was so confident? Do you think it matters whether God was just as confident as Paul was? Maybe that sounds like kind of a silly question. Of course God is confident. After all... He's God! He can do anything!

But here's the thing. We've all had people prove they weren't worthy of our trust and faith in them. They promise something and don't mean that promise. They discover that they are unable to do what they once thought they could. Unforeseen circumstances make it impossible to fulfill what they were once perfectly willing and able to do.

And so we learn that trust has an element of risk...even when the person is confident that they can and will do what they intend.

Then we're told to trust God, and we get hit by condemnation when we fail to do this trusting-thing. And so we find ourselves thinking that the key to having faith lies in us willing ourselves to overcome this habit of not trusting that we've fallen into.

But what if it's so much simpler? What if believing God was as simple as knowing Him? Knowing His power, His faithfulness, and His love.

Romans says this of Abraham:
Without becoming weak in faith, he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.

Do you see the basis of Abraham's faith? For a little while, he didn't quite get it, and he accepted Sarah's idea that maybe they needed to use Hagar and help God out a little. (Gen. 16)  But evidently Abraham realized his mistake. This faith that is praised in Romans and Hebrews was completely and totally based on the revelation of something outside of himself. It was separate from anything he could do on his own. He simply realized that God was capable of doing what He promised, and He praised God for it.

Do you really know that? Do you honestly and truly know that God is absolutely 100% capable of doing exactly what He says He will do, and that nothing on earth can stop it? (Psalm 115:3 and 135:6) For He will never promise something He doesn't mean to fulfill. It is impossible for Him to promise something that is beyond His power. And since He knows all things--even the future--it is equally impossible for circumstances to affect His plans or power in the slightest!

In other words, God gives a whole new definition to the word "confident."

As the new year begins, I challenge you... ask God to show you Himself. Regardless of how much or how little He's already shown Himself to you, there's always more. Always. And He promised that if you seek Him with your whole heart, you will find Him. (Jer. 29:13)  You'll discover just how powerful and capable He really is.

And may this year be one in which you grow even more confident in your confident God.

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." -Eph. 3:20

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