Confidence in God: for 5 Things

 

In my last post we learned from the Bible that confidence is a trust, mainly it is a trust in God. Confidence is also having hope, courage, and assurance.  Thus if we have confidence toward God we have hope in what He has provided for us, courage because He is with us, and an assurance that the things He has promised us He will give to us.  And through it all, because we have confidence in Him, we feel secure and safe. If you think about it, for a Christian, confidence is absolutely essential. Here are five things we can have confidence in God for.

1. For our salvation. Some people don’t think it’s important to know that when they die they are going to heaven.  But God does.  That’s why He has given us so many promises that we can claim for our salvation.   A favorite of mine is in 1 John 5:13.  It says, basically, that if we have the Son living in us we have eternal life.  Another good verse is 1 John 3:14.  This verse tells us that if we have love toward the brethren, it is a demonstration and a proof for us that we are a Christian.

 2. For answered prayer. God wants us to be confident in prayer.  What does that mean? Well first, He wants us to be confident that we can approach Him for prayer.  Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we can come boldly before His throne of grace. And the reason we can come boldly is because of His blood shed for us on the cross, for as our High Priest, He has prepared us, and cleansed us inside and out—He has sprinkled our hearts with his own blood from an evil conscience and has washed our bodies with pure water—that we may enter, with extreme confidence, into His presence (Heb. 10:19-22).

Secondly, since He gives us confidence to come into His presence, He also gives us confidence to obtain mercy and find grace (Heb. 4:16); that is to say, when we pray in His name we will receive whatever we ask of Him.  For in John 16:24 Jesus spoke to His disciples, and He speaks to us, saying, “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”  Also in 1 John 5:14-15 it says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we ask of Him.”

 3. For victory. When you surrendered your life to God He gave you a new life in Christ, and a new home in the kingdom of God.  Your old man was crucified with Christ.  That means that you died to the reign and rule of sin, and you became alive to Christ who is your new Master and King.  In this new kingdom with Christ, He requires you to stop yielding yourself to sin and to start living a holy life before Him—a life free from sin (Read Romans 6 and Ephesians 1:4).

And how do we do that?  How can we have confidence in God for victory?  The answer is that you must present yourself to God as a slave in the service of His kingdom, to obey Him in all that He asks and desires of you (Rom. 6:16).  As you trust and obey Him in everything, you can take great confidence in God for victory over sin (Read 1 John 3:22).  For He will then give you the promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

Well, you say, this is all true, but how do we acquire the strength to trust and obey Him?  Sometimes I just don’t feel like obeying God.  What should I do then?  Well, I believe the answer is that we must prayerfully depend on God to help us. And we must also seek the help of other believers.  We can’t do it alone.  I think every Christian should be in a support group where there is prayer, accountability, and encouragement.  I am in a group myself and I can testify that since I got into this group—which is a wonderful accountability and support group—I have more power now to resist sin than I ever did when I was not in a group.

Therefore, we can have confidence in God for victory when we obey Him in everything.  And that includes abiding in prayer and in fellowship with others.

4. For forgiveness. Just as God desires that we be confident in Him for victory, He also desires that we be confident in Him when we are defeated.  For this reason, He has given us an advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous.  By Him, we can, at any time of defeat, be reconciled to God (1 Jn. 2:1-2).  He is the propitiation for our sins.  In fact, His blood constantly and forever satisfies the wrath of God against our sins.

In Him (if you are a Christian) we are redeemed forever by His blood.  This means that not even the worst sin (murder, adultery, etc.) can cause us to loose our salvation.

We do, however, because we constantly sin, need regular cleansing to stay in fellowship with Him.  And so, for each and every sin we need an advocate to help us, and the power of His blood to cleanse us.

But what do we have to do to get this cleansing?  The answer is found in 1 John 1:9.  We must humbly confess our sins to Him.  And what does that mean?  It means to no longer cover up your sins, but to make them evident.  It means to repent—to change your mind about your sin and to decide not to do it again.  If we do these things we have the promise that He will give us mercy (Prov. 28:13) and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  Therefore, let us place our full confidence in such a faithful God for regular (day by day) forgiveness.

5. For guidance. Last, God wants us to be confident in Him for guidance.  And so He has given us many promises assuring us that He will go with us and guide us.  A favorite passage of many believers is in Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in [be confident in] the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight.”  I like also Psalms 119:105: “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

We surely can be confident in His Word to guide us.  For all the words in the Bible are inspired by God.  For this reason, the Holy Spirit brings the inspired Word to us every day at just the time we need it; He will speak to us in our ears saying, “This is the way, walk in it” (Isa. 30:21).

These point are also found in my book Prayer A to Z (look on the side panel).

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Confidence In the Bible – 5 Basic Meanings

Confidence is an essential ingredient for prayer, as well as for Christian living.  In my study of this topic, I found seven different Hebrew and Greek words that could be translated as confidence (Hebrew: mibtach, betach, and batach; Greek: peitho, tharreo, parrhesia, and elpidos).  In these words, I found five basic meanings: confidence as security and safety, as assurance, as courage, as hope, and as trust.  We will now take a look at these meanings from a few verses of scripture.

Confidence is security and safety.  In Proverbs 14:26 it says, “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence [mibtach], and His children will have a place of refuge.”  Also in Proverbs 1:33 it says, “But whoever listens to Me will dwell safety [or confidently, betach] and will be secure, without fear of evil.”

Confidence is assurance.  In Philippians 1:3-6, Paul, beginning his letter to the Philippians, writes, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you…being confident [peitho] of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  Here Paul is telling the Philippians that He is sure, and that they can be sure, that God will complete His good work in them.  Accordingly, confidence for us is the assurance that God is doing His work in us and will complete that work.

Confidence is courage.  There are two different Greek words, sometimes translated as confidence, that take the meaning of courage or boldness.  One of these words is tharreo, found in Hebrews 13:6: “So we say with confidence [tharreo], ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?’” (NIV) The other word, parrhesia, is most used when the Bible refers to prayer.  In Hebrews 4:16 we read, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence [parrhesia], so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need.”  This word is used 31 times and is most often rendered as boldness or openness, but also carries the meaning of frankness, bluntness, assurance and courage.  It is how we can approach God in prayer because of His blood shed for us.

Confidence is hope.  The word elpido, which is most often translated as hope, has the definition of expectation or confidence.  In Hebrews 10:23 it says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope [elpido] without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”  Thus, our confidence, which is a hope, is in a faithful God.

Confidence is trust.  The Old Testament word batach, translated almost always as trust, also means to have confidence in.  In 1 Chronicles 5:20 it says, “He [God] heeded their prayer, because they put their trust [or their confidence, batach] in Him.”  Again in Proverbs 3:5-6 batach is used.  It says, “Trust in [or have confidence in, batach] the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

When we think about confidence, even when we say the word “confidence,” it makes us feel good doesn’t it?  It gives us a lift. It gives us energy, strength and courage.  And I suppose that is because the word is associated with positive energy.  And whether we believe it or not, that energy comes from God.  It is a special gift that He has given to all people—the energy, the drive to believe and have hope in ourselves, and in the gifts that we possess.  Yes, we are all created in His image. And since He has self-confidence—believing and having hope in Himself (a vast understatement)—all people down deep within themselves have this same self-confidence too.  It is inherent in the way He has created us.

But listen to this: God gives a special confidence (a more powerful and more personal confidence) to those who trust Him.  It is a childlike confidence in God and in prayer, which comes from our new nature, created for us in Christ Jesus.

Charles Spurgeon speaks of this childlike confidence in His book, The Power of Prayer in a Believers Life.  He writes,

Childlike confidence makes us pray as none else can.  It causes a man to pray for great things that he would never have asked for if he had not learned this confidence.  It also causes him to pray for little things that many people are afraid to ask for, because they have not yet felt toward God the confidence of children.  I have often felt that it requires more confidence in God to pray to Him about a little thing than about great things…

 

What will it take to learn this childlike confidence?  In the next few posts we will discuss why confidence in God is necessary for the abiding Christian.

 

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How Christ’s Resurrection Gives Nature Hope – Romans 8:18-22

Seeing God in Nature

From 1 Corinthians 15, Paul lays out for us, how, since Christ has been raised from the dead, we (all believers in Christ) shall also be resurrected and changed when He comes.

Skipping most of Paul’s resurrection argument, we will go right to those verses that makes our point. Beginning in verses 3&4, Paul writes,

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

Then in verses 20-23 Paul says,

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all…

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 Emergency Prayer Needed for Trump and Country – 5 Key Requests

Prayer for Trump and Country

There are so many important things that Christians should be praying about regarding President Trump and the country. Here are 5 issues that are critical that we need to pray about immediately.

  1. Pray that God would give wisdom to Jeff Sessions as to whether there should be a Special Counsel or not to look into issues involving the FBI, DOJ, the Clinton Foundation, Uranium one, abuses of the FICA court, and many other crimes committed by Hillary Clinton and all those who tried to stop Donald Trump from being elected President.
  2. Pray that God would do His will with the Mueller investigations, and if there was no collusion to just put a stop to the investigations.
  3. Pray that the Sanctuary City battle would soon end in victory according to what is right and constitutional, and that ICE police would be safe and allowed to do their job without interference.
  4. Pray…

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How to Carry Burdens in Prayer

 

When the Holy Spirit gives you a burden He also gives you the responsibility to hold it and carry it along.  For this reason, you must listen closely to the voice of God and give attention to those peculiar feelings of compassion He gives you for certain individuals.  Then when you feel a special mercy, tenderness, or pity for a person, give heed to this feeling—go immediately to prayer.

But give attention only to those unselfish concerns.  Pay no heed to those interests by which you will benefit from.  In this regard, be careful in your praying, as you pray for certain members of the opposite sex that you are attracted to.  Guard your heart, as your prayers may be nothing more than Satan’s trap to get you more emotionally attached, which in the end may have very destructive consequences. Overall, I think, to give yourself consistently and exclusively to praying for a girlfriend or boyfriend is a waste of time and will sap all of your energy, which you could be using to pray for those whom God is really calling you to.

Give special attention to those burdens that seem more urgent.  And pray with a holy determination to see God’s answer.  If you feel that you don’t have the strength in yourself to pray as God would want you to, add fasting to your prayers; also add solitude.  Then also, if you lose your desire to sleep, determine to pray into the night, for it is God calling you to pray as Jesus did—perhaps all night long.

And don’t worry about your health—that you are depriving yourself of needs.  If God is calling you to fast He will certainly sustain you and give you all the strength you need to do what He has called you to do.

Do you remember the time, recorded for us in the book of John, when the disciples came to Jesus and urged Him to eat? (Apparently, He had been so busy serving people that He hadn’t eaten for a long time.) What did He say to His disciples?  “He said to them, ‘I have food to eat of which you do not know.’”  Then He explained Himself: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (Jn. 4:31-34).  I really like this passage because it tells us that when we are faithful to do His work He will take care of our needs; He will even sustain us physically, so we will not even feel hungry!

Moreover, if you are faithful in pouring out God’s love to others as you obediently carry the burdens God gives you, you can be sure that He will sustain you by His love.  In fact, the Holy Spirit will pour out into your heart all the love you need: in the midst of pain and suffering for the burdens you bear, His love will flood over you so that you are not overwhelmed, burdened down and disappointed.  On the contrary, His love will give you hope—hope to be able to persevere in prayer for others, also hope for a lasting reward.  For Jesus has promised us, “I come quickly, and My reward is with Me to give every one according to his work” (Rev. 22:12).

 

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Trump Fine Tunes His Cabinet

Prayer for Trump and Country

President Trump will continue to fine tunes his leader positions for the good of the country.

*Please pray for President Trump and for all those undergoing changes.

State Department:  Rex Tillerson out, Mike Pompeo in.

CIA:  Mike Pompeo out, Gina Haspel in.

*Pray that the media and our country would let Trump be Trump.

*Pray that President Trump will not give in to pressure, that he would run the country as he sees best.

*Pray that those undergoing change would be confirmed without a problem. Some in Congress see problems with  both Pompeo and with Haspel, but most think they are good choices.

*Also pray over the McCabe firing, that the entire truth would be revealed and justice will prevail.

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Woody Woodpecker: A Job Well Done!

Please come and visit my new blog site.

Seeing God in Nature

This beautiful little woodpecker let me watch him at work through my apartment window.

And Whatever you do [in your work], do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men. Colossians 3:23

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