Confidence

<<firm trust, boldness, assurance>>

It is having trust in a person or thing, besides believing in yourself and your abilities. A confident person is prepared to take calculated risks, set goals, is self-motivated, and does what they believe to be right even if criticised. They do not listen to negative self-talk, instead their positive mental attitude coupled with a realistic healthy belief in themselves emanates a feeling of calm, of being in control and able to adequately accomplish what they set out to do; they are not reacting, unsure of themselves, uptight or making excuses for failure. They embark on life’s venture with the firm belief that even though they don’t know all the answers they will likely succeed in what they attempt, and even though they experience failure and setbacks, they will come out stronger in character.

Our confidence can be increased, like any other virtue, by being challenged and stretched outside our comfort zone in manageable steps. Refuse to say ‘I can’t’. Confidence says, ‘I may not be able to on my own, but I know with His help I can. With hope and confidence, I can achieve’. Refuse to let fears inhibit you, act confidently and the mind will step into line. View the challenges of life as opportunities to grow – both in reliance on the Lord and in life skills.  

1/. Confidence in God

Confidence in God’s existence and His involvement in the here and now, together with a grasp of His nature are the essentials to an active faith – the type that He rewards because of its diligence (Heb 11:6).  It is an absolute certainty that He will honour the numerous promises in His Word

    The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me                                                      – Psalm 138:8

including; believing He is not a man that He should lie or change His mind rather what He has promised will come to pass, heaven awaits us, all things are working for my benefit, the good work He has started in us will be completed one day, and confessed sin is forgiven (Num 23:19; Jn 14:1-3; Rom 8:28; Phil 1:6; 1 Jn 1:9). So the Psalmist advises It is better to trust and have confidence in God than man (Ps 118:8). The wicked trust themselves and fail; the righteous trust God and live (Hab 2:4).

2/. Self-confidence

As stated above our self-worth is important and founded upon the goodness of God’s creation. However self-sufficiency and self-confidence are not always healthy as they may put undue emphasis on our ability to achieve in our own strength for “It’s not by might or [human] power, but by my Spirit says the Lord” (Jdg 7:2, 16:20; Zech 4:6).  In fact, the Bible states, “Cursed is the person who trusts in human effort and turns away from the Lord” (Jer 17:5).  Paul said he could boast of his heritage and self-effort but counted it worthless – “putting no confidence in the flesh” – compared with a right relationship with Christ (Phil 3:3-14). We should never consider any lasting work of God a result of our efforts; rather it is the presence and power of Christ working in and through us. We are to have a correct opinion of ourselves, not thinking of ourselves too highly nor undervaluing our worth (Rom 12:3).

Jesus did not act independently of God, but said, “Of my own self I can do nothing” (Jn 5:19,30, 8:28, 12:49, 14:10).  “He [God] is my confidence…I can do all things through Christ Jesus” (Prov 3:26; Phil 4:13). ‘Work as if everything depends on you, yet pray as if it all depends on God’ is a good motto to live by.  Remember, it is co-operation with God – my availability and God’s ability. Just as Jesus didn’t accomplish anything except by God’s ability we also won't be able to accomplish anything of eternal worth unless we are intimately connected to Him and let His life flow through us, “For apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:4,5). It is acknowledging I can’t, but when I am connected to Him I can. This relationship to Christ is the secret to my confidence.  It is based not on fear but love. The more I am aware of my human weaknesses and lack of ability the more I reach out to draw on His strength.

If our hearts do not condemn us (because of sin), we can confidently ask and receive because we do what pleases Him (1 Jn 3:21,22, 5:14).

3/. Diffidence

A lack of confidence affects our self-worth and produces criticism, pulling others down while justifying self. We must believe in ourselves (our value, worth, ability) and ask God to supply what is lacking as we also work on strengthening those areas of deficiency.  Study diligently yet rely on the Holy Spirit to assist and give wisdom.  New challenges are a struggle to those who lack self-confidence; consequently, often they shrink back by excusing themselves because of insufficient ability, training or experience. Moses and Jeremiah both made excuses why God could not use them (Ex 6:30; Jer 1:6-8). Count it a high privilege that God wants to work in and through you, and in humility say like Mary, “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled” (Lk 1:38). Satan would have us eliminate ourselves from the divine purposes but don’t let him steal your potential or prevent you being what God has called you to be. God is powerful and can help you overcome the limitations and weaknesses of humanity, for “Greater is He [Holy Spirit] in you, than he [Satan] who is in the world’ (1 Jn 4:4). God wants available channels to work through, as He will supply the ability. Under no circumstances discard your confidence in Christ instead be prepared for his coming (Heb 10:35; 1 Jn 2:28).

See also: ability, assurance, available, comfort zone, faith, positive mental attitude, practice, self-acceptance, self-confident, self-esteem, trust.


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