This shorter series (100-105) is a precursor to the next series on Christian Joy, for confidence is a prerequisite to joy. Of course, confidence doesn’t make anything real. But when we know that the foundation of our beliefs – in Christ, our marriage, career path, financial investments, or anything else – is solid, then we are more likely to continue our pursuit with all our might. So, before you watch the video introducing five essential areas of confidence, let’s consider some of its power.
First, confidence frees us from anxiety enabling our focus. If you’ve read some of my previous articles on Emotional Intelligence, you may remember that I often refer to four basic emotions of “bad (fear), mad, sad, and glad” as bodily cues to relational proximity for spiritual treasure. For example, fear cues us to avoid a person because we perceive them as a threat to something we treasure (contentment, reputation, progress, control, etc.). Anger cues us to attack those we view as violators of something we treasure. Sadness cues us to pause and reflect on a perceived loss behind us. And joy cues us to pursue the relationship for even more joy in the future. Anxiety is like the needle of a compass spinning out of control. It doesn’t know which way to point. Being confident in a truth and goodness, however, gives us clarity to focus and pursue. Read Micah 7:5-7, Ephesians 5:7-13, and especially Paul’s repeated reference to confidence in Christ in his second letter to the Corinthians.
Confidence also leads to courage and perseverance. Being sure that something is true and good doesn’t guarantee an easy road ahead. In fact, the Lord Jesus warned His followers that, even though they could be supremely confident in the reality of His salvation and Lordship, they would face persecution and other difficulties, often at great personal cost. (Matthew 10:16-42, John 16:1-4, etc.)
Thus, Jesus described His commands and promises as reliable as a rock in a storm (Matthew 7:24-25), fertile ground (Matthew 13:8), the bread of life (John 6:35) and light in the darkness (John 8:12)
Lastly, only due to limited space here, confidence frees us to say “no” to some good things in order to say “yes” to better things. In today’s world of seemingly endless possibilities and demands on our time, one of our greatest struggles is managing our time. As we noted in our earlier look at anxiety, if we have no reliable compass to point us to the most treasured path ahead of us, we will flounder. Similarly, we need a reliable inventory to identify our actual calling, skills, and knowledge within us.
Note that Mark 1:32-39 reveals Jesus’ confidence in His calling that freed Him to say “no” to repeat ministries of healings in Galilee in order to move on from there preaching the gospel to others. And in Acts 6:1-7, we see the disciples and new deacons acting on confidence in their calling for a specific division of labor that God visibly blessed. Clearly, each of us should aspire to godly confidence.
Consider the following for discussion before or after watching this week’s video.
* Discuss self-confidence versus Christ-confidence in light of Matthew 14:22-32.
* How are we to respond to doubt? (Romans 14:23, James 1:6, Jude 1:22)
* How is 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 not a contradiction to saying “no” to a ministry?
You can see other articles and the embedded videos in this series here.