Confidence is a tricky concept. Ideally we’d all love to be confident in the reality of what we believe and confident to live consistently within that framework. This way of living seems fairly elusive most of the time. When confidence is found in the self we tend to swing between a lack of confidence, swayed this way and that by the people around us or we retain an unhealthy confidence in our rightness in situations which really ask us to step off our soapboxes and reach out in love. I think there might be a third way. I hope there is at least. Taking confidence away from the self and putting it in something outside ourselves seems to offer more stability and hope.
In our Psalm David expresses deep confidence in the reality of his God. He knows God and what he is like and so he is able to say that his heart is steadfast. He sings out praise to God even before his requests are answered, and, if we look down further into the Psalm, in a time when it seems God has rejected his people. David doesn’t moan and whinge at God, he declares to all that God is still God, his love is great, his faithfulness stretches to the skies and his glory is to be above all. This is a confidence far beyond a confidence in David’s army, his Kingship or greatness. This is a confidence in someone else and it’s an exuberant confidence meant to draw David’s people into dependence on this God.
When it looks like David has been abandoned by God, he doesn’t follow suit, he carries on praising and crying out to him for help. He’s confident in a answer and in deliverance. We’re almost bound to ask the question, why? Because he knows that the help of man is worthless and with God we will gain the victory. There isn’t any other place to go, there isn’t any other hope but the God whose love is great and whose faithfulness reaches to the skies.
All this leads me to think, where is my confidence in this life? Where is my confidence as I interact with the people around me. If it’s in me I’m going to be all over the place, worried about what I look like, how I come across, who likes me, who doesn’t like me. It’s really going to be all about me. If my confidence is in God I will be able to walk into life with freedom, not bound by what others think or say, knowing that even in the times when it feels like he’s far away I can know his love is higher than the heavens and he’s involved in this world.
I’m sure that process isn’t an overnight thing, once more we don’t have the luxury of a download into our brain to enable us to suddenly know for sure that we are loved and to dance freely through this life because of that. It’s a struggle and a battle. It’s a one day forward, the next day back, it’s a rollercoaster, it’s a maze, but through the battling there is our God. Knowing him better, getting to know his character more and more, dwelling in our relationship with him will build confidence in him as we walk with him through this life.
What are you tempted to put confidence in?
How does that affect your relationships/approach to life?
What does it mean to be confident in God in this world?
What hope does that give us?