I am a fan of professional football (American football if you prefer). One of the most exciting parts of the game is in the last two minutes when the losing team tries to comeback. If the losing team has a great or all-time great quarterback, the players and coaches have complete confidence that the quarterback can rally his team to victory. However, there are times when the comeback does not happen-the football is intercepted or fumbled; a normally sure-handed wide receiver drops an easy pass; the field goal attempt sails wide right or wide left; the opposing team wins on a trick play. The loss is devastating for the team and its fans and if left unchecked can shake the confidence of the team and affect the rest of the season.
Sports is a great analogy for life because every day we face opponents. Our opponents rarely wear uniforms, but they come in the form of Satan’s attacks, fear, addiction, depression, sin, bitterness, strife, loss, sickness, and the overall unfairness of life. Where we place our confidence during these times is crucial. If we place our confidence in the wrong person or we become arrogant concerning our own abilities, the loss can be devastating. Going back to football, it is said that great quarterbacks have short memories, meaning they do not dwell on the bad pass or the plays that did not work. These quarterbacks, instead, make the needed adjustments to make the next play work and put their team in position to win. When we go through the “bad plays” of life we also need to work on having a short memory about our mistakes and failures, so that we can place ourselves in a position to make a comeback and allow the Lord to direct us.
I believe it is important to be confident in life. However, our security should not rest in our abilities alone or in others, but we must rely on God to guide us through the difficult times. No matter the result, we can rest assured that God has our best interest at heart and is molding us to become more Christ like. If you were to do a word study of the Hebrew and Greek words for confidence, they mean much the same as our English word. The Hebrew words for confidence deal with “security or trust,” while the Greek words can deal with “assurance, persuasion, or even a foundation.”
“Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even them will I be confident…For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His sacred tent and set me upon a rock…I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:2-3, 5, 13-14, NIV).
“In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.” (Proverbs 14:26, KJV).
“His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to His eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Ephesians 3:10-11, NIV).
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6, NIV).
“But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are His house if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.” (Hebrews 3:6, NIV).
“And now dear children, continue in Him, so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming.” (1 John 2:28, NIV).
“Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases Him.” (1 John 3:21, NIV).
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14, NIV).
Where’s your confidence? Have recent events shaken you? Are you bound by fear and indecision that you do not want to make a move? I encourage you to place your confidence in God and His Holy Spirit will guide you. This time of your life is but a tiny piece of a mosaic painting- it is one picture, but we step back we see how God the artist is using that piece to form a bigger picture. God is not through with you. God is not angry with you. People or circumstances may have you down, but the Lord will pick you up and hold you up. Place your confidence in Him. God bless you.