If you could convince people that our country’s economy is going to collapse, and you could get everybody talking about it, what do you think the result would be? The economy would collapse! The simple reason is that our economy has one essential foundation: confidence. The same is true of every similar system—financial, political or spiritual: if confidence is undermined, it is certain to lead to disaster.
In this article I want to examine three themes related to confidence: confidence toward God, confidence toward our fellow believers, and warnings against giving up our confidence.
I want to examine various examples of confidence toward God, first from the Old Testament and then from the New. If you will approach these Scriptures in faith, I really believe your heart will be filled with godly confidence. A tremendous note of confidence and victory is sounded in Psalm 27 vs. 1-3.
The secret of David’s victory throughout his life was his great confidence in God. No matter what happened, whether his enemies came against him to devour his flesh, or armies arose to war against him, he was absolutely confident in the Lord. In Proverbs 3:23–26 we find another beautiful picture of confidence.
The Bible consistently teaches that God’s people need not fear. That is why I have reservations about a teaching or prophecy that imparts fear to God’s people. God is saying here, “When trouble from the wicked comes, it’s not your problem. If you are not wicked, it’s not going to strike you.” Verse 26 tells us precisely where to find confidence: “The LORD will be your confidence. He will keep your foot from being caught.” The Lord doesn’t change. He is always in control. He is never flustered. He never encounters an unexpected situation or emergency. He always has the answer.
Proverbs 14:26 says, “In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.” If we have a right attitude toward God, there is no need for worry. He is our shelter and place of protection.
In the Old Testament, Isaiah said: ‘For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not, and you said, “No, for we will flee on horses”—therefore you shall flee! And, “We will ride on the swift horses”— therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!’ Isaiah 30:15–16
God is calling His people to return to Him, to find rest, and exercise confidence in Him. Those who reject God’s call to quietness, trust, and confidence soon learn that their problems overwhelm them, regardless of their schemes of escape. Time and time again, this is evident in Israel’s history. When God’s people were obedient to Him, their enemies were defeated, and Israel had peace. But when Israel relied on their own strength, they were defeated and ultimately scattered throughout the nations.
In the New Testament, the Greek word translated confidence is a very forceful word. It is specifically related to confidence in speech. In secular Greek usage it denoted “freedom of speech,” or the right to say what you think—almost an exact equivalent to the liberty of speech guaranteed by the American Constitution.
click here to read more (pdf download)