Saturday, September 30, 2017

Faith in God: The only source of our confidence.

Lou Nicholes in Conquest of the Promised Land shared a wonderful story of faith and confidence: An
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American missionary couple and their family were home on furlough, and spending their vacation at a cabin near a lake. They had three children, ages twelve, seven and four. One day the four-year-old slipped away from his brother and sister, went out on the dock to play, and fell into the lake. He didn’t know how to swim, and he wasn’t wearing a life jacket. The screams of the two older children alerted the father to the danger. He ran to the dock, and the kids pointed to where their brother had fallen in.

The father dove into the lake. He went all the way to the bottom and felt around frantically for his little boy. Finally, he ran out of the air, came to the top, took another huge gulp of air, and went down again, searching for his son. On his way down a third time, he felt his little boy’s leg. He turned and found his four-year-old son with his arms and legs wrapped tightly around one of the pilings, about three feet below the water. The father pried him loose, carried him onto the lawn, and they both caught their breath.

After about thirty minutes, when things had calmed down and were restored to normal, the father asked, “Son, what were you doing down there, hanging on to that piling?” The little boy answered, “I was confident that my daddy would rescue me.

This story provides an excellent picture of how we should exert full confidence in God’s ability no matter what may lie ahead. Stephen Curry asserted, “I've always believed that success for anyone is all about drive, dedication, and desire, but for me, it is about confidence and faith.” When surrounded with ambiguities, there’s no other recourse but look at God’s direction. Others may see faith in God as an escape from reality but those who seek Him taps into the only source of enduring strength through faith in His power.

In these times of various troubles and increasing uncertainties, we need a sustainable strategy for developing confidence in our faith on a daily basis. First, it begins with a strong anchor of our faith in God since He began a good work in us: For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6). Martin Luther described, “Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.” 

Next, we must build our strength in God’s capability: Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you He will not fail you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). Helen Keller, being a blind person provided a clear perspective: Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

Like the boy in the story, we must follow and cooperate in agreement to God’s timetable: Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes (Psalm 37:7). Charles Stanley stressed, “Submitting to God's timetable requires faith and courage. Believe in the goodness of His heart and His plans--and determine to wait until He gives the signal to move forward. Then, as you follow His schedule, you'll experience the joy of watching Him make all things beautiful in His timing.”

In the end, it all boils down to whom we ware entrusting our faith and confidence. Are we going to trust in our limited ability or turn to God who is infinite in His ability to do great things? Wayne Jackson provided this reminder, “The study of “confidence” from the biblical standpoint is a wonderfully enlightening and profitable endeavor. Pursue it to your own benefit. And remember this, God does not want us to embrace a spirit of “fearfulness,” but one of power, love, and discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). Keep looking up to Him with faith, and He will respond to you according to your faith. Try it, and you will never be the same again!

Let’s talk again!