I have always struggled with confidence. I am constantly comparing my “ugly” insides to someone else’s “pretty” outsides. I question myself every day. “Am I good enough?”, “Do I give enough?”, “Did I say too much?” and so on and so forth. Every single day I struggle with this. There is a fear that I am a failure.
I often forget what God has said about me – there are so many promises right in scripture that I need to cling to… I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps139) or God has a plan for me (Jer 29:11 – a little out of context but a promise nonetheless) and in our reading of 1 John today God tells me that I need to be confident in my salvation, in the fact that God listens to me and in overcoming my struggles with sin.
1 John 5:13 tell me that I can be confident that if I believe in Jesus I will have eternal life. “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.” Verse 5 says that I can be confident because through believing in Jesus I am his child. What a relief. I do not have to stress about being good enough; I just have to believe that Jesus is who He says He is and I have confidence in my salvation – in that fact that I am his child (also see Act 16:31 and Romans 6:23).
Not only can I be confident in my salvation, according to 1 John 5:14-15, I can have confidence in my prayers. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” Alright, so there is a little catch. If I ask “according to his will” he will hear me (not give me – but hear me and consider what I am asking!). I can be confident that God will hear and consider my prayer and that he will give me whatever I ask within his will. God is all knowing and even though I believe that something is right for me right now – God sees the bigger picture and therefore might not answer me the way I want him to. However, according to vs. 15 if what I am asking for is within his will then he will not only hear my request but he will grant my request. At this, I need to trust his judgment and be confident that he is God.
Another confidence that I can be assured of according to 1 John 5 is that God is helping me overcome the world through him. Verse 18 starts out saying “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin…” Uh oh… there is a problem because I sin all the time and yet I believe that I am born of God… The verse goes on to say “…the One (note – capital “O”) who was born of God keeps them safe and the evil one cannot harm them.” I can be confident that God (my father) is keeping me safe.” Verse 19 says that the “whole world is under the control of the evil one”. Sin causes harm – maybe embarrassment, maybe punishment and this chapter says that sin may cause death. There is nothing more that Satan wants then to embarrass me or punish me or to take my confidence in God away from me. When I lack the confidence that God’s “got this” and turn to myself then I make myself vulnerable to falling into what the world wants me to do or be and not finding confidence in what God wants me to do or be. When I struggle with this I can look to Jesus for “understanding (vs. 20) as He has already “overcome the world” (John 16:33).
I will always struggle with being confident in who I am. When I take my eyes off of God and look around at everyone else I struggle. (Perhaps that is where vs. 21 comes into play?) However, when I am basking in the presence of God, seeking to do what he has asked me (vs. 2) and holding onto the promises that he loves me (John 3:16), that he hears me and that he has overcome the world, I can find peace and total confidence in all that he has made me to be.
Amy W. (gueston66books)
From the archives. Originally published May 26, 2013