Tag Archives: confidence

Zechariah 9-11, 1 John 5

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” 1 John 5:13-14

“Mom, how can I know for sure that I will go to heaven when I die? How do I know I am really a Christian?” As my children grow older and begin putting the pieces of their faith and belief together, their understanding increases as well as the curiosity. They don’t automatically take everything at face value anymore and their questions are endless but come in spurts, mixed with times of thinking. Many of their questions are ones I remember asking, myself. And even today, there are many I still cannot answer.

But this passage in 1 John is brilliant. It’s an answer that brings life and hope. John writes specifically to believers who may be struggling with knowing deep down that they are saved. I have to admit, this is definitely an area that I have struggled with from time to time so I’m comforted by the fact that the early believers were asking the same questions. I recently read a story about John Wesley and how early on in his faith he struggled with the same feelings to the point where he admitted he must not be a Christian!

 

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:1-5

 

Our Savior, Jesus did not come as expected with royal kingship. He didn’t enter the city on a chariot and rule and reign the way our feeble minds would have expected.

 

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
and the war horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
and he shall speak peace to the nations;
his rule shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River[c] to the ends of the earth.” Zechariah 9:9-10

Like the early church, like children, we try to put the pieces of our faith together using our own logic and miss the point completely. Instead of relying on our own understanding, let us look to Him, the author and finisher of our faith. He gave us His Word and the Holy Spirit for understanding. Let us lean on the truth we find there instead of our own logic.

Thank you, Father for your true Word. Thank you for revealing the mysteries of our faith through your Holy Spirit. Thank you for sending your own Son to become our salvation! Help us build our faith by learning your Word and hiding it in our hearts. May we approach your throne with confidence! Amen.

 

 

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Daniel 7, 8; 1 John 5

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:13-15

 

My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening. And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours. 1 John 5:13-15 (MSG)

There are many reasons why I tend not to ask for help. Sometimes, I think that I am capable of doing whatever it is I am trying to do by myself, even if it becomes too much for me to handle alone. Occasionally, I want it done in a particular way, and I am convinced that I am the only one who can do it up to my expectations. Much of the time, I am anxious that no one will want to or be able to help me, and so instead of having to experience feelings of disappoint and rejection, I just keep my needs to myself and struggle through.

Through experience, I’ve learned that when I actually do ask for help, about half the time, I am going to be let down. I have to remember to not take it personally, especially since more often than not it isn’t those people don’t want to help me, they just aren’t able to at the time because of what is going on in their own lives. And, I have to let my disappointment go so that I don’t fall into alignment with the enemy and contribute to disconnection in my relationships.

Here and there, especially those times when I have felt very reluctant to ask for help, I have been greatly and pleasantly surprised by the positive response and the overall outcome. And, when that happens, it is encouragement to ask for help again another time, confidence to be vulnerable and make my needs known.

As I have walked the path of being a believer, I have been learning that the One that I can ALWAYS trust to listen to my needs is Christ. I can cry out for help any time of the night or day and He will be there to listen to me, my frustrations, my anxieties, my fears. I know that He is trustworthy and reliable, and that His heart is for me and not against me. I feel free to ask Him for anything and everything, because I am assured time and time again that He loves me and He hears me.

I am blessed in those moments when I witness a positive and direct answer to my plea for help. I can also admit that there are times when I don’t love the answer that I’ve heard; and, there are times when I don’t hear an answer at all and I just have to wait. But, I am confident that no matter what, He will always answer my prayers, according to His will, according to what He knows is best for me.

Yesappa, Thank You for hearing my prayers, listening to my requests. Thank You for answering me whether the answer is ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘wait’. Thank You for allowing me to place my confidence in Your, in Your goodness and faithfulness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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1 Samuel 10; Romans 8; Jeremiah 47; Psalm 23,24

Then Samuel took the flask of oil and poured it over Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you leader over his inheritance?” 1 Samuel 10:1

Saul was called to lead, he was prepared by God, he was anointed.  Samuel announced Saul as king.

Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Marti’s clan was chose,.  Finally Saul son of Kish was chosen, But when they looked for, he was not to be found.  Do they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?” And the Lord said,  Yes he had hidden himself among the baggage. 1 Samuel 10:21-22

So why does he hide?  Did he fear that he was not capable of these responsibilities that God prepared him for? Do you think Saul doubted his abilities or God’s ability and wisdom?

Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched.  But some troublemakers said, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts.  But Saul kept silent. 1 Samuel 10:26

Isn’t this typical that all leaders face criticism.  As Christians we stand out in a crowd,  we face criticism and there are many who despise us because of our faith.  Does that weaken our faith, make us fearful, less confident.  Does it deter us away from our task of speaking Gods word or instead does that make us that much stronger?

What then shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up  for us all- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.  Romans 8:31-33

I hope this post comes to mind the next time God calls me to lead.  I’ve always been told that God qualifies the called and that he doesn’t call the qualified.  But I’m human, my confidence buckles under criticism.  On second thought my confidence is non existent when it comes to leading.  And then I feel like a failure.  But then I have His word to set me upright and equipped for all challenges.  Just like those Weeble toys.  If we are grounded in His word, we will not be pushed down by our critics or our enemies.

This might be the first time I’ve ever thanked God for being bottom heavy!  Reference Romans 8:28  Yep, that might be stretching it a bit.

I’ll close with Psalms 23:5

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Cindi (rustiqueart)

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1 Samuel 12; Romans 10; Psalms 26, 27; Jeremiah 49

Under stresses of sorts, I’ve woken up each morning for nearly a week feeling like a brick was in my stomach. I read Psalm 27. I might not know what the week holds for me, but God does.

Walking along a darkening road, whispering into the night air, “The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

When evil men advance against me to slander me, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall … in this Psalm of David (27:2). But throughout the week, I have felt fearful. And my enemies seemed like mighty, looming giants. I carefully solicit prayer requests, lacking confidence in my own.

David was so confident. I wondered, how many times would I have to read this psalm to grasp the confidence he had? How many times would I recite these verses until I stopped feeling afraid?

To you, O my heart, he has said, “Seek my face!” Psalm 27:8

Your face, LORD, I will seek. (And even quieter wondering, am I seeking earnestly enough? What am I doing wrong that I feel afraid?)

Talking to a friend, I mulled over the words, wondering how David could not be afraid, what did he do that I need to do? Yes, seek Him. But my friend surprised me as she explained David’s confidence … he fought bears and lions, it prepared him to fight a giant and battles. He stood confidently because of God’s faithfulness. He remembered God’s faithfulness.

How did I forget?

Fear loses its legs when I remember. Thank you, God, for your faithfulness … and for faithful friends.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Old Testament, Psalms

Numbers 25; Psalm 68; Isaiah 15; 1 Peter 3

And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?  But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.  For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.  [1 Peter 3:13-17]

I go through so many seasons in life.  Seasons of joy, seasons of discovery, seasons of renewal and sometimes even seasons of strong confidence.  But there are other seasons that are a bit tougher to swallow…one of which is a season of ridicule or judgment based simply on what I believe and/or because of a path I’ve chosen to follow that others may not agree with.

There is so much in the human psyche that yearns for acceptance and praise from our peers…that, when what I believe is called into question, I so often acquiesce back to a safe zone of tolerability.  This section of scripture reminds me that I will suffer hardship for what I believe, but when that happens…the truth should always outweigh my comfort.  This shouldn’t really surprise me though since anything in the life that has any degree of importance…always comes with a cost…and always requires being fought for.  In fact, it could very well be that the hardships I face based upon what I believe are there for the mere reason to remind me of importance of those beliefs.

I should not be fearful of these seasons of ridicule or the toll they sometimes take on my confidence…they should instead be the wake-up call catalyst to inspire me to press on.  For I know the truth…and that truth should give me the confidence to take on the world.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit  [v. 18]

 ~ chefdave11

“If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it round.  Trouble creates a capacity to handle it.  I don’t embrace trouble; that’s as bad as treating it as an enemy.  But I do say meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.  “~Oliver Wendell Holmes

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