Christians should be confident about life.
Such confidence is not derived from ignorance nor from an over appreciation of one’s ability. The faithful Christian is not the person who thinks himself or herself adequate to every task whether that be run-blocking for the New England Patriots or trading commodities in Tokyo. The Scriptures clearly state that God has given people specific talents to specific people for the purpose of blessing humanity. Though equal in value, we are not equal in function.
When God zeros in on his people, the church, he describes them as a body. God designed us to work in unison with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We are not competent for every task. But we should be confident in the Lord regardless of what we are doing and what is going on around us.
In short, our emotions should be determined by our understanding of the Lord and not our circumstances. And those who understand the power of God cannot help but be confident in their God.
In 1 Samuel 14, Saul and his army had become so petrified that they can no longer act like an army. Their fear is not without merit. The Israel’s army had 3,000 men who had recently assassinated a Philistines governor and his security detail. Responding to Hebrew’s bravado, the Philistines sent 30,000 troops crashing into the Hebrew countryside. Saul’s small and terrified force was no match for the Philistine army. Saul who had boasted of his military muscle only few days earlier now sat motionless. While he waited, His nation and army feel into disarray. People were literally running to the hills for safety. Saul had no hope because his circumstances contained only gloomy clouds of despair.
But not all in the Israelite camp were despairing. In 1 Samuel 14:6 we read,
Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.”
Jonathan knew that God was not limited by Jonathan’s circumstances. God did not need his health, money, power, abilities, or connections to carry out his plans. God rules. He controls the stars, the waves, the hearts of men and women, the birds, and even the tiny blades of grass. God reigns! But God is more than sovereign, God is good! Jonathan’s God had promised never to “abandon you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers, which he swore to them by oath (Deut. 4:31).” Though the odds were stacked against Jonathan, he went forward boldly for he knew the power and character of his God.
Friends as we wrestle through life, we should have Jonathan’s confidence times two. Jonathan went forward knowing the promise of God’s power. We go forward having experienced the fullness of God’s power. Jesus has died on the cross for our sins and he has risen from the dead, delivering us from the power of sin. Because of Christ work, Christians have a confidence that atheists, Mormons, and Muslims can never have. We have the confidence of knowing that we are right with God. We know that nothing can change that status. Nothing take away our hope of salvation. As Paul writes in Romans 8:31-38:
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Christians should be confident people. Even when we feel the pain of cancer, the pressures of being jobless, and hardships that come with broken relationships, we can be confident in the power of Christ. Like Jonathan, we can say, “Let’s see what glorious thing God will do today!”
Our circumstances do not define us. Our God does!
We should expect our God to work. God hears Jonathan’s expression of faith and gives the prince an incredible victory over the Philistines. Jonathan, his armor bearer, and the discombobulated army of Israelites defeat an army of 30,000 well trained troops. God does the impossible.
God is not done doing the impossible. He has not kicked off his shoes and sat down to play Candy Crush while we eek out an sad existence in the twenty-first century. Paul reminds us that our God “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” Our Lord and savior is still in the business of healing the sick, redeeming the broken, and sanctifying the redeemed. God used Luther to begin the reformation, Wilberforce to overturn slavery, and Jim Eliot to reach the Huaorani people. If you find yourself overwhelmed by circumstances that seem beyond rescue, implore the Lord for help! P. B. Power reminds us, “Man’s expectation is generally a prelude to God’s action.” Expect God things from God!
This is not to say we expect God to do all our holy will. Yet, we should expect God to do all that is good and all that is best for us. We should always be confident of God’s goodness and love. We should be confident in our God!
Do you have the confidence of Jonathan?