Preached May 13, 2013
1. Confidence must have a permanent source
Confidence must have a permanent source if it is always going to be available. Self-confidence soon runs out, but there is a source of confidence that will never run dry. Gideon found that source and defeated the Medianites with 300 selected men; Joshua discovered it and caused the walls of Jericho to crumble! Saul of Tarsus found it and escaped death and incarceration; Peter tapped into it and made the cripples walk!
In the face of great odds these men realised they could tap into that eternal source of confidence and overcome their opponents. There is an unlimited source of confidence available to all who will believe in Jesus Christ!
The question is: can one always be confident? The answer is: Yes!
Most people gain confidence from achievement, wealth, position or the favour of man. You can gauge their source of confidence by what they say:
‘Success breeds success!’ or ‘Only associate with positive people!’ or ‘I am a winner!’ or ‘I am a positive faith person!’ or ‘Don’t spend time with losers!’ these slogans give them away.
Most people lack confidence because they have not achieved much in life and are not wealthy, do not have an important position and do not know influential people.
Most people resort to self-motivational seminars to boost their confidence. They listen to egoistical salesmen that hype them up with slogans and sales pitches such as ‘you cannot afford not to buy my books and CD’s!’ and hear how that course will ‘transform your life and make you super successful!’
Pyramid sales companies as well as many church growth schemes based on pyramid systems, use multi-level selling techniques to boost their sales and promote their products. Ignorant people are deceived and told that they will be just as rich as the guy at the top of the pyramid within 6 months and drive the same smart car, but what they are not told is that the pyramid widens out at the bottom and soon the bottom falls out and people are hurt and lose their investment.
In difficult financial times people cannot find loans at banks so they resort to loan sharks that demand high interest or they log on to multi-level selling schemes. They end up losing all they have.
Get rich quick schemes always have a catch. Sometimes Christians run these companies and tell ill-informed believers: ‘first pray about getting involved in this scheme. If the Lord tells you to get involved then get involved, but if the Lord does not tell you, do not get involved.’ It sounds so spiritual, but of course the people who are desperate will ‘hear’ the Lord telling them to get involved.
People are drawn by the seeming confidence of the presenter of the course or the director of the scheme and because they lack confidence they latch onto the confidence of the one they follow. People who promote these deceptive products and courses normally tell everyone how they take their families to Disneyland and other expensive holidays and they are very outspoken about their financial success. But when the plug is pulled on these schemes the confidence level drops to betrayal and many people are hurt and often end up bankrupt.
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.’
‘Having faith and a good conscience which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck.’ They shipwreck their faith!
2. You can only put your trust in one thing at a time
I have warned people everywhere not to place their confidence in money or in people, but in the Living God. (I Tim 6:17-19)
You cannot trust money and God at the same time. You cannot trust people and God at the same time. You can only put your trust in one thing at a time!
There is nothing wrong with making money, but when you put your trust in it, you no longer trust God. The first sentence in Napoleon Hill’s book, ‘How to think and grow rich!’ is, ‘if you want to make money you must love money!’ That is where it goes wrong: from the first sentence. Yet, many believers use that book like a Bible because they read that Mr. Hill also did some charitable works!
Only the blessing of God makes rich and adds no sorrow to it. (Prov 10:22)
‘Cursed is the man who makes the arm of flesh his confidence. But blessed is the man who places His trust in the Lord his God.’
People do not realise that their source of confidence can change overnight! Banks can go bankrupt and companies cease to exist and human beings pass away. When Wall Street crashes people commit suicide, because their trust was in their wealth.
Self-confidence has a limited life span: beauty passes away, skills cease, ability fades. You have to learn how to put your confidence in God.
Isaiah 30:15 – In quietness and confidence shall be your strength
Hebrews 3:6 – whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of hope firm to the end
3. Jesus Christ’s amazing confidence
Jesus Christ’s amazing confidence had no limits because he was hooked up to the eternal source of confidence: he trusted His heavenly Father and did what He showed Him to do. Even in the worst moments Jesus was confident that He was doing the will of His Father. When Judas Iscariot betrayed Him Jesus remained confident. When He died on the cross He was confident and forgave His detractors. His confidence lay in knowing His Father’s will for His life. When you know what you are about to face you can face it boldly. God gave Jesus grace to face denial, betrayal, persecution, execution and crucifixion!
‘Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our salvation, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and having sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed striving against sin.’
4. The secret of divine confidence
The secret of divine confidence is laid up in II Corinthians 5:6 – 9:
‘Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. Therefore we are always confident knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim whether present or absent to be well pleasing to Him.’
God prepares you for something before it happens. So our confidence does not lie in our own effort or ability, or in the support of other people, nor is it a hyped up self motivational false confidence – but it is a source of confidence that will never run dry based on the sure knowledge that He who prepared us for this very thing is God!
So when an opportunity arrives, you know already that God prepared you for it otherwise He will not allow it to come your way. When a trial comes, you know that you have been prepared to face it. When you are honoured, you can handle it with humility. When you are rejected by people you know you are well accepted in the Beloved, in Christ and you can face the rejection with confidence. Whatever you have to face, the knowledge that God first prepares you for it, gives you confidence that you can trust in God for whatever He allows in your life!
This kind of confidence has no pride or arrogance attached to it, because it is a humble dependence on someone greater than you!
5. Be confident that God will complete the good work in you.
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ
Reasons why we can be confident all the time is because we can have confidence in Christ who tasted death for everyone and became the author of eternal salvation to all who put their trust in Him. He sanctifies them completely because He has destroyed the devil’s power to overcome them and He releases them from bondage of sin and fear of death. He is merciful and faithful to complete the good work He begun in those who believe in Him.
The Hebrew words for confidence:
Batach – run for refuge and be secure because you are sure in whom you put your trust
Mibtach – assurance
The Greek words for confidence:
Parrhesia – outspoken, frank, blunt
Peitho – convince by argument
Theriheo – exercise courage and be of good cheer
Tolmaho – to dare to act and to venture out
Now we can understand that the Book of Acts describes Paul’s witness in Rome and ends with: ‘preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.’
Despite all his hardship, suffering, rejection from the Jews, shipwrecks, beatings, imprisonments, losses and betrayals, Paul remained confident throughout his life, because he opened up the divine source of confidence, knowing that God Himself prepared him for what he was about to face. Therefore his epistles are still read today, 2,000 years later and we gain confidence from them! We have discovered the same source of confidence as Paul, as Gideon, as Moses, as Joshua, as Peter and as Jesus Christ our Lord!
(First preached by revelation in 1997, contained in the manual: ‘Building the Church’, by Andre Pelser)