Hebrews 6:17-20 (NKJV)
Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
This life in Christ I live is far from boring. Constantly changing me, not necessarily the things around me which produces an unsettling which precipitates our walk of faith. Our life has been a whirlwind it seems lately. God stirring and shaking us, preparing us, moving us. It is definitely not dull. Who would think that following Christ might be dramatic? In the challenging storms that I have faced, I have determined that faith has begun to produce an anchor in me called hope. As I begin this new journey with the Lord, pursing the tug on my heart and calling my feet to action, it is my initial kneejerk reaction to give that anchor a tug or two. You know what I mean. When the Lord drops something new in our spirit, we mull it over, pray about it, and kick the tires so to speak. We want to be sure it is from the Lord. We are looking for confidence.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God not always seeing the Hand of God. His Ways are higher than our ways. His Thoughts more complex and far reaching. It is the anchor of our soul – hope that keeps us engaged in our lifelong pursuit. Hope is to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence. Some may say that I am crazy. In fact, I have seen the look in their eyes. Pity. People have actually pitied me and become concerned that I have lost touch with reality in some of my pursuits with the Lord. But in the end, my anchor held strong and secure. Never letting me drift, but bringing me into safe harbor just as promised. (Psalm 107:30)
We must be confident in the Lord today. We are to walk by faith NOT by sight which is completely contradictory to human nature. Relying heavy on the five sense not to mention our feelings and emotions, it is a challenge for any human being to trust the Lord enough to become confident in Him. When confidence is born, hope will prevail. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Hope is substance of our faith. Without hope, we simply do not believe beyond the here and now. Confidence is not an easy endeavor. False confidence is a lie. It is presenting something that is not genuine. Our faith in Jesus Christ must be genuine, therefore it must be tested to ensure that it is true. Confident hope keeps us engaged in the process which promises to never lead us to disappointment.
Hebrews 10:35-37 (NKJV)
Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.”
Confidence is a character trait. The word comes from a Latin root meaning sure of one self and self-reliant. The definition of confidence is having strong belief or full assurance. It means to be sure of oneself. To be excessively bold. Confidence in our self is important. Not in our flesh but in the fact that greater is He who is in us than he that is in the world. Christ lives in you. He lives in me if I believe and invite Him. Salvation is the beginning of the process. As we grow in the Lord it is to develop faith and confident hope that will allow us to endure to the end receiving His Promise. Unfortunately, life is hard. The enemy is constantly seeking those he may devour. Those who he can steal from, kill or destroy. Jesus has overcome the enemy. He has overcome the world. Our belief must become confident to have victory in this life.
Hope produces confidence born of the Spirit not always confirmed by the present circumstances yet fully assured that it is true and valid. It is self-confidence becomes it is the substance of personal faith investing in the Lord by an individual not corporately. We must have hope to endure. Hope is the very thing that fulfills us even to the end. It is a process of sowing and reaping in our spirit that yields the Fruit of His Spirit. It is the cultivation of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that strengthen our confidence in God in us. He is God with us. We can always be sure.
Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)
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…
Are you confident today? I am confident of many things in the Lord yet He pushes me a little farther out where I cannot touch any longer. Just when I am comfortable with my place in God, His Spirit nudges me just a little or sometimes a lot to press in deeper, go a little farther, climb a little higher and reach for Him. I want to. I really do. However, when I reach the limit of my faith it is hope that allows me to keep going. I must have confidence in God’s Process.
This is not always easy. In fact, when Paul wrote this particular letter, he was in prison. Bound by chains, he encouraged others from the faith and hope that resided within him. Paul held captive physically but completely free in Jesus Christ. Hope deferred makes the heart sick. (Proverbs 13:12) It’s true. When God does not meet our expectations or perform according to our plan, it is human nature to walk away. Did you know that lacking confidence in the Lord is actually spiritual rebellion? (Hebrews 3:12-15) When we try to get to God any other way than Jesus Christ, we have strayed off track. We are now in opposition to God’s Will, Way and Word. God has made the Way for us. He has given us everything we need to live a successful godly life. (2 Peter 1:3) In fact, the Lord provides everything we need naturally and spiritually. We do not have anything to worry about. He has promised to provide everything we need to prosper in life.
Philippians 1:12-14 (NKJV)
But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
We must have confidence on God’s Purpose. The process of God does not exempt us from pressure, pain, problems or persecution. Paul was testifies about his misfortune is getting attention affording him the opportunity to share Christ in the palace. His message resonating throughout. I would venture to think that it is not because he was griping, complaining, moaning and groaning about his circumstances and discomfort but rather I believe it was his constant praise and worship despite his situation that got their attention.
Confidence in God’s Purpose is hope that carries us through the trials of life. The purpose of my life is to be saved and share the same with the world. (I Thessalonians 5:8-10) My voice is not heard when it blends in with everyone else. I once read a parenting article about yelling at our kids. I will admit that I used to raise my voice quite a bit. However, when my husband spoke in a normal voice everyone immediately responded. How frustrating? In the article, it suggested not yelling. Surely the author had no idea what it was like to have a houseful of children and be a work-at-home mom. She suggested that when we shout and scream to get everyone’s attention all the time that they become used to it and immune. She went on to suggest that they become so accustomed to it that they will no longer respond to a calm voice. She went on to say that if we would lower our voice and speak softly to our children, it would draw them closer. She was right. But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Kids expect us to yell at them if that is what they have become used to. It does not have an impact. So it is with the world around us, if we react to life the same as the rest of the world, our life remains hidden within. When we begin to respond to our situations, circumstances and misfortunes in life from the hope that we have inside – they will listen to us.
Philippians 1:24-26 (NKJV)
Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.
Finally, we must remain confident in the promise. God has many promises for us. His Spirit is our guarantee. Paul knew that his imprisonment was temporary and believed that he would be released. When God speaks to us giving us a personal promise, it is up to us to take the anchor of our soul called hope and tie it to it. Faith in God keeps us going through each step to secure it but if we do not believe in the faithfulness and surety of God’s Promise – we will give up.
Abraham was given the promise that he would be the father of many descendants. He grabbed hold of that promise and held on to it until he was 99 years old. Sarah was well past her childbearing years and it now seemed impossible. This is the realm of hope that puts the spotlight on the Lord. The closer to impossible I get the more excited that I become. There is nothing like God’s Fulfillment in our life which is totally possible in all things man cannot accomplish.
Abraham believed in God who “gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” I have to chuckle at the reminder. When our son’s bone marrow transplant was denied, the transplant nurse and I were on the phone looking at clinical trials and searching the internet together because we were running out of time and options to save our son’s life. In the middle of the conversation, I began to tell her about my Jesus and my confidence in Him. She recalled this verse so we looked it up together. The conversation turned from the problem to the solution. We agreed together to “call those things which do not exist as though they did.” Within about a month, we had an approval that came out of “nowhere”. God got all the Glory when it came not only from our family but those who saw the Lord work for the very first time or the first time in a long time. God promised me that our son would live and not die the very first night of his diagnosis. It would take almost four years to see it come to pass. How long have you been waiting? Have you given up on it? Have you buried it as dead? God gives new life to dead dreams for those with the faith to pick them back up and wrap them in confident hope that if He said it He meant it. Those who endure to the end are saved. We must be confident.
Lamentations 3:21-26 (NKJV)
This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your Faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Along with His Fresh Delivery of New Mercy today, the Lord is inviting us to hope in Him again. To dare to believe and trust Him beyond what we can see and what we know. He offers His Promise for our life in all its perfection despite our imperfection and asks us only to believe. We must remind ourselves sometimes… to be more specific ALL OF THE TIME that God is for us and never against us. He withholds no good thing from His Children. He is a Good God. We are justified by faith. It is important. Hope never leads to disappointment if it is our goal in life. We must submit to the process of faith that leads to greater confidence in our Lord. Peace with God is established by our faith in Jesus Christ. We have access to faith because it starts small but has huge growth potential for those who choose to cultivate it in this life. It comes at a price as we die to self to become confident in Christ alone. We can rejoice in the hope of the Glory of God as we go through tribulation to acquire perseverance, as we persevere to obtain godly character. It is that character which produces strong hope in the Lord so that our faith can grow just a little more. When we discover that our hope is sure, it becomes the strong anchor that leads us from glory to glory in this life as we experience His Goodness and Favor like never before.
I John 5:13-15 (NKJV)
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
Wherever you are in His Process, the Lord promises to be our confidence. (Proverbs 3:26) Outside of Christ, we can do nothing. Abiding in Christ, we have the power to do all things if we believe. It is with this confidence that we must live in pursuit of Jesus each day. Never lacking in our commitment but being confident in His Love and Salvation no matter how things look or the outcome perceived. We have hope. Lamentations is a book of lamenting which is an expression of grief yet some of the most profound and encouraging words concerning hope are found in the pages. We must learn not to react to life but respond to the Lord with confidence. Give that anchor a tug today. Is it secure? It can be as we love and trust Him more.
Psalm 130:5-6 (NKJV)
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning—yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
Romans 15:13 (NKJV)
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.