Lots and lots of articles, blogs and books are written on the subject of confidence. Here lately it seems I am hearing the word everywhere I turn. My new devotional book I’m reading with a friend is about having a confident heart. This morning during corporate prayer at our church it was mentioned once again. All of this got me to thinking. I did a bit of googling and almost every quote, image, meme and article it pulled up was on SELF-confidence. Then, I had one of those ‘aha’ moments. That’s why there is so much interest.
Simple definition of confidence is full trust. Full as in complete. Here’s the thing, I think that people don’t find themselves trustworthy. I think they’ve learned that other people most certainly can’t always be fully trusted. I’m afraid that hesitation to trust has caused us to apply that same uncertainty to God. Can we trust Him?
As a foster parent for fifteen years I am not sure that anything impacted our home and threatened our success as much as broken trust in the children’s lives. Their ability to trust, their willingness to trust, was greatly compromised. After all, they had been betrayed, traumatized and taught well that trusting people makes you vulnerable.
As Christians I think we often approach God with the same suspicions that these hurting children approached us with as they entered our home. You know what? I learned to give them time. Time to feel safe. Time to get to know us. Time to rest a while and recover a bit from the storm that brought them to us.
God is willing to do the same for us. He understands when we are battle weary, afraid, concerned, unsure and confused. He sees us. He is EL ROI, the God who sees us. He is aware. He doesn’t look at us with disappointment. He looks at us with compassion.
I so clearly remember one of our foster children who arrived so angry that she scowled at me upon arrival. She arrived with a sibling who was older and actually thankful to be there. But, this young girl was having none of it. After we sat down and discussed house rules and got to know each other a bit I told them I’d like to welcome them with a hug. The older sibling readily agreed. The younger said I better not touch her or I’d regret it. Well, I took her word for it and honored her choice. I gave her space and time. I still cared for her, provided for her, spoke to her and mothered her. But, I didn’t hug her.
She watched me like a hawk. She sized me up and she sized me down. She saw me hug the other children. One day she took a courageous step and asked me to hug her. We became fast friends and she lived with us several years.
I’d like to say that I never disappointed her, that I never caused her to slip into a place of broken trust. But, I’m sorry to say that wasn’t the case. Without going into great detail that might cross boundaries of privacy, I will tell you that we parted due to very sad circumstances. I knew that day she felt I too had abandoned her and that I too was not trustworthy. Those were very sad days. Even now as I type these words my heart is heavy.
But, there is more to the story. This young girl who had faced so much hurt and disappointment in her life was adopted by loving devoted parents. She has still struggled at times but, she learned what I have learned. People aren’t always trustworthy, but God is.
You can put your confidence in Him. You can trust Him when you aren’t sure you can trust yourself.
I’m glad to report that we have had occasional contact with the young girl who is now a young woman and a mother herself. I enjoy every time she calls or visits. I try to forgive myself for not being enough and remind myself that God was and is enough, every time, no exceptions.
Look, I don’t know what has shaken you to the core. I don’t know what broken trust you have faced. I don’t know if your mother abused you or if your husband abandoned you. I don’t know if your friends betrayed you or if your church disappointed you. I don’t know if a person you depended on wasn’t dependable after all. I don’t know who has let you down or even if that person might be me.
But, here is what I do know. You can place your confidence in God. You can fully trust Jesus Christ. You can rely without hesitation on The Holy Spirit.
I’d like to share a few verses from the Bible concerning confidence. I pray that as you read them, you, like the frightened, angry little girl that walked through my doors one day will find your courage and place your confidence in the One who deserves it.
Confidence (full trust)
We have this confidence as a sure and strong anchor for our lives. This confidence goes into the ⌊holy⌋ place behind the curtain (Hebrews 6:19 GW)
The LORD will be your confidence. He will keep your foot from getting caught. (Proverbs 3:26 GW)
We’re not ashamed to have this confidence, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5 GW)
We can go to God with bold confidence through faith in Christ. (Ephesians 3:12 GW)
He is not afraid of bad news. His heart remains secure, full of confidence in the LORD. (Psalms 112:7 GW)