* Confidence comes from God’s strength, not our own
Self-sufficiency, confidence, is an enemy when it causes us to believe we can always do what needs to be done in our own strength. To prevent this attitude among Gideon’s soldiers, God reduced their number from 32,000 to 300. With an army this small, there could be no doubt that victory was from God. The men could not take the credit. Like Gideon, we must recognize the danger of fighting in our own strength. We can be confident of victory only if we put our confidence in God and not ourselves. (NLT)
Judges 7:2 – The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength.
* Confidence in the face of global destruction
The fear of mountains or cities suddenly crumbling into the sea as the result of an earthquake or a nuclear blast haunts many people today. But the psalmist says that even if the world ends, we need not fear. In the face of utter destruction, the writer expressed a quiet confidence in God’s ability to save him. It seems impossible to consider the end of the world without becoming consumed by fear, but the Bible is clear–God is our refuge even in the midst of total destruction. He is not merely a temporary retreat; he is our eternal refuge and can provide strength in any circumstance. (NLT)
Psalm 46:1-3 – God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the water surge!
* Lack of confidence makes us struggle with new challenges
Often people struggle with new challenges because they lack self-confidence, feeling that they have inadequate ability, training, or experience. Jeremiah thought he was “too young” and inexperienced to be God’s spokesman to the world. But God promised to be with him. We should not allow feelings of inadequacy to keep us from obeying God. He will always be with us. If God gives you a job to do, he will provide all you need to do it. (NLT)
Jeremiah 1:6-8 – “O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”
“Don’t say that,” the Lord replied, “for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
* Confidence to speak out for Christ
Suppose someone threatened to kill you if you didn’t stop talking about God. You might be tempted to keep quiet. But after being threatened by powerful leaders, arrested, jailed, and miraculously released, the apostles went back to preaching. This was nothing less than God’s power working through them! When we are convinced of the truth of Christ’s resurrection and have experieinced the presence and power of his Holy Spirit, we will also have the confidence to speak out for Christ. (NLT)
Acts 5:21 – So the apostles entered the Temple about daybreak and immediately began teaching. When the high priest and his officials arrived, they convened the high council, along with all the elders of Israel. Then they sent for the apostles to be brought for trial.
* How Holy Spirit gives us confidence
Paul’s confidence was not in his keen intellect or speaking ability but in his knowledge that the Holy Spirit was helping and guiding him. Paul is not denying the importance of study and preparation for preaching, he had a thorough education in the Scriptures. Effective preaching results from studious preparation and reliance on the work of the Holy Spirit. Don’t use Paul’s statement as an excuse for not studying or preparing. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 2:4 – And my message and my preaching were very plain. I did not use wise and persuasive speeches, but the Holy Spirit was powerful among you.
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