Thursday, July 21, 2016

put your confidence in Christ



We need to be people who understand, like Paul did, that living for God is not optional.  It is essential.  Confidence often comes from education and understanding.  At times confidence comes from experience and living life.  Real confidence also comes in living on the foundation of what you believe.

What Paul wrote in the following passages speaks volumes about his faith and why he was confident.

Philippians 1:20-26  NLT
For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. 21For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. 22But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. 23I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. 24But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. 25Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. 26And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me.

Paul’s confidence comes in lots of different forms.  Examine with me a few of the things he said about why his strength and confidence stayed real.

First, Paul said he is never ashamed because his boldness is based in Christ and not what he did in the past.

Second, Paul reminded those reading this letter that his confidence wasn’t dependent on how he felt or what happened.  Whether he lived or died, Christ was still in change.

Third, Paul’s words admitted he was human.  He wants to live on earth and serve.  He also wanted to go on to heaven to be with God.  Either way would be a plus for everyone.

Fourth, Paul kept on saying that his life was meant to make a difference in the lives of others because God gave his purpose and that fueled Paul’s confidence.

Fifth, Paul closed this passage by reminding himself and others that life is all about Christ.  He wasn’t meant to give himself credit or make himself look good.  Life is about focusing on Jesus and nothing less.

Confidence comes when we trust God and not ourselves or anyone else.

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