Brighton Church of Christ
God Has Confidence In Us
God trusts that we can survive adversity and march on as valiant soldiers of Christ.
Before I started preaching, one good brother was instrumental in preparing me for the job. He visited with me one day and in the conversation we had on that occasion he said to me, “I think you are ready to preach.” That was the beginning of the journey I have been on now for over a dozen years. I then prepared and presented a sermon titled “I am ready to preach the gospel,” based on Romans 1:15. I was only a newborn babe in Christ (1 Peter 2:2).
It really is encouraging when someone has confidence in you. I remember the writer of the book of Hebrews saying of his readers, “beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak” (Hebrews 6:9). The word “persuaded” is translated “confident” in the New King James version of the Bible. Nothing is more encouraging than knowing that someone trusts your ability to do something. The Hebrew writer thought highly of the Hebrew Christians, and was convinced that they could live the Christian life to the end. These Christians were, for most of them, on the brink of reverting back to Judaism, their former religion, because of the weight of the demands of Christian living and the burden of persecution.
The above statement by the Hebrews writer was a Spirit-revealed truth that God Himself has confidence in His people. God’s confidence in us is far more invigorating. The Lord trusts that Christians can keep walking in the path of righteousness despite the heavy presence of wickedness all around them. Don’t you at times feel that we are like an island surrounded by a sea of ungodliness that will soon drown us? That’s how my wife and I felt one Sunday on our way to worship when we drove past the celebrations of the Brighton annual gay pride festival on Preston Park. That’s how the Christians in Corinth must have felt back in the first century as idolatry and immorality were prevalent on the Grecian peninsula. To be called a Corinthian then was a reflection on a person’s identity and character. Perhaps, our brethren in the United States feel the same way about the culture of violence in American society of which mass shootings have become symptomatic.
God is sure that we can survive adverse circumstances of this kind, which always face us, and march on. Remember, we are valiant soldiers of Christ. The song goes, in its first stanza, “Onward Christian soldiers, marching on as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle, see his banner go!” (# 522 in our hymn book)
God has confidence in us because He primarily has confidence in the power of His Son to save us. Christ was successful in delivering us from Satan’s influence in the world. Christ was able to go to Golgotha and lay down His life there, defeating the devil’s power and conquering death. With His death on the cross, He succeeded in His mission of “bringing many sons unto glory” (Hebrews 2:10). We’ve reached the height of glory because, with our sins cleansed by the blood of Christ, we now have access to the glorious throne of God (Ephesians 2:18). Now, if Christ has won victory over death, the greatest power over mankind, there are no other forces He couldn’t vanquish on our behalf.
Secondly, God has confidence in us because He has confidence in His Word, the Scriptures. The Hebrew writer said, “the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword... and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). The term “discerner” means that God’s Word is the critic of people. In other words, it is so potent that it can seat in judgment of the human mind and heart. Similarly, it can get into Christians’ minds and hearts and motivate them to struggle on and never give up. The kind of confidence God has in us is not one that encourages us to face the battles of life on our own, away from Him. It is rather one that stimulates us to depend on Him and His spiritual provisions. So, as Paul said, let’s “take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to sand” (Ephesians 6:13).