How confident are we in our faith? What is the basis of our confidence? Do others see us witness to the belief that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior? Our answer to these questions are key as we continue our Back to Basics series with this week’s teaching using the letter C—Confessing our Faith with Confidence.
Confidence makers or confidence breakers
The changes spawned by the coronavirus pandemic have unraveled everything we once defined as normal. In our humanity, we are now looking for something that resembles what we once knew as a daily routine or an ordinary life style. With our failure to find the familiar, we are now desperate for something or someone to put our trust in—something that is secure.
We look to our traditional sources of confidence—government, church, business, or community-based institutions—for reassurance and hope. Instead, what we are faced with is an enormous gap in confidence.
Demand for faithful confession
It is critical that we, as believers, anchor ourselves to The Source that has proven reliable and dependable. In addition, we must share with the world the Best Option to successfully navigate 21st century living, especially in the wake of social upheaval, public health threats, and economic uncertainty. We now must live out our Christian beliefs, practice discernment, and exercise moral courage to ensure that God’s kingdom comes—even in the midst of chaos.
The challenges we face are much like the early church. As people of faith we are tempted to fall away from God—even to apostasy. Believer’s conviction to “walk by faith and not by sight” has weakened as evidenced by the growing number of followers who are distancing themselves from the Church.
Our impotent witness has left nonbelievers and searchers vulnerable to satanic influence and beliefs. Instead of leading people to the light we are leaving them in the dark (Eph. 5:8; Matt. 5:14-16). What has happened to our confident confession of faith? It’s time to return to the basics. The Psalms are the best primer to remind us of the basis for our confident confession.
The Psalms as confidence builders
The writers of the Psalms give us various insights into the lives of people and nations who cried out to God—the source of their confidence. The Psalms have been described as the “mirror of the soul” for they reflect the emotions experienced by God’s people in both historic situations (the nation of Israel) and personal circumstances. They give us breathtaking insight into the character and work of God as He reveals Himself to the psalmist.
David’s confession of confidence
Psalm 16 gives us an unguarded view of how confident faith is lived out under the watchful eye of God. It is shown to us through David’s personal testimony of trust in the Lord.
I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalms 16:8 (NKJ)
David’s confidence in God
The psalm opens with David’s first statement of confidence in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He cries out, “Preserve me, O God (El) for in thee do I put my trust” (v.1). El in Hebrew translates to the one true God, Jehovah. The historical narratives of the Pentateuch gave witness to David of the mighty works of Jehovah and His love for His special people.
David continues this psalm by giving his second confession of confidence in Jehovah God: “O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup” (v. 5). Here David acknowledges his total dependency on the LORD. Regardless of his circumstance, David resolved to trust the Lord with an assurance of provision for today (my cup) and long term success (my inheritance).
Confident faith building
It is in verse 8 that David explains the final reason for his confession of confidence: “I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” To set in Hebrew means “to equalize by making an adjustment”. David is saying that he will make the necessary adjustments to insure that he is aligned with the LORD. He is confident in the LORD and determined to trust Him. David promises to consistently respond in confidence by always setting the LORD’s will before him.
David concludes: “because He (the LORD) is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” The hand in Hebrew represents the seat of one’s power. David’s confidence was based on God’s strength and not his own.
Confident faith confession
Too often when faced with problems, we look to our ability to resolve the situation. It is only when we “look to the hills from which comes our help” (Psalm 121:1) that we are able to spiritually persevere. David’s confession of confidence in God emanated from a humble dependence and consistent reliance on the Lord. Therefore, he wouldn’t be “shaken” by the events he faced in his life.
With COVID-19, where are we going to place our confidence? When facing challenges in our life, do we consistently respond in confidence to the Lord? Do we run for cover or do we, like David, remain unshaken because we have already determined to trust in the Lord. Our response is an indicator of our faithful confidence in Him. The time to decide how we will handle life’s circumstances is before they occur. What or who will we set before us?
A Prayer of Confidence
Father we set You continually before us. We know that in You we have the confidence we need to face the challenges of today and the trials of tomorrow. Forgive us when we place our trust in the things of this world and in ourselves. We confess our love to you and like David confidently align our lives with You. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.