Devotional

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and didn’t understand anything they were saying because they were using technical or specialized vocabulary? Maybe a doctor explained some health issue to you in medical terms that were very appropriate and precise, but you had no idea what he was saying because you did not understand the terms. But while you may not grasp totally what they say, you have confidence that the doctor knows what he or she is talking about and is capable of solving what ever medical issue you went to the doctor for.   

Most people do have confidence in their doctor, but confidence in God can be a much more difficult business. Maybe we think we are unworthy. Maybe we think the answer is no, because the answer always seems to be no or no answer. Psalm 27 addresses the subject because much of the Psalm is about sure and certain confidence in God. The psalm begins: “The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?”

But if only this were all. If only things were so simple, and we could all confidently get clear help in our next doctor visit or the next time God wishes to use something in some way. If only it were so easy.

Psalm 27 simplifies the confusion to a great degree. In verses 10-11 we read, “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me.”  The psalmist wasn’t wresting with the flu, or loss of a job, or a relationship problem. Still, the psalmist had real struggles in his life that possibly included being forsaken by father and mother, beset by foes, and attacked by greedy enemies. But in the midst of all that, the psalmist somehow expressed a confidence in God.

When we trust God with our self-confidence, we put the power in His hands. That can be scary and beautiful all at the same time. We’ve all been hurt and crushed by others, but God doesn’t do that. He knows we aren’t perfect, but loves us anyway. We can feel confident in ourselves because God is confident in us. 1 Corinthians 2:3-5 says:

“I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling.  And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit.  I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. How important is it to have confidence?
  2. Can confidence be a negative as well? Why?
  3. What can we do this week to increase our confidence in God?