My fullest potential in Christ is most realized through a growing positive faith attitude from God.
Confidence in God is one of many components to Christian faith.
For most people studying with us today, God’s capacity, compassion and character are well established.
17 ‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. 18 You show steadfast love to thousands, but you repay the guilt of fathers to their children after them, O great and mighty God, whose name is the Lord of hosts, 19 great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the children of man, rewarding each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds. Jeremiah 32:17-19
With full experience and awareness of God’s faithfulness, we sometimes still have seasons with low confidence in God.
He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24
Being aware of God’s capacity, compassion and character, low confidence in God must be an issue inside the person.
The capacity, compassion and character of God is God’s business. Developing confidence in God is my business.
Let us consider the Apostle Paul’s reasoning for his confidence in God.
But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. 2 Timothy 1:12-14
I know whom
- It is crucial to note that Paul did not say, “I know what I have believed.”
- Confidence in God is deeply personal. Confidence is birthed in the union of my person with The Person.
- Confidence in God results from knowing God.
- A person’s most valuable asset? Knowing Christ.
- A person’s most important prayer? That I may know Christ.
8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
I have believed
- Belief is owned by the person. “I” have believed.
- Belief is not simply a mental statement, but the total placing of trust.
- We might call the John, “The Apostle of Belief.”
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:6-13
If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
I am convinced
- I am absolutely persuaded and confident
- My internal decision mechanism is 100% convinced that God is able.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Confidence in God grows through I know, I believe and I am convinced.
How then do we best increase deep knowing, believing and convincing?
“…that we make our best work, and live our best lives, by charging into the vast space between ourselves and others.” Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs, Joshua Wolf Shenk, 2014, Introduction
This is, in fact, the story of our text today.
Paul’s abiding love for Timothy is the environment which pulls our great text out of Paul’s heart and into writing and into our hearts today.
3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:3-7
Confidence in God through knowing, believing and convincing flourishes best within a relationship in which you charge into the vast space between yourself and another.