Kids can do it. They can have confidence in a silly piece of foam (or whatever a life jacket is made out of.) So why do we struggle to have confidence in God?
We need someone to hope in, to rely on, and to fully trust. This is human nature. People need each other, but above all, we need God. We have evidence at our disposal that should make us completely confident that God is there for us, that He hears us, that He wants the best for us. This evidence can be found in a couple places.
For one, God's word is full of stories that explain how God came through. It describes miracle after miracle and intervention after intervention. God continuously saved His people; He kept at it until He provided our ultimate savior: Jesus. Yes, the Bible should surely build our confidence in God.
Anybody heard a good old testimony lately? That's right, our own stories of how God worked are confidence builders, for us and for others. We have to keep sharing what God is doing in our lives. This takes God out of the Bible time period and makes Him real. It shows how He moves and helps us normal people, not just these men and women of the Bible whom we now view as heroes of our faith.
So, we have God's word, and we have the testimonies of others. Why is it then that we still doubt God? I hope I'm not alone in this. I have struggled mostly to have confidence in God's plan for my life, which ties into a lack of confidence that God really will answer my prayers.
I don't think I'm alone in this, at least not according to the Bible. In John 11, it describes Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus had been dead for four days when Jesus arrived at his tomb. He prayed out loud to God before asking Lazarus to come out of the grave. "Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me" (v. 41-42).
Did you catch that? Even the people who witnessed some of Jesus' miracles, and those that were about to witness Lazarus come back to life, lacked confidence in God. Jesus knew this and used that time of mourning as a time of teaching.
It is hard to have confidence in an unseen God sometimes. Because, even though we try to be committed to our devotional and prayer times, sometimes God just chooses to make us wait to hear from Him. He always has a reason for making us wait, but when we're in the waiting, it is just plain hard to keep confident.
What can we do? What can we remember and preach to ourselves when we find we lack confidence?
- God always hears us. Just as Jesus explains in John 11:41, God always hears our prayers. Hearing and answering is two different things, though, and that is what I think causes us to doubt. Just because we don't see our prayers answered immediately does not mean that God did not hear them.
- God is always at work. One of my favorite verses that I found while I was in a time of waiting was Zechariah 2:13. "Be silent before the Lord, all humanity, for He is springing into action from His holy dwelling." I love the picture this verse paints. We feel God is not working when we don't see evidence firsthand. But, this verse explains that God is poised and ready to work. He is working. Sometimes we just have to be silent and wait to see it.
- God has plans for us. Good ones. Most of us have probably heard that God has plans for our lives. Good old Jeremiah 29:11 explains that. "'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and nor for disaster.'" I found another verse that takes this concept a step further. In Psalm 31:19 the psalmist writes, "How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world." Do you know what this tells me? If we rely on God for our safety, much like a kid relies on a life jacket, we will receive a huge amount of goodness and blessing. These are excellent plans, my friends, God plans.
I know it's cheesy, but God really is our life jacket. We can have this kind of child-like confidence because we know these three things: God always hears us, God is always and work, and God has good plans for us.
Linking up with the following inspiring blogs: #intentionalTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #TellHisStory, #fellowshipFriday, #graceandtruth, #coffeeforyourheart