The Mother Superior had just told Maria she was to become a governess to seven children. Maria said, “Seven?” And then she put on the dress “the poor didn’t want” and packed her bag and picked up her guitar and closed the gate to the convent behind her and sang:
“I have confidence in sunshine. I have confidence in rain. I have confidence that spring will come again, besides which, you see, I have confidence in me.”
And she was fine till she reached the gates of the von Trapp mansion, and then she had to summon her courage again, sing the song as the ran headlong to the front door.
Confidence. Maria had way more of that commodity than she realized.
Of late, if we have ever felt…collectively… we have a short and diminishing supply of confidence, it is now.
The daily news does us no good in inspiring confidence in our current situation or our future.
The year, we are all agreed, has been difficult. Besides health scares, leaders of all sorts in all areas of life have been exposed for all kinds of wrongdoing.
Our confidence is waning.
When our confidence lessens, our outlook turns bleak.
And then every new story about “the same old thing” only hardens us, tempting us to cast our confidence away altogether.
But the Bible is clear in its promises.
Cast not away our confidence, which has great recompence of reward. Hebrews 10:35
After all, in whom should our confidence rest? Not ourselves or our own plans. Not in “the arm of flesh.”
It is said the central verse of the Bible is Psalm 118:8. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
Whether or not it is the middle verse, the thought is central, because God is unchangeable, and fully able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think. Ephesians 3:20.
Our confidence in God need never lessen.
Admittedly, there are times…such as Job, for instance, experienced…when we feel God is distant or not listening. Sometimes we are indeed in the dark.
And that is when our confidence must hold steady.
Consider Abraham: God had promised him a son and when the promise was not fulfilled immediately, Sarah came up with a different plan. Find the story in Genesis 15-16.
The story of Abram and Hagar in Genesis 16 is an excellent example of listening to so-called good advice during a time of darkness, rather than waiting for God to send the light. When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will bring the vision He has given you to reality in your life if you will wait on His timing.
Never try to help God fulfill His word. Abram went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all of his self-sufficiency was destroyed. He grew past the point of relying on his own common sense. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not a period of God’s displeasure. There is never any need to pretend that your life is filled with joy and confidence; just wait upon God and be grounded in Him.
Do I trust at all in the flesh? Or have I learned to go beyond all confidence in myself and other people of God? Do I trust in books and prayers or other joys in my life? Or have I placed my confidence in God Himself, not in His blessings? “I am Almighty God…”— El-Shaddai, the All-Powerful God.
The reason we are all being disciplined is that we will know God is real. As soon as God becomes real to us, people pale by comparison, becoming shadows of reality. Nothing that other saints do or say can ever upset the one who is built on God. My Utmost for His Highest
Confidence in God is never misplaced. As John Piper said, “God is doing 10,000 things you know nothing about.”
The end of Abraham’s story is this: Romans 4:20-21. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform.
As one author put it: God has a plan and He did not begin that plan at random or without a knowledge of how His plan would succeed.
“He is silently planning for Thee in love for it matters to Him about you.”
Be confident. God is working.