We put our confidence in a lot of things, don’t we? Even if you feel mostly insecure, there is something in which you place your confidence. It might be your intellect or work skills or maybe a hobby. Some are confident in speaking in public. Some derive confidence from their heritage. We place confidence in so many external circumstances: our abilities, our health, our home, our government, our strength, our wealth, our heritage… the list goes on. When things seem secure we don’t hesitate to “lean” on them.
I imagine Job felt confident in his success. He had family, property, livestock, wealth, and even so-called friends. What could possibly go wrong? Of course, things did go desperately wrong. He quickly realized all his “gains” were like a flower that blooms for a day and then withers, like grass that dries up in the sun. All was lost except one thing – his faith in God. Whatever confidence he had in his success paled in comparison to the confidence he placed in his God. And in the end, that was all that mattered.
Paul discovered the same liberating truth:
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:7-11
I wonder if you’ve discovered what it means to consider everything loss compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus. Losing your job, your finances, your friends, your house, even your health…all these are formidable losses and we grieve them. But what are they to you compared to knowing Jesus?
Not just knowing about him. Not even in “just” knowing him as your Savior. But knowing and putting your full confidence in him alone, as the Lord and master of your life, the one you trust when everything else has gone wrong. Our troubles may define our circumstances, but they don’t have to define who you are. It depends on where you place your confidence. Have you come to him in the confidence that his grace is indeed sufficient? Is your confidence in him evidenced by how you handle today’s struggles? I wonder if you’ve discovered the secret of resurrection power that frees you to live life fully even in the midst of suffering – to be like him not only in his glory but in his death.
We find confidence when we remember that our real citizenship is not here, but in heaven, and when we look at the concerns of this life through heavenly eyes. We find confidence when we remember that our life purpose is to live a life worthy of the Lord; not worthy because of our good deeds, but made worthy by his resurrection power in us.
Where do you put your full confidence?