Who have you put your confidence in?
Similar in meaning, but different words (trust, faith, reliance, etc.) give foundation to a concept that we depend upon every single day. Our self-esteem or self-confidence may be out of whack, or we simply need an influencer in our life, so we look to someone else, or something, to give us what we are missing. In other words, there are things we depend on other than ourselves.
What is Confidence? Of the variety of descriptions used in the dictionary, the one that speaks to me the loudest?
Confidence: the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something
Rely? In other words, it’s someone I can put MY TRUST in, and maybe even trust for my particular SITUATION. Dig a little deeper for application – It’s who I trust with my finances, family, kids, mechanic for my car, a friend that is closer than a brother…. It’s who I trust for my spiritual condition.
For the past several weeks we have been studying about “influence” and documenting those things, and people, that have been an influence in our lives. Some of these influences lead us properly in life, but there are also bad influences! It’s necessary to learn to recognize those that are good influences, and those that are not so good – and choose appropriately!
This gives me my Confidence Factor. Part of what I do is to put parameters upon people and things and determine if I can place my confidence in them. Are they dependable? Reliable? Consistent? Show up when necessary, or needed? Do they follow through when required? Are they there when needed, and even when not needed?
In other words, can I place my confidence in them? Or it? Many times I do not even trust my own parameters, and end up trusting someone that should not be depended upon.
I awoke this morning thinking about confidence. Immediately, I thought about a favorite song of the 70’s by Andrae Crouch. It was a favorite choir song, and I know I wore out an album listening to Andrae sing this and other songs.
When trouble is in my way, I can’t tell my night from day
When I’m tossed from side to side, Like a ship on a raging tide
I don’t worry I don’t fret, My God has never failed me yet
Troubles come from time to time, But that’s all right,
I’m not the worrying kind because
I’ve got confidence, God is gonna see me through
No matter what the case may be, I know He’s gonna fix it for me
Job was sick so long, Till the flesh fell from his bones
His wife, cattle and children, Everything that he had was gone
But Job in his despair, I said He knew that God still cared
Sleepless days and sleepless nights, But Job said that’s all right because
Some folks wonder how I smile, Even when I’m goin’ through trials
They say Andrae` how can you have song, When everything is goin’ wrong
But I don’t worry I don’t fret, My God has never failed me yet
Trouble’s coming from time to time, But that’s all right,
I’m not the worrying kind because
[Words & music by Andrea Crouch]
Along the way, we choose to put our confidence in people or things. Perhaps there is a time when the trust is justifiable, but we should constantly weigh out whether this confidence is necessary for the long run. You see, when we trust continually one way and leave God out of the equation, then we will struggle with our Confidence Factor.
Of old, we knew that Egypt was a mighty nation. When Israel left slavery and returned to their promised land, the Pharaoh had a change of heart and sent his mighty army of soldiers and chariots after them. Fear swept Israel. They understood what this army could do, but they had so quickly forgotten their new found confidence in the releasing power of God! They had just come through all the plagues, and now they were free! Except for the chariots…
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the LORD! (Isaiah 31:1 ESV)
You see, if God can handle an entire nation on their home turf, then the same God can handle their armies as they leave their cities! Israel may have had their Confidence Factor shaken, but Moses shows them to trust God even again.
Later, King David wrote a psalms that brags on Israel and God!
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. (Psalms 20:7 ESV)
Watch those you put your confidence in, because they, or it, can fail you. This applies to all facets of your life… Even your financial position. Stock markets, gold, silver, 401k’s, property – they all are volatile and will lead you on a roller coaster. You may trust in what you have, and what you hope to gain, but with one swift day and it can all crumple around your ears… Just look at Job! So, one more scriptural thought about the Confidence Factor from a man who lost just about everything he had, including his family.
“If I have made gold my trust or called fine gold my confidence, if I have rejoiced because my wealth was abundant or because my hand had found much, if I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor, and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand, this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I would have been false to God above.” (Job 31:24-28 ESV)
See? If you had been faithful to all that you have acquired, and trusted in what you have been able to make and do, and been false to God… Then you have your Confidence Factor out of whack!