God's Exquisite Garden


The word confidence means (1) full trust; (2) a belief in one's powers or abilities; and (3) a confidential communication.

Our confidence is grown out of our dependence upon God. Confidence means to have trustworthiness, a reliability or a belief in one's powers or abilities. A person may think, "I can manage on my own." We can have the confidence of victory only if we put our confidence in God and not ourselves. As we see in Cor. 2:1-5 - confidence is a gift of God's Spirit. It is so encouraging to know that I can always turn to God.

Our confidence should not be reliant upon our abilities, but upon the Lord. Paul's confidence was not in his intellect or speaking ability but in the knowledge that the Holy Spirit was helping and guiding him.

It is important to studiously prepare for preaching and or teaching. In II Timothy 2:15 we are told to study. If we study, we will know what we are believing. The more we study, we learn more. We are to be able to give an answer to every man who asks us what we believe. We are told this in I Peter 3:15. We, as Christians are to diligently study to have this confidence.

You are so precious that God sent his only Son to die for you (John 3:16). Due to God's unconditional love, God places such value on you, you need never fear personal threats or difficult trials. These can't shake God's love or remove his Spirit from within you. Our confidence is based upon the love that God has for us, that He gave his only begotten Son. We have mentioned God's unconditional love.

About twenty years ago, I heard a story about unconditional love that has stayed with me. I'd like to share it with you. The story is about a newlywed couple. A few weeks after their wedding, the young bride was in a terrible automobile accident. Her face was so mangled up, so re-arranged; but her husband lovingly cared for her. He knew the inner beauty that she possessed and her caring attitude. That is what he loved about her.

We need to be reminded that God loves us "warts and all". What I mean is that God loves us regardless of our flaws. But this doesn't mean that God will take away all your troubles (see Matthew 10:16). The real test of value is how well something holds up under the wear, tear, and abuse of everyday life. Those who stand up for Christ in spite of their troubles truly have lasting value and will receive great rewards (see Matthew 5:11-12).

Don't be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows. (Matthew 10:31)

Confidence from God means a new outlook on life's problems. With it we have the determination to confront the challenges we face in life. A few weeks ago, I read the book BALCONY PEOPLE.

In the book, the author told of being as strong as a sparrow. I told my husband that, and he laughed. Well, sparrows are very tiny birds. He wondered where their strength was. Watching birds is relaxing to me. They fly from one tree to another. I thought how I had watched sparrows hopping around on their tiny, thin legs. Jesus said that God is aware of each thing that happens even to sparrows, and you are so much more important to him than they are.

In Psalm 65:5, "O God of our salvation, thou that art the confidence..." The values of confidence are taught in the Bible in Isaiah 30:15 and in Hebrews 10:35. Some people place their confidence in a man, but in Psalm 118:8-9 we are told to place our confidence in God and not in mankind. If we look in Proverbs 14:16 "...a fool rages and is self-confident." God tells us in Philippians 1:6 that our confidence comes from God. In Hebrews 13:6 we read where our confidence will give us the boldness to speak.

It is better to trust in the LORD
         Than to put confidence in man.
  It is better to trust in the LORD
         Than to put confidence in princes.
                               Psalm 118:8-9(NKJV)       

Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed;
         He will answer him from His holy heaven
         With the saving strength of His right hand.
  Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
         But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
  They have bowed down and fallen;
         But we have risen and stand upright.
                              Psalm 20:6-8(NKJV) 

We are warned regarding false confidence and results thereof.  Psalm 20:6-8 tells us how some put their confidence in their own strength and not in the Lord. Throughout the Bible we are told of instances where confidence has been misplaced.
These are given as examples for us to follow or learn why that is not where our confidence should be placed. We are to follow God's commandments.      

Years ago, I was asked if we were to always follow each command and do all that we were told by God. I told the woman that as a parent you will tell your child to do this or that. We do not want our children to say,"Well, I did most of what you asked." We would be upset and they would receive possible consequences. I know my son would. God is our Heavenly Father, we are to do His will.

BIBLE READING: Acts 5:17-26

KEY BIBLE VERSE: The apostles entered the Temple about daybreak and immediately began teaching. When the high priest and his officials arrived, they convened the high council, along with all the elders of Israel. Then they sent for the apostles to be brought for trial. (Acts 5:21)

Confidence is required in Christ's service. The apostles had power to do miracles, great boldness in preaching, and God's presence in their lives; yet they were not free from hatred and persecution. They were arrested, put in jail, beaten, and slandered by community leaders. Faith in God does not make troubles disappear; it makes troubles appear less fearsome because it puts them in the right perspective.

Don't expect everyone to react favorably when you share something as dynamic as your faith in Christ. Some will be jealous, frightened, or threatened. Expect some negative reactions, and remember that you must be more concerned about serving God than the reactions of people (see Acts 5:29).

Handbook of Bible Application

Doubt whom you will, but never yourself . Christian Nestell Bovee
If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizen, you can never regain their respect and esteem.
                                                             Abraham Lincoln from Great Thoughts

There is little difference in people... the little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.Clement Stone

Discussion and study questions:
(1) What is the origin of our confidence?
(2) What is the purpose of confidence?
(3) If we don't study, how can we give someone an answer to the hope that is within us?

Copyright 2007 Linda Lawrence