Tag Archives: confidence


Once you have been qualified and trained as a marine, you are considered to be a “leatherneck” forever.  Which means, you are expected to live out the values and attitudes of a marine. The Marine Corps Officer’s Guide,” 1964 edition, makes it clear: “Traditions are not preserved by books and museums, but by faithful adherence on the part of all hands—you especially.”  Translation?  Since you are a marine, live like one.

Paul wrote something similar to fellow Christians:

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. –  (Philippians 1:27-28a)

What does it mean to live a life “worthy of the gospel of Christ?”  In this short quote, we see it means to confidently stand firm in what you believe without letting opposition sway you.  It also means to be joined with other believers by the Spirit of God, operating on the same page and working together to spread the good news.   With no fear.

In a team sports contest, you can generally pick the winner by observing which team plays with the most confidence and unity.  Confidence and unified hearts and minds are the essentials as well for a life “worthy of the gospel.”

Real Wealth

Do you want to be wealthy?  The secret  is feeling like you have enough.  Wealth is not measured by the numbers you see when you check your bank account.  It is measured by how contented you are.  It does no good to have lots of money, as so many do, if you feel poor and continually stress about not having enough.  Far better off are those who own comparatively few possessions and yet feel truly contented.

Here are the words of one such person, the apostle, Paul:

“… I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”  –  (Philippians 4:11b-12)

Paul lives with joy and confidence, the attitudes we assume go with having wealth.  It’s because he knows the secret to contentment.  If you learn that secret, you, too, will feel wealthy. And what is the secret?  It is trust, trust in God’s love and ability to provide.  Paul says:

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” –  (Philippians 4:13)

That kind of trust doesn’t come from merely memorizing that verse and quoting it.  It comes from developing an ongoing awareness of God’s presence and His interactions in the details of our lives.  A good way to strengthen that awareness is to ask God to show Himself to us in tangible ways.  We can ask Him to make us more aware of His presence as we go through our day.

God loves to answer prayers like that.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  –  (Jeremiah 29:13)

And as He does, you will grow in trust, contentment, and the realization of how truly wealthy you are in Him.

Confidence with God

Who is your worst critic? Who runs you down the most?  It’s you isn’t it?  Most people tell themselves things that, if spoken to others, would qualify as emotional abuse.  That is why John talked about how to “set our hearts at rest… whenever our hearts condemn us.”  

Because we start life disconnected from God’s Spirit, we adapt; we learn to trust our feelings instead, to assess our situation.  But feelings are notoriously unreliable guides.  You can be surrounded by people who love you and still feel insecure.  You can have a problem at work and drag your feelings (anger, frutration, etc.) back home with you.  But when we trust Jesus, He connects us to His Spirit.  Now we can listen to His input and wean ourselves off trusting our feelings.  We still have feelings, but we understand how subjective and unreliable they are.  Jesus called His Spirit “the Spirit of Truth.” (John 14:17)  As Jesus says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

Freedom from having to trust our feelings, having access to the Spirit of Truth, comes with significant advantages:

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him.  (1 John 3:21-22)

Marlon Brando played The Godfather with such skill, we could easily understand why people feared “the Don.”  People in his presence acted with great reserve and an exaggerated show of respect.  But there was one scene that showed him out in his garden, with his little grandson fooling around, trying to tackle him at the knees, laughing and playing.  Perhaps it is wrong to illustrate anything about God with a movie about the Mafia.  But can you see the freedom that comes when we know we can be confident in God’s presence, freely asking Him for things that we know will please Him?  Can you picture yourself in short pants, tackling God about the knees?  Laughing with Him in His garden?

Here is how:

And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us. Those who obey His commands live in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us.  (1 John 3:23-24 )