Tag Archive | Confidence

Righteous Confidence

2 Samuel 22:21-25

“The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his rules were before me, and from his statutes I did not turn aside. I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from guilt. And the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight.”

According to my righteousness

I am struck by David’s boldness. How could a man, especially this man, stand before a nation, much less God, and claim he has perfectly kept God’s law? David the adulterer? David the murderer? How could he say his way was blameless? How could he claim that he was guiltless, innocent, or clean? As is says in the Proverbs, “Who can say, ‘I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin’?”

“The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness,” he says in this Psalm, and I am tempted to laugh. I would consider him to be delusional at best, or heretical at worst if I didn’t look at the rest of the bible.

In the Psalms David reveals the reasoning behind his boldness. He says here in this text that God deals with him according to his righteousness, but in other Psalms he takes it a step further.

  • Psalm 103:10-12; “[God] does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us;” Psalms 103:10-12.
  • Psalm 32:1-2; “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.”

Blameless before him

David understood that his righteousness was not a result of his ability to maintain his own perfection. David trusted in God who justifies the ungodly.

  • Romans 4:4-8; “To the one who does not work [toil and strive to make himself right before God] but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: ‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.'”

These words were not written for David’s sake alone, “but for ours also,” Paul continues in verse 24 of the same chapter. “[Righteousness] will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”

We, like David, can confidently believe and confidently say that we are blameless. Not because we have kept the law or because we have abstained from immorality, but because Jesus Christ was killed for our trespasses and then raised from the dead for our justification: to declare us innocent.

  • Colossians 1:20-22; “[Through Christ God reconciled] to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.”
  • Ephesians 1:4-7; “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.”

Guilt

Like David, we can say with confidence that we’re blameless, and we can say with confidence we are guiltless.

  • 1 Corinthians 1:8-9; “[God] will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Righteousness

We are blameless, we are guiltless, we are righteous.

  • Romans 3:21-25; “The righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it–the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21; “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
  • Philippians 3:8-9; “Indeed, I count everything [all my self attained righteousness] as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order 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 comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.”

Righteousness before God is not something that is earned, it is something that is given. It is not something that fluctuates, it is something that is sure and stable. It is not something that can be lost but something that is kept by God in Christ. We stand before Him, if we have faith in Jesus Christ, 100% pure, 100% clean, 100% righteous, 100% perfect. We can share in David’s boldness because we are persuaged that we share in David’s blessing.

“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life;” Titus 3:3-7

God is Faithful

Joshua 21:45

“Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.”

Not one word

The Lord is not loose with His tongue like we are. Every word He says, He means. Every thing He promises, He will carry out. He is trustworthy. He is reliable. He is faithful.

  • Exodus 34:6; “The LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness….”
  • Deuteronomy 32:3-4; “I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.”
  • Psalm 36:5; “Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.”
  • Psalms 40:11; “As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!”
  • Psalms 57:9-11; “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!”
  • 2 Corinthians 1:18-20; “As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”

All the good promises that the Lord had made…all came to pass

God’s faithfulness to Israel serves as an assurance of His faithfulness to us. According to Romans chapter 11, we have been grafted into the olive tree of Israel and stand by faith. Furthermore, according to the book of Galatians, we are sons of Abraham by faith. We are the circumcision–Israel–who worship by the Spirit of God, glory in Christ Jesus, and put no confidence in our flesh. As surely as God was (and is) faithful to Israel, He is faithful to the church.

The promises He has made to us will be kept.

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”

Sanctification: practical righteousness here on this earth. Blamelessness at His coming: an eternal righteous standing before God. He who calls us is faithful, He will surely do it.

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:3; “The Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.”
  • Philippians 1:6; “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
  • 1 Corinthians 1:4-9; “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge–even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you–so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

In everything, God is faithful. Faithful to return for us, faithful to give us eternal life, faithful to make us righteous, faithful to guard us against the evil one. He is faithful to sustain us, faithful to present us to Himself without spot or blemish. And since He is faithful, let us now, with confidence, draw near to Him with a true heart in full assurance of faith, through the body and blood of Christ.

  • Hebrews 10:19-23; “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places [God’s presence] by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

Cling to the Lord

Joshua 23:8

“You shall cling to the LORD your God just as you have done to this day.”

Webster’s 1828 dictionary of American English defines cling as “To adhere closely; to stick to; to hold fast upon, especially by winding round or embracing; as, the tendril of a vine clings to its support. To adhere closely and firmly, in interest or affection; as, men of a party cling to their leader.” Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions defines the Hebrew word here translated as cling as “to cling, stick, stay close, cleave, keep close, stick to, stick with, follow closely, join to, overtake, catch.”

Clinging to the Lord is clinging to His word. It’s holding fast to the promise He has given us of eternal life. It’s believing Him. It’s regarding Him as faithful. It’s abiding in His love. It’s continuing with confidence in the gospel He has preached to us through Jesus Christ. It’s hanging on the certainty of forgiveness, righteousness, justification, salvation, eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.

  • Psalms 119:31; “I cling to your testimonies, O LORD; let me not be put to shame!”
  • Luke 8:15; “As for [the seed that fell] in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.”
  • 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you–unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.”
  • Hebrews 3:5-12; “Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, “They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.” As I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest.”‘ Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.”
  • Hebrews 4:14-16; “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
  • Hebrews 6:17-20; “When God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
  • Hebrews 10:19-23; “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

Hang on His Words

Luke 19:47

“And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.”

The people were hanging on his words

The words of Jesus were unique. When officers were sent by the Jews to arrest Him, they returned empty handed saying, “No one ever spoke like this man!” In Luke 4, after He stood in the synagogue to read the scriptures, it says, “All spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth.”

Jesus’ words were the very word of God. His words were truth, they were compassionate, they were merciful, they were perfect.

Hang on to His words. Cling to His promises. Hold fast to what He has written down for us. Abide in the truth of His unconditional love. Adhere to the promises of the eternal life He has promised through faith in Him.

  • John 8:31-32 “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'”
  • 1 John 2:24 “Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.”
  • Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
  • 2 Timothy 3:14 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it.”

Truly, abiding in His words, clinging to His promises, is in fact holding fast to Him.

  • John 15:4 “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”
  • John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”
  • 1 John 2:28 “And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.”
  • Jude 1:20-21 “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”
  • Colossians 2:6-9 “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.”

Continual Refuge

Psalm 71:3

“Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.”

A rock of refuge

God is a shield for us, a very present help in time of trouble. He is a Rock, a fortress, a mighty God able to protect us and defend us.

  • Psalms 31:2-5 “Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.”
  • Psalms 91:1-4 “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.”
  • Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.”
  • Psalms 46:1-3 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
  • Psalms 18:2-6 “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.”
  • Psalms 144:2 “He is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.”

To which I may continually come

The refuge we take in the Lord is inexhaustible. The dwelling place we have in God is permanent. He invites us to come to Him without end. He wants to gather us under His wings and is always available for us to approach and be safe.

Once we come to put our faith in Christ, our life is hidden in Him forever. We are under the shadow of His wings and eternally safe. We continually reside in His refuge. We are safe from the condemnation of the devil, the law, the accusations of man, and the accusations of our own conscience. His blood has purchased for us an everlasting, continual salvation wherein we may always take refuge.

  • Colossians 3:3 “For you have died [been crucified with Christ], and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
  • Hebrews 9:12 “[Jesus] entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.”
  • Romans 8:33-39 “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Continue to abide in Him

Jesus is an everlasting refuge for us. Let us continue to abide in Him. Let us not shrink back but continue to live by faith in Him.

  • John 8:31-32 “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'”
  • John 15:4 “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”
  • John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”
  • 1 John 2:28 “And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.”

Always Pray with Confidence

Luke 18:1

“And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”

They ought always to pray

Though Jesus was speaking specifically to the disciples, all of us can take the exhortation of this parable as if spoken directly to us: we ought always to pray.

  • Colossians 4:2 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
  • Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
  • Ephesians 6:16-19 “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel….”
  • Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ‘Pray without ceasing….”

And not lose heart

Constant prayer is difficult to maintain. It’s exhausting. But we ought not to loose heart in our asking. We ought not to be discouraged. We should always be confident that the God who spent His blood to purchase our right to approach Him will always listen and always act. We don’t know how He will choose to answer us, but we should never doubt that He hears, and never doubt that He will show perfect love in His response.

  • Hebrews 4:14-16 “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
  • Hebrews 10:19-23 “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”
  • Ephesians 3:12 “In [Christ Jesus] we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.”

When it comes to praying we should not lose heart but gain confidence. We approach a God who, though we went astray, reconciled us to Himself through the offering of Jesus Christ. He took the initiative to gain fellowship with us. Let us take advantage of our audience with Him: the Creator of the World. Hear the heart of Jesus’ plea for us to pray: “Will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily;” Luke 18:7-8. When He returns, will He find a people who believe Him and act accordingly?

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