Our Confidence is in Christ

John Ortberg in his message the “The Confidence Paradox “ shares the following, “‘What do you think is the number one thing a woman is looking for in a man?’ . . . Money has come up a couple of times. No, actually that’s not the number one thing, . . . it’s not a surprising answer. . . . It’s confidence! If you think about that, when somebody is living with authentic confidence, when they look you right in the eye when they’re talking with you, when they have this conviction that whatever life throws at them, they can handle… They’re willing to take risks. They’re willing to run challenges. When they talk to you, you don’t have to guess what they really think. They just speak the truth, but they do it in a gracious way. Right now, guys, if this is you, you’re sitting straight up. Your shoulders are back. Your head is high. You’re ready for life. Who doesn’t want to be around that? On the other hand, when somebody is living where their confidence has gotten beaten out of them, when the Evil One whispers to you, ‘You can’t do this. You can’t make it. You don’t have what it takes,’ it makes you less joyful. It actually makes you less generous. It kind of robs life out of you. It makes everything harder. It’s harder to do a job interview. . . . It’s harder to perform well at work. Have you ever seen somebody where they’re going to give a talk, and they’re just like all flop sweat and panicky? It’s harder to give a talk. A natural question is, ‘Where can I get confidence?’ Because we’d all rather live with confidence.”

Ortberg goes on to say, “I was thinking this week, maybe the person, maybe the guy, who has more grounds for confidence humanly speaking than anybody else would be this guy right here: Tom Brady. Does anybody know Tom Brady? . . . He is just ridiculously good-looking, great hair, toothy smile, amazingly talented. He is a winner. He has won four Super Bowls. He is married to a supermodel, . . . He has a gazillion dollars. Humanly speaking, if you want to live always confident, guys, just be born Tom Brady. Just be born with incredible athletic ability and amazing leadership gifts and be really popular and win four Super Bowl rings and marry a supermodel and have great hair and great teeth and be a world famous gazillionaire.”

. . . There is another way. Another really different guy, the apostle Paul, made the most staggering claim about confident living that’s ever been spoken by a member of the human race. This is what Paul said. Think about this.

6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due to us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

“So we are always confident . . .” As the people of God we are called into a life of confidence. But it is not an easy thing for us to be confident in a world that seems to be out of control — in a life that is too often filled with difficult times when we do not have the answers – when we do not have the strength to solve the problems ourselves. In those moments, we have the choice to face life filled with insecurity or with peace and confidence.

Paul remains confident or courageous. Paul, like us, wrestled with and questioned his faith as he tried to live as authentically as possible in an ancient world that, like ours, was also in the midst of great change. Paul didn’t just throw words around loosely. You think about, “What would it mean every day…good day, bad day, good mood, bad mood, difficult task, hard circumstances…to be always confident?” Here’s the thing about Paul. He was no Tom Brady. We don’t know for sure what he looked like, but the oldest description of Paul is he was short, bald, and had a hooknose. He didn’t have a lot of money. He had no money. He wasn’t famous. He was kind of infamous. He was in prison. He wasn’t married to a supermodel or a trophy wife. He wasn’t married at all. Here’s the thing about Paul. He was confident, but he was not self-confident. (John Ortberg)

Here is the key: What matters is not how much confidence you have. What matters is what are you putting your confidence in?

Our Confidence is in Christ 2 Corinthians 5:6
Our Confidence is in our faith not our sight  2 Corinthians 5:7
Our confident faith seeks to please God 2 Corinthians 5:9

A.W. Tozer said, “God has not failed me in this world. Therefore I can trust him for the world to come.” Our God is able.

He is able more than able
To accomplish what concerns me today
He is able more than able
To handle anything that comes my way
He is able more than able
To do much more than I could ever dream
He is able more than able
To make me what He wants me to be

Where there is no confidence in God, there will be no continuance with God.

Are you confident that God will complete what He has set out in his promises and through his Son Jesus? Winston Churchill said, “Sucess is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” Always acts as if you are in the presence of Christ.

We are not all Tom Brady’s, but with our confidence in Christ we can do great things. Nick Vujicic ministry “Life without Limbs” shows what can be done when we put our confidence in Christ. (Follow link in sermon audio to view video)

How do you press on confidently? Eugene Peterson interprets this passage with these words:
6-8 That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.
9-10 But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad. 11-14 That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It’s no light thing to know that we’ll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That’s why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. We’re not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we’re on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are. If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.

May we always have confidence in the Lord!

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