The word “confidence” is a word that is made up of two latin words: “con” which means “with” and “fidere” which means “faith”. So we might define “confidence” etymologically as “with faith”. I like that definition. When playing softball (as a crazy 51 year old I still have the “confidence” or maybe it is just insanity) you need to have confidence. At third you often get sharply hit balls (there is a reason it is called the “hot corner”) that challenge your confidence. I can’t see as well, I can’t move as quickly, I can’t react like I once was able, I can’t bend over as far, jump as high etc. All of these phrases challenge your confidence, the faith that you have in your abilities to accomplish the task. So part of the mantra of any good ball player is the inner conversation that you have as the ball is being pitched. It goes something like this: “hit it here;” “I’ve got this;” “he can’t get it by me;” or any of a number of positive, faith and confidence building statements. If you don’t do this, you will fail, you may get hurt. It doesn’t matter if you can do it, if you don’t believe you can, you won’t. It doesn’t matter even when you are at the height of your skills, if you don’t believe you can, you won’t. Confidence in this instance is believing your skills are with you. Often this kind of confidence is manufactured, so depending on the individual and the task at hand this kind of self-inflation can result in “over-confidence.”
Confidence in the spiritual realm is not the same. It is not confidence in my abilities (real or feigned), it is confidence in the person who is with me. The disciples gained confidence from the physical presence of Jesus. Present day disciples gain confidence from the presence of the Holy Spirit.
It is the discipline of confidence that we work on in month 2 of 12 Months to a Better Believer. Ultimately confidence comes from being with God andthe Spirit is our assurance of God with us.
Study the following passages:
- John 1:32-34: Baptism in the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13)
- John 14:16-18: Identity and Presence
- Romans 8:14-17 & Galatians 4:4-7 Confident sons/daughters
- Romans 8:26-39: Nothing can separate us…
- Hebrews 10:19; 11:35-12:2: Confidence to enter the holy place
- 1 John 5:13-15: Confidence before Him
Confidence is rooted in our identity in Christ, His work on our behalf, and His gifting to us of the Spirit and the accompanying benefits and blessings He brings.