Courage and Confidence
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,Ps 31: 24
all you who wait for the Lord.
So we can say with confidence,Hebrews 13:6
‘The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?’
The word “confidence” is drawn from the same root from which we derive the word ‘fidelity’ (or “faith”): the idea of having full trust or reliance in someone or something, despite not being able to see everything one would like to.
Confidence is having faith in something or someone. It is a kind of trust. We understand it when we think of self-confidence: you believe in yourself, you trust that you have what it takes to handle whatever happens. Self-confidence is feeling sure of yourself. It helps you enjoy trying new things. When you are confident in others, you trust them, you can rely on them and you can confide in them.
Self-confidence and confidence in others are both fine things. Unfortunately sometimes we don’t have what it takes and sometimes even the best people let us down. But that’s OK, because we can always be confident in God, our God who has promised to be with us and has worked from the beginning of creation to have a relationship with us. We can be confident in a God who created us and loves us. We can be confident that God will always pick us up and help us start again. That in turn gives us courage to face anything life can throw at us. Life isn’t always pretty or easy, and God will challenge us and grow us, but we can be confident that our God is standing beside us, cheering us on, as we live courageously and navigate through this tricky world.
What it isn’t
Confidence and courage don’t mean pretending to be something we aren’t. They aren’t the same as positive thinking or even positive talking, which may only work on the surface of our lives. True confidence and courage cannot grow from pretending.
What makes these Christian values?
We talk a lot about the foundation our faith gives us for living out values. This is an excellent example. How can we live courageously in an uncertain, sometimes dangerous world? How can we have confidence in our future and the future of our planet? The recent Barda study shows how low in confidence New Zealand millenials are, and that’s not surprising. It is difficult to be realistic and confident at the same time. But our God is bigger than the worst that can happen. Our God has a purpose for each of us which even death cannot destroy. Our God is with us through everything – and that makes all the difference.