Facing The Year With Boldness
Many people face a new year with feelings of ambivalence. Others feel intensely insecure about what the future may hold.
A great many people – including some Christians – have a sense of impotence, as if they don’t have what it takes to face the challenges before them.
The writer to the Hebrew Christians reminds us that impotence is not the normal state of mind for a follower of Christ:
‘So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised… But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.’ (Heb 10:35-37, 39)
The Amplified translation of this passage says: ‘Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence…’
The word translated as ‘confidence’ here is quite an aggressive word. It literally carries the idea of outspokenness, frankness or even bluntness.
It’s hard to find a word in English to match it. Perhaps the rappers have given us the closest approximation, when they talk (or sing?) about ‘attitude’ (pronounced by them as ‘attitoood’).
The writer is not talking about a confidence which comes from an exploration of our human potential.
He’s referring to the confidence we have in our salvation; we can be absolutely certain that Christ has done all that’s needed to redeem us. So, we can face life with ‘attitude’.
That confidence in the spiritual status of your life should breed confidence in every other aspect of life.
Think about it.
If you can be confident that you’ve come from death to life; from darkness to light; from hate to love; from war to peace and from enmity with God to friendship with God…
If you can be confident that once you were lost but now you’re found; once you were blind but now you see; once you were afar off but now you’re near; once you were without hope but now you have a promise…
If you can be confident that you’re a new creation in Christ; that there is now no condemnation to you in Christ; that nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ; that the promises of God are amen to you in Christ…
… If you can be confident in all that, ought not that confidence also change your approach to your relationships, your work, your witness, your prayer?
In other words, confidence should permeate every aspect of your life, because you know that Christ is all you need.
Many Christians – especially here in Europe -- believe that it is not only unhealthy, it is morally wrong to feel important. They equate dignity with delusion, assurance with arrogance and confidence with confusion.
A Norwegian writer once said: ‘Every joy you have you will pay for with sorrow.’ Many people believe this; some even think it’s in the Bible!
As a result, they’re not looking for or expecting success. When it comes, they don’t recognize it, celebrate it or give thanks for it.
The bottom line is this: If you don’t feel important you will feel impotent!
God has given us a great many things, but he has not given us a timid spirit.
'The Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control.' 2 Tim. 1:7 (T.E.V).
If we are living with fear, it did not come from God.
A timid person will not risk anything for fear of losing everything. He will give everything to avoid doing anything.
He runs from a fight he could very well win; is always the borrower and never the lender; is often the led but never the leader; is often spectator but never competitor.
He wakes without ambition and sleeps without dreams
We are surrounded by a world that wants to make us timid. It wants us to calm down. It wants us to apologize for our faith and the strength of our convictions.
As you come into this new year, approach it with a holy confidence born of a knowledge that Christ has made you right with God.
You are building on that foundation a life of risk and adventure which ultimately makes his name great.