What is confidence in God?


There are two types of confidence: the first being worldly confidence while the second is confidence in God or confidence from God.

And with what bar do we usually measure confidence? It depends on where our focus is, but if we are not careful, we usually use the standards society has set which are…

  • the number of degrees or initials next to our names,
  • if we have a high paying job,
  • the car we drive,
  • if we get to travel every year,
  • if we have the perfect physique,
  • perfect home in the perfect neighborhood, with a beautiful spouse and children, etc.
  • (you get the point)

When our self-confidence is focused entirely on our selves and the standards the world has set, we will always fall short and feel low because we may never have all those things. And striving to achieve those things is not necessarily bad, but it is when it becomes our center focus because we are living to serve self rather than Christ, who is the source of life (see John 1:4; John 6:35; 2 Peter 1:4).

What does it mean to have confidence in God?

However, when we’ve established our confidence in God, we are not concerned with the those standards the world has set because we have different standards. Our standards are in…

  • in who God is,
  • who God says we are (in other words, our identity in Christ)
  • and what God has done for us.

What does the Bible say about confidence in God?

Examples of Confidence in the Bible: Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Here is an example of self confidence in the Bible set by the world’s standards: Turn to Luke 18:9-14.

In verses, 9-12, we are shown a pharisee who looked towards men to set his standard of confidence. In his prayer, he praised himself for his good deeds and for not being like others. Yet, in God’s eyes, he was not justified. His self-righteousness is like a filthy rag to God (see Isaiah 64:6) and while judging others, he parallels satan who is the “accuser of our brethren” (see Revelation 12:10).

In contrast in this parable, in verse 13, we have the tax collector who, at a distance from others and while measuring his confidence against God’s standards, “beat his breast” and considered himself “a sinner.” He did not accuse others but was consumed with his own guilt and because of that, was repenting and seeking forgiveness. He left justified; in other words, blessed and forgiven.

Examples of Confidence in the Bible: The self confidence of Peter

We have another example of confidence in the Bible which can be found in the life of Peter, who had a lot of self-confidence in the beginning, but was then humbled (as is the case with those who exalt themselves – see Luke 18:14).

Turn to Matthew 26:32-34. Here, Jesus gives a warning to his disciples before His betrayal. In overconfidence, Peter replies in verse 33, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” And immediately after this we see his self-confidence once again in verse 35 after Jesus told him that he would deny Jesus 3 times: “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”

And we know what happens next: Peter fell into temptation and wept bitterly.

You see, Peter set his confidence in the flesh instead of realizing that he could fall into temptation. What he should have done is been “sober, vigilant” and in prayer asking for a way out so that he could have endured temptation. (see 1 Peter 5:8; 1 Corinthians 10:13). In his weeping, he must have repented because we see his change of heart down the road in John 21:15-17.

Here Christ “reinstates” Peter, asking him 3 times if he loves Him. Peter 3 times, says that yes, he does love Him. But notice that his replies to Jesus were humble. He did not compare himself to others like his replies back to Jesus in Matthew 26.

This tells us that Peter had a renewed heart. And because of this, God had entrusted him with an important task: to take care of and feed His sheep.

How to have confidence in God | How to build confidence in God | How can we walk in the confidence of God?

These examples of confidence in the Bible tell us how we can build and have confidence in God. They illustrate how we can walk in the confidence of God.

Though I list these below, the order does not equal importance. If anything, all of them are equally important.

For starters, we must have no confidence in the flesh. What does this even mean? Turn to Philippians 3:1-11. Here Paul, who had many reasons to be confident in the flesh based on his birth, education, upholding of the law and zeal, counted all these things a loss for Jesus Christ. He knew that to know Christ was better than all these worldly accomplishments or privileges. That knowing Christ had transformed his life for the better because it is with Christ that we are considered righteous before God. (see Colossians 1:22).

Having no confidence in the flesh also includes not putting our confidence in man. Turn to Psalm 118:8-14 (NKJV) which in verse 8 says: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”

Second, we must wholeheartedly trust in God and make Him our center focus. It is when we trust in the Lord that we “shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” as it says in Jeremiah 17:8 (NKJV).

Continued: How to build confidence in God | How can we walk in the confidence of God?

Third, we must have a broken and contrite heart like it says in Psalm 51:17.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
Psalm 51:17, NKJV

When we go to God in humbleness, asking for forgiveness, He will bless and justify us. Then, He can show us His will and what to do for His kingdom, like He did with Peter and many others in the Bible. (This is a benefit of having confidence in God!)

And last (but not in any way least important), we must read His Word, put it into practice, and pray without ceasing. Remember that His Word is our sword which we can use to fight the attacks of the enemy. And if we are not putting our faith into works, then our faith is dead! His Word says: “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (See James 2:14-26).

Also, it is through prayer where we are found in His will. It is in prayer that we can praise our heavenly Father, we can avoid temptation, and we can know hidden things (see Jeremiah 33:3). We should be like Jesus who spent so much time in prayer!

Prayer of Confidence in God

Dear Lord, we come before you asking forgiveness for all our sins. Please forgive all the wrong we’ve done and please help us to not continue in sin. Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24 NKJV).

We ask that you help us to have more confidence in you instead of in ourselves. Please help us to not compare ourselves to the standards of confidence the world has set. Help us to keep you as our daily focus and grow closer to you every day. Please put in us a desire to read your Word and to pray. Don’t allow us to be consumed by the cares of this world. Help us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of Yours, Lord. We pray this in your precious Name, Amen!

Learn how to pray Scripture back to God: Useful Scriptures to Use When Praying in all Situations

Citation from Bible Gateway: Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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