Learning to have confidence in God’s goodness and living a life of confident faith is simple when our lives are calm and not being thrown back and forth by the wind and the waves. But when the storms hit, it is not uncommon for our steadfast faith to prove to be not so steadfast.
In the late summer of 2017, I began doing a private study into what it meant to Believe God. Believing in Him had never been a problem for me. I don’t think I have ever questioned whether God existed. Where my confidence stumbled was believing that God was who He said He was. I knew without a doubt that He was all-powerful and all-knowing. But the God of my childhood was not a good of love, grace, mercy, and compassion. He was a God of wrath and judgment. I had been taught from the very young age of two years old that I had better walk a straight line because He was waiting and prepared to strike me at any moment if I didn’t. This unhealthy view of God made it impossible to accept the truths of God’s grace and mercy, so therefore, whenever difficulties arose in my life, I was certain it was because I had done something wrong.
It was extremely difficult for me to come to a place that I could willfully (volitionally) accept, and believe with totally confidence that my God, your God, was yes a God of justice, but that He was also a God who loved me, and you, so dearly, so deeply that He sacrificed His own Son. That it was at the Cross that God’s justice and mercy met together into one unified whole. That it was this coupling of justice and mercy that was His true expression of love.
In the Fall of 2017, God began to lay it all out for me and my family, where He was going to teach me once and for all that I never need to doubt His goodness, His love, His grace, His compassion.
Last year, it seemed that for every hurdle my family got over, there was another one to overcome. We were disappointed with our circumstances and frustrated that things had not turned out the way we had hoped. Once we moved to the new house, we had hope that things would change, but they only got worse. With D unemployed we were faced with a serious financial crisis, someone was always sick, the car had broken down twice, and I was just coming out of the darkest five years of my life to find that my marriage was at its breaking point and D and I were on the verge of divorce. With everything seemingly going wrong, it would have been so easy for me to lose my faith, but God poured out His grace upon me and my family and refused to allow that to happen.
One afternoon I was having a heart to heart with a friend of mine and I expressed that it didn’t matter if it was the enemy throwing fire at me or God shaping me, I needed to just keep trusting Him. She wholeheartedly agreed, but also pointed out that I didn’t just need to trust God, I needed to have confidence in Him. Sisters, this one statement from a friend who loved me and God enough to speak this truth, was a pivotal moment in my relationship with the Lord. My relationship with Him was about to grow in ways I never thought was possible.
David is an example of a person who had confidence in God. He didn’t merely trust God, he was absolutely certain that God was everything He said He was, could do everything He said He could do and He was certain that God loved Him the way God said He did. He knew without a shadow of a doubt that God only had his best interest in my mind and that no matter what his circumstances looked like, God had his back and was there with him and for him.
“But I have trusted and relied on and been confident in Your lovingkindness and faithfulness;
My heart shall rejoice and delight in Your salvation.” Psalm 13:5 AMP
David’s confidence rested heavily upon the very fact that God was loving, kind, faithful and good. That He was a God of grace and mercy and it was these things God had said of Himself that David shows us in this Psalm that he not just trusted, but relied on. If you read the entirety of Psalm 13, you’ll see that David understood that there were times God needed to be working in his heart and this work is what caused David to sing and praise God. David accepted and embraced God’s correction in his life because he was able to understand that when God corrects us, it is not out of wrath or judgment, but out of His deep love for us.
If every time things went wrong in our lives God made everything miraculously right, then we’d never learn, grow and mature into being more like His Son. We’d never learn to rely on God and draw close to Him. We’d never learn to rely on and be confident in His love, faithfulness, grace, and mercy. Our God is not good because of the blessings He gives us or only when things in our lives are going smoothly. He’s good all the time and when things are difficult in our lives, He wants us to draw close to Him, to lean into Him and to possibly learn a lesson He is trying to teach us.
Last year’s difficult season in my life was God calling down to me with His bullhorn trying to get my attention. There were important, life-changing lessons He needed me to learn in order to experience restoration in my life and in my marriage. He wanted me to learn to wait on His timing and trust that His timing was perfect and that when things are done in His timing, everything that is needed to accomplish the task at hand has been provided by Him. He wanted me to learn to do things His way and that when I do, the blessings cannot be contained. There were areas of my heart that needed work and needed changing and as I let Him take my hand and walk me through the pain, I grew and matured and grew closer to Him.
Placing our faith firmly in God and being confident in our expectations of who God is and what He can do makes us strong vessels that He can work in and through. And we can be confident that He will surround us, and protect us through it all.
“Those who trust in and rely on the Lord [with confident expectation]
Are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but remains forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the Lord surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever.”