Summary: Four reasons we can be confident that God will complete His work in our lives.
Almost ten years ago I commuting to school when I was in a terrible auto accident. My car was totaled, my hand was broken, and had I not been wearing my seatbelt I probably would’ve died. In fact, the impact from the collision cracked my sternum right where the seatbelt goes across my chest. After that experience, it was difficult for me to get back behind the wheel of a car for several weeks. Whenever I started to drive my palms started getting sweaty, my heart rate started increasing, and anxiety filled my heart. Every time I went through an intersection I inwardly braced myself for impact. Fortunately that only lasted a few weeks, but it was amazing how one moment could crush my confidence as a driver.
We hear a lot these days about self-confidence. Self-confidence, we’re told, is the key to succeeding in the world. We mouth cliches like, "If it’s going to me, it’s up to me." We place success squarely on our own shoulders, relying our own attitude, our own ingenuity, our own efforts. If we just believe in ourselves, we’re told, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.
There’s of course a kernel of truth in that approach to life, but no one can sustain constant self confidence. But even the president of the optimist’s club has days where she feels like the cup’s half empty. Even the most confident person has feelings of inferiority. So if our success in life is completely dependent on our own self-confidence, then we’re in for a roller coaster of a ride because our confidence rises and falls more than the New York stock exchange.
And of course we get into even more trouble when we apply this principle of self-confidence to our spiritual lives. If everything depends on us in the spiritual life--our obedience, our efforts, our performance, our spirituality--then our relationship with God is also going to be a roller coaster of a ride. If my basis of confidence in the spiritual life is myself, that’s a pretty unsure foundation to base my confidence on.
We’re in the midst of a series through the New Testament books of 1 and 2 Thessalonians called LIVING CONFIDENTLY IN UNCERTAIN TIMES. In this series we’ve been preparing to usher in the year 2000 by looking at what the Bible says about confident living. Last Sunday we talked about how to be confident in the face of rumors about the end of the age. Today we’re going to talk about where our confidence in the spiritual life ultimately rests.
How can we be sure that God will finish what he has started in our lives? That’s the question we want to grapple with today: The basis of our certainty, the foundation of our assurance. Is my assurance rooted in my own efforts, or is there a greater foundation for assurance that God will finish what he’s started in my life? Today we’re going to see that for the follower of Jesus Christ, God is our sure and sturdy basis for confidence, even in the midst of uncertain times. Specifically we’re going to see four reasons why we can be sure God will finish what he’s started in our lives.