Summary: Confidence comes from believing that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us to do what He wants us to do and be.
What are the ways to gain real confidence?
1. Appropriate every aspect of the greatest promise in the Bible! - Paul writes, "I can do everything God asks me to do with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power. (Phil. 4: 13)
Illustration:James Dobson tells of a friend of his during their days in medical school. One day this man was walking across campus laden with books and briefcase. He passed by a fast food stand, and ordered something to eat and a milkshake to wash it down. He balanced it all on top of his briefcase and began looking for an empty table at which to sit. While looking, the milkshake got the better of him, and he bent down without looking in order to take a sip from the straw. The straw missed his mouth and ended up in his nose. Embarrassed, but not at a loss, he thought that if he straightened up the straw would stay in the shake. But when he lifted his head, the straw came out of the shake and remained in his nose, dripping the milkshake down the front of his suit. In a moment, all his confidence evaporated.
2. Be fully assured of God’s ability to complete whatever work He begins. Paul wrote, "Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 1:6)
3. Know that God is fighting your battles for you and He will give you victory. David wrote, "Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies. (Psa. 108:12,13)
Illustration:About halfway through a PBS program on the Library of Congress, Dr. Daniel Boorstin, the Librarian of Congress, brought out a little blue box from a small closet that once held the library’s rarities. The label on the box read: "Contents of the president’s pockets on the night of April 14, 1865. Since that was the fateful night Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, every viewer’s attention was seized. Boorstin then proceeded to remove the items in the small container and display them on camera. There were five things in the box:
A handkerchief, embroidered "A. Lincoln"
A country boy’s pen knife
A spectacles case repaired with string
A purse containing a $5 bill--Confederate money(!)
Some old and worn newspaper clippings
"The clippings," said Boorstin, "were concerned with the great deeds of Abraham Lincoln. And one of them actually reports a speech by John Bright which says that Abraham Lincoln is "one of the greatest men of all times." Today that’s common knowledge. The world now knows that British statesman John Bright was right in his assessment of Lincoln, but in 1865 millions shared quite a contrary opinion. The President’s critics were fierce and many. His was a lonely agony that reflected the suffering and turmoil of his country ripped to shreds by hatred and a cruel, costly war. There is something touchingly pathetic in the mental picture of this great leader seeking solace and self-assurance from a few old newspaper clippings as he reads them under the flickering flame of a candle all alone in the Oval Office. Remember this: Loneliness stalks where the buck stops.
Swindoll, The Quest For Character, Multnomah, p. 62-3.
4. Follow the example of Paul who bubbled over with confidence. Paul wrote, "I know whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day. (2 Tim. 1:12)
5. Thank God in advance for the victory you already have in Christ. Paul wrote, "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Cor. 15:57)
6. Increase the quality and quantity of your faith. John wrote, "This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. (I Jn. 5 :4)
7. Be sure that you are praying in the will of God. John wrote, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us - whatever we ask- we know that we have what we asked of Him. (I Jn. 5 :14,15)
8. Consistently ask the Lord for specific requests and keep of a record of how He answers them. The writer of Hebrew wrote, "Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Heb. 4: 16)
9. Spend more time with Jesus in the study of the word and following His will. Dr. Luke wrote, "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (Acts 4: 13)