Life can sometimes shake your confidence in God! It can threaten, undermine, and disappoint you. Things happen that really make you wonder where God is and if He stepped away for a moment.
Truthfully, it's all a matter of perspective. Generally, we assess and evaluate negative experiences with being bad, unnecessary, and detrimental. That will always be what it appears on the surface. Being human, our first reactions to challenges and disappointments are usually seen as a negative.
My thoughts turn to Jochebed, Moses' mother, Esther, Naboth, Joseph, David, and others who experienced a powerful punch while 'Doing Life'.
Jochebed's young son's life was being threatened. All the male babies of the Hebrews were being annihilated. What stress and pressure and fear permeated their environment. Jochebed, who was a woman of prayer, put her faith in action. As we know, faith without works is dead. She found a way where her son would survive the threats of the enemy. As oppose to folding her hands in fear, and distraught, she folded her hands in prayer, and God gave the solution. After all, God was in the details of the enemie's plans. God knew why He allowed it in the first place. Moses became the leader of the Israelites, and a friend of Gods, whom He spoke with face to face! What a turn of events. Things started out threatening and ended in victory, not only for Moses and his family, but an entire nation of people!
Esther, now queen of Babylon, was adjusting to her position when the news of a threat of annihilation of her people, the Jews, hit her ears. That was when it all started to make sense as to why she was chosen to be queen in the first place. The king had not called for her for quite some time, and she couldn't just walk into his presence. She summons the women closest to her, and encourages a prayer meeting. Her next move would either be the death of her or deliverance for her people. She put her welfare, and life on the line, and went into the presence of the king anyway. God gave her the wisdom, and the discernment, and the process she was to execute in order to nail wicked Haman. Deliverance came to Israel! Their lives were spared!
Naboth was a man like any other who was busy with what God gave him to do when King Ahab showed up talking about, "Give me your vineyard." Really now. Ahab's obsession with Naboth's vineyard cost Naboth his life. The king's wife, Jezebel, took it upon herself to get that vineyard for her husband, and concocted a plot behind her husband's back, and had Naboth killed. Why would God allow that, you would ask? God's ways are past finding out. But know this, He allowed it for His honor and glory. No obedient man dies before his time. God was calling this brother home. We all have an expiration date! Death comes when it comes. Life packed a punch for Naboth that day. No doubt, he died with courage, because his confidence was in his God!
Joseph, at age 17, got a raw deal, so it seemed. His own brethren, his own siblings, because of jealousy and envy, did him in. Originally, they were going to kill him. Joseph gets sold and then he's lied on by Potiphar's wife, and thrown into prison. Years later, he is released because he revealed the hidden meaning behind a dream the king of Egypt dreamt. Joseph becomes the governor of Egypt. Had Joseph not gone through all those challenges and trials, he would not have saved his family, and all of Egypt, during the famine. God had a greater plan in mind when He allowed the wickedness of Joseph's brethren to prevail.
David, the shepherd boy with a harp, was simply doing his chores when life changed for him. He was anointed at a very young age and ended up slaying a giant who defied the army of the living God. King Saul and his men were in fear of Goliath, and David, a stripling of a boy, shows up with his trusty sling shot, and the rest is history. David is praised by the women and Saul becomes jealous and envious to the point of wanting to kill David. Now, David didn't ask for all of this; he was simply doing what was normal for him to do. But, as a young man, he had faith in the God of Israel and it gave him the strength to stand up to Goliath. Now he is running for his life for how ever many years. Long story short, David becomes Israel's second king. David went from a lowly chore of watching dirty, stink sheep, to becoming king. He was the youngest of Jesse's sons and the most insignificant.
All of these individuals were faced with challenges that were hard. All of them were subject to like passions such as you and I, and all of them were living their lives day by day when life packed a punch. They had confidence in God!
Confidence in God is when:
1. You know your value without someone having to tell you
2. You quietly wait on God when others are chosen instead of you
3. You are able to stand alone and be okay with it
4. You accept the good, the bad, and the ugly, situations as aids for your spiritual development
5. You experience peace and calm despite the storm
6. You can pray for your enemies, accusers, and abusers
7. You hide yourself under the shadow of His wings
8. You see the blessing in everything, I mean everything
9. You believe that all things will work for your good
10. Your greater desire is to fulfill your god-given purpose in life
Have Confidence In God!!!
"Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
1 Corinthians 15:33
Who has the front row seat in your life? Who is within your inner circle? These are important questions to ask yourself because we are definitely known by the company we keep!
The Lord Jesus had 12 friends who kept company with Him regularly. All 12 shared not only the same faith, but a desire to know Christ. They were growing and learning together. They were found in the Lord's presence witnessing the same miracles, and listening to the same teachings.
Friendships are necessary and important. Relationships with others can enrich us, inspire us and spur us on along the christian journey. Just merely having 'Christian' friends isn't enough. What I mean is this; it isn't going to be sufficient enough to just have a friend who professes to be a 'Christian', or who attends a church, per se. Many people claim to be Christians or warm a church bench, yet, fail to show evidence that their lives are controlled by the Holy Spirit. Some are carnal and worldly in their thinking and practices. You will have to discern between who is truly obedient to God vs. the ones who are not.
We are to find benefit from our friendships and interactions with others. Typically, we make connections with people who we find some common ground with. They are individuals with whom we can relate to or share similarities with.
It is impossible to forge godly ties with those who do not share your faith! You cannot have a 'Best Friend' (BFF) who is an unbeliever!!! Your lifestyles would be based on totally different principles. More than not, an unsaved friend will influence you in their direction and you could find yourself taking on their perspective and ideals.
In order to grow spiritually without being hindered, or stumbled, you will have to choose your friends wisely. You want relationships that will influence you for Christ, and not tempt you into a carnal and worldly mindset. You might even find that you may have to let some people go, that at one point in time, were your friends. Sometimes we out grow relationships, or we find that they are simply, no longer, what they should be.
The people we surround ourselves with will speak to where we're at in our spiritual lives.
The 12 disciples were the Lord's friends, and Peter, James, and John were the closest to Him. They were in His inner circle. There were things that He shared with them in particular. Can you share deep and intimate things with your inner circle of friends? Can you receive the right advice and guidance and support from them? Do they come from a godly perspective with their suggestions? Do they share the word of God with you in a way where you see that they are growing in Christ, gaining a deeper knowledge of Him?
Friends who are obedient to God will not engage in behavior or conversations that God wouldn't approve of.
1. Respect others
2. Lovingly Correct you when you're wrong
3. Care about your spiritual development
4. Remove themselves from all gossip
5. Are not afraid to stand up for what is right
6. Are learning and growing in the faith themselves
7. Draw your attention to the Lord
8. Will bear your burdens as their own
9. Are supportive and reliable
10. Are not jealous or envious of others
Surround yourself with those who are seeking to honor God and you will not be hindered or stumbled along the Christian pathway! You will experience a bond that is a blessing, and a valuable, rewarding relationship for all time!
A Compliment: A polite expression of praise and respect.
You can always tell when a person is having a ‘Phony’ moment. They are complimenting you or praising you and over doing it. They aren’t even your friend like that, and have never invested in you as a person. They are selfish and self seeking. There is something they want from you. They may even want to use you for a particular reason. Flattery can lend itself to ruin! This is what God says about such persons, "He that blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him" (Proverbs 27:14), because it's nothing but flattery!
Compliments are good and honorable, and healthy, but only if they come at the appropriate time for the right occasion and for the right reason.
Compliments show support, encouragement and respect, and they can spur the individual on to succeed even more.
A person who is able to give a compliment shows that they truly appreciate another’s gift, talent, ability, or particular action or reaction they took.
Failure to compliment another shows selfishness, jealousy, envy, pride, and ones own inadequacies.
Not only do we praise others, in the world, for their talents and gifts, we put our money behind their products. We support their activities as well. How much more, should we be supportive, towards our fellows in the body of Christ, who have and are benefitting the Lord's people in some way.
Some engage in ministry work that advances the cause of Christ. Do we support them with encouragement of any kind? Have we backed them with encouraging words, or even possibly, financially?
Christ said, "Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up (encourage or support)" (Romans 15:2)
Look at the well deserved compliments Christ gave to the following persons:
The Widow and Her Mite : " She did what she could" (liberal with the little she had).
Mary (Martha's sister): For having "The Better Part" (spent more time listening to Him than busy serving).
The Centurion: "Not even in Israel have I found such faith."
The Canaanite Woman with the demon possessed daughter: "Oh woman great is your faith."
James and John: "Sons of Thunder."
John The Baptist: "No man born of woman was greater than this prophet."
Peter: "Thou art Rock."
Mary Magdalene: "She hath loved much."
In the end, Christ will compliment all those who remained faithful and steadfast to him on the earth with: "Well done, good and faithful servant."
HE IS OUR EXAMPLE!