Philippians 1:4-6, 2 Corinthians 11:23-29

Glyn Barrett exhorts us to rely on God's track record and not our own ability.

Glyn Barrett
Glyn Barrett

"In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 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." Philippians 1:4-6

I think it's so important for us to make a decision to live our lives with confidence. To actually make a decision to be confident.

Right now, you're either being confident, or you are being unconfident. Being happy, or you're being sad. You're being full of faith, or you're being filled with fear. You're full of hope, or you're full of disappointment, but every single one of us reading this Life File are in a state of being.

For Paul, the writer of Philippians, his confidence didn't come from his current situation. He writes in Philippians 1, "I am confident that He who began a good work will carry it till the day of completion." He writes these words from a prison cell. It wasn't the confinement that gave him encouragement and confidence. It was the journey. In fact Paul lists his difficulties for us in 2 Corinthians 11:23-29. How's this for a challenge?

"Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches."

How's that for a journey from 49 AD to 62 AD? Shipwrecked, beaten, hunger, and the cold. He's known everything, and yet the journey taught him this: 'I've been hungry before, I can get through it again. I've been naked before, I can get through it again. I've been shipwrecked before, I can get through it again. I've been hurting and broken before, and I can get through it again.'

I want you to know today, that you may not be where you want to be, but thank God you're not where you were! If you take a moment to look back at the last few years of your life, you'll realise that God was with you the whole time; that if He could get you through it before, He can get you through it again.

Confidence also comes from seeing God's track record. We all make mistakes and it can make us question in our mind "will I make that error again?"

My track record is up and down, sometimes strong, sometimes weak. Philippians 1:6 says, "He who began it, will sustain it and will complete it." Did you get that? That it's nothing to do with me! It doesn't say, "I started it." It doesn't say, "I'll sustain it." He'll sustain it! It doesn't say, "I'll complete it," but He'll complete it, which means this year, if you don't have confidence in yourself, if you don't have confidence in your character and nature, you can have confidence in God's track record!

We can go through this year with timidity and fear, or we can go through it with an absolute confidence.

You may not be confident in your relationships. You may not be confident in family at the moment. Your financial investments may not reassure you. You may not have confidence in so many different things, but there is an area of confidence that you can have, that you need not be dissuaded from, and the confidence is this: that He who began a good work, He is faithful, He began it, He'll sustain it, and He will bring it to the point of completion.

If you can get this in your spirit today, then I want you to know that whatever you go through, you can go through it with confidence. It may not look good, but you can be confident that God is going to bring something to pass in your life. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.