At it’s core, Christian confidence is about faith. How can you believe that you’re valuable because God says you are if your faith in God is weak? If you believe He will change His mind, that He is not good, or that He is not really in control of the Universe, then His opinion won’t matter to you and you’ll be left trying to gain your sense of self-worth on your own.
The problem is that, by its very nature, faith involves risk. Whether that’s sharing your secrets with someone, using the brakes in your car, or getting on a plane, you are using faith. There’s faith in the other person to not spread your secret, faith in the engineers who designed and the factory workers who built the brakes, and faith in the mechanics to maintain and pilots to fly the plane. Our problem is thus not a lack of faith itself, but a lack of faith in God.
We fear that God is going to let us down somehow, and we probably don’t have to look too far into the past to find a time we feel He did. We reason that if He’s in control and He loves us, then things should go our way when we follow Him. God never promised that. If becoming a Christian meant that your life was perfect, everyone would believe, but few for the right reasons. God would become cemented in our eyes as a means to an end, rather than as the prize Himself.
Another reason you don’t have what you want is that God is a perfect Father. My wife and I don’t have kids yet, but when we do, we’re not going to give them cookies every time they ask for them. We’re not going to give a six-year old a flamethrower, no matter how badly he wants one. God is like that with us. We may be adults, but our wisdom is foolishness compared with His and, if that’s not enough, He knows the future. He knows what the result would be of every decision you make and He won’t give you anything that will take you farther from Him.
He will, however, let you have things that take you from Him. Because God loves you and wants you to love Him, He’s given you free will. You have the right to make your own decision that not even God will override. But this also means that the consequences are yours as well. Someone would be a fool to pray, “God, save me!” and then willingly jump into a volcano. It may seem obvious, but we do something similar when we ignore His teachings or His calling on our lives and expect Him to bail us out.
For these three reasons, and several more, it seems that God doesn’t always come through for us. The truth is that we’re the ones who have let us down. We have impugned God’s honor by saying He doesn’t loved us, failed to believe in the power of the Universe’s Creator, and behaved as though we should get whatever we want, regardless of His plan for our lives. It’s essentially saying we’re wiser than He is.
The most crucial step to having faith in God is to develop a fear of God. We’ll get into that more in the next blog (which should have some fun facts and figures for all my fellow science nerds out there), but for now, take just a minute and ask yourself how you’ve been viewing God. That’s it; don’t analyze why just yet or the consequences your views have had. Just be honest with yourself and ask who God is to you.