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New Confidence

Ephesians 3:12-13
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory. (NIVUK)

A brave face at work gives the impression that you are up to the job. The reality may be different. True confidence is not the product of management courses or assertiveness training; it comes from a heart at peace and a mind full of good purpose. The greater the challenge, more confidence is needed. That is true at work when interacting with the boss's boss or others higher up the ladder. Interviews also need that extra confidence. So, what kind of confidence do we need to approach Almighty God Himself?

With our sin and its curse, coming to God is impossible. But when we know our sin is paid for, and its curse has fallen onto Jesus - there is nothing more to fear (Galatians 3:13). More than that, we are accepted as we repent and receive Christ. It is His sacrifice that gives us confidence to come up to God's awesome throne, as His child (Hebrews 4:16; Hebrews 10:19). Whatever else may discourage us, and however hard it is for us or others to obey Jesus, the death and resurrection of Jesus gives us a whole new freedom: freedom to come to Father God, without any fear.

But Paul's readers may have looked at the Apostle and thought that faith in Christ had only brought him problems. After all, he was writing from prison in Rome. His faith had taken him to prison and away from his personal ministry to the churches. If that was true for Paul, what might other Christians expect? But Paul had been prepared. The Lord told him that suffering was part of his ministry (Acts 9:16; Acts 20:23) and that was part of his message to the Christians in Philippi (Philippians 1:29). So, Paul wanted to be realistic but also encouraging. The prize of knowing Christ now and being welcomed by Him later is far greater than temporary suffering (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Of course, confidence in one area may give us courage to face other matters. When we are confident that we are acceptable to God and welcomed by Him, that should bring strength and boldness in every area of life. So, instead of trying to pluck up courage for the little things, if you are trusting in Jesus then practice a bold approach to His throne to ask for mercy and grace to help you in all your needs. That is why confident prayer is the best way to face the hassles of even the meanest workplace.

Father God. Thank You that You accept me fully when I trust in Jesus, repenting of my sins. Forgive me for being discouraged by suffering or by observing the suffering of others who love Jesus. Please give me fresh confidence in Your love so that I may be strong for all the lesser matters at work today. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams