Dave spoke this morning from Philippians 1:3-6 about confidence. As we enter November, having put the clocks back last week, we are aware of the approach of winter and this, coupled with the ongoing concerns about the pandemic and the impending second lockdown, have caused confusion and frustration among many people. Church services are far from ‘normal’ and things seem unlikely to improve in the near future, so the idea of confidence in anyone or anything seems remote. Nonetheless, Paul’s letter to the Philippians reminds us that we can, and need to, retain confidence in God.
Confidence is a quiet, assured awareness that God is in control. Paul reminds us that God always completes what He starts and that He is trustworthy. Gladys Aylward, missionary to China, was once facing an apparently impossible situation and felt desperate because ‘I am not Moses.’ She was reminded, ‘No, but God is still God.’ There are universal truths about God which mean we can still be a confident people, no matter what our circumstances.
Confidence in God’s People
Paul thanks God for the Philippians; he is grateful for their ongoing support and fellowship and partnership in the Gospel. (Phil 1:3) We too can be thankful for each member of our church, for God has drawn us all together and has things for us to do. Each one of us is valuable and important.
Confidence in God’s Plans
God begins and completes all His plans and purposes. He has not finished with any one of us yet, and we can be assured that whilst we are all still works in progress, God will not abandon us; He doesn’t leave any job unfinished. In the words of Magnus Magnusson on ‘Mastermind’, God says, ‘I’ve started, so I’ll finish!’
Confidence in the Provision of God
Paul prays for the Philippians (Phil 1:9-11) and reminds us that God will supply all we need. (Phil 4:19) Jeremiah reminds us that there is nothing too hard for the Lord. So often, we may ask God for wrong things or ask with wrong motives, but there are things which God will always be pleased to answer, such as our prayers for unity, spiritual growth and the salvation of people. We need to pray, seek God’s face and obey what He tells us to do, and if we do that, then His provision for us is assured.
Jesus assured Peter that He would build His church (Matt 16:18), and He is still doing this. We can, because of this, still be confident and joyful, no matter what.