From Worry to Confidence

Do you struggle with worry?  Are you looking for scriptural encouragement to help set you free?  The psalms are a wonderful resource to turn to because we read prayers of real struggle and a search for God.  The following is a reflection on worry that includes a discussion of a favorite psalm of mine. 

I came across an insightful quote on worry the other day by the Dutch Christian Corrie ten Boom.  It reads, "Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength - carrying two days at once.  It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time.  Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength."  I cannot stop thinking about it.  I knew worrying was a nuisance, but she describes it as a crippling force.  It takes away needed strength and does not alleviate the problem.

A natural response to this predicament is to ask, "What is the opposite of worry?"  An opposite is confidence.  Confidence can change life's terms.  Instead of becoming paralyzed by what ifs and replaying them in our mind, we can have a faith that's insurmountable.  Instead of fear dictating the terms, we can accommodate healthy risk and even thrive on it.  So instead of shrieking back, we can march forward. 

The definition of confidence is interesting.  When I did a quick Google search, I found the term defined this way:  "The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust."  We might think of confidence as an attitude we can muster, but instead it is a dependence upon something else.  We have to choose to lean on it.  And when we lean on it, we know it to be worthy of firm trust.  Friends, that someone who's worthy of our firm trust is God.

I love Psalm 27 because it tells us why we should be confident in God.  First, we should be confident because God is our Protector, our stronghold.  It reads, "Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident...For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock." (v. 3 and 5).  It is in the midst of even the most dangerous circumstances that the psalmist claims God's salvation.  We can be confident ourselves because nothing happens that is beyond God's reach to equip us with power and resources through faith.  Further, our enemies will never be able to bring about our ultimate undoing - God's hand will not allow it.

Second, we should also be confident because blessings inevitably follow while in relationship with God.  The psalmist claims, "I am still confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord" (v. 13-14).  No matter how dark the situation is, no matter how worrisome it may appear, the psalmist claims confidence because God is working on his behalf.  God will not just show up to defend him, but will go further and promote him with blessing.  This same promise is available to us.

Psalm 27 is one of my favorites because it shows what God's salvation looks like this side of heaven.  [Tweet that.]  We know we have eternal life with God through faith, but God's power is not confined to the afterlife.  It is no mistake that Psalm 27 begins with the line, "The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?"  Your salvation is waiting for you now.  If we truly believe God is our unfailing Protector and Giver of every good gift, then not only do we never have a reason to worry, but we always have a reason to be confident -- and give thanks.  

Is worrying less included in your New Year's Resolutions?  I think there's a space for it on all of our lists!  Let's reflect upon scripture and how God has been faithful in the past, so that we can reroute our energy toward the exciting plans God has in store for us in 2014!

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy reading A Promise To Live By Forever.

{Photo by Jon Rawlinson at Flickr}


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