Understanding Holy Courage, Embracing Godly Fear

Day 2 of 5 • This day’s reading


Real Confidence

A while back, I watched a TED Talk on confidence. The speaker honed in on the way we stand, walk, talk, and position our bodies to either relay confidence or a lack thereof to the world around us. It was both interesting and a little comical. And you can bet I was trying some of those comically interesting moves out in my living room a few minutes later. Perhaps I could stand a little braver or walk a little bolder.

I’m sure a good poker player would vouch for the science the speaker was touting, because conveying confidence tells a story, doesn’t it? And why wouldn’t we want to live a story worth believing? But as followers of Christ, we aren’t playing poker here. We aren’t calling anyone’s bluff. We hold a confidence based on Truth.

Proverbs 14:26 tell us, “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.”

Not only is fear of the Lord the beginning of both wisdom and knowledge, God’s Word tells us that this is where we find the strong confidence and security the world longs for. This fear and reverence—the only proper response to an all-powerful God—is actually a place of refuge and security for us and our children. This is the confidence we are desperate for when the world feels shaky, when the future feels unsteady and we worry long about the generation following behind us.

This is good news, friend! I don’t know about you, but I have found my confidence to be fragile and fleeting at times. I can be high on the mountaintop of momentum one moment, but it only takes one news headline, one call from the doctor, one disparaging word from a friend, and it evaporates. I’m left feeling hopeless, helpless, or insecure.

When confidence is based on me, my emotions and my circumstances become pretty fleeting. But a confidence that is based on the immutable Creator? That is a firm foundation. That is why Scripture keeps reminding us to begin with the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 9:10). This is what wisdom and knowledge and confidence look like, lifting our eyes to fear a holy and all-powerful God.

Sure, we can stand tall and proud. We might even be able to learn a proud strut that could convince a friend or two that we are confident and tenacious. But confidence that is based on ourselves will always fail eventually. 

We must aim higher, friend. We must trust the Word, believe it and live it out by lifting our eyes to the One who is our Hope. This is what affords us confidence that is real and true, lasting and eternal. May we seek Him, know Him, and fear Him more.