Glad you have returned for today’s Advent devotional. Are you ready for another gift that comes along with HOPE?
A person who has forgiveness for their past and hope for the future also enjoys confidence to face whatever lies before them today. Many places, where older translations of the Bible used the word ‘hope,’ the newer translations now use ‘confidence.’ For example, it says in 1 Thes. 5:8, “Let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.” And again in Titus 3:7, “Because of his grace, he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”
Long ago, I memorized Psalm 27. The psalmist cries out and says that the only thing he hopes for – the thing he most yearns for – is to spend all the days of his life delighting in the Lord’s presence. But he also declares that when troubles come, when enemies advance against him and when armies surround him, even then he will be confident. And he ends the psalm declaring again, “I am confident that I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” Not just sometime in the future, but right now, in the land of the living!
This past year, my son John took on heavy responsibilities as head of his math department at a large high school. With COVID raging, he has had to support all his teachers as they transitioned to on-line learning. Early in the Fall semester, John lost his father to COVID. Then recently, John’s basement has had to be jack-hammered to replace old iron pipes that have rusted and become clogged. The stress could overwhelm him, but, like the psalmist, John has confidence that God will not forsake him in the day of trouble.
How about you? Make a list of all the causes of stress that weigh you down this season. Then take a large marking pen and write the word ‘confidence’ across the list. Confidence for today is an offshoot of our hope for tomorrow!