“Confidence” Blog #7
The American painter, John Sargent, once painted a panel of roses that was highly praised by critics. It was a small picture, but it approached perfection. Although offered a high price for it on many occasions, Sargent refused to sell it. He considered it his best work and was very proud of it. Whenever he was deeply discouraged and doubtful of his abilities as an artist, he would look at it and remind himself, "I painted that." Then his confidence and ability would come back to him.
When you consider the meaning of the word "confidence" from the Bible, you find that the root meaning, "....is to bring something into being with the consequence that its existence is a certainty". "Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks in great and honorable courses with a sure hope and trust in itself" [Cicero].
In considering the importance of personal confidence, individual choice must be examined. Ezra, a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, chose what maybe called selective reliance. In otherwords, he put total trust on the Lord and nothing else. "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
The dependence you display on the Lord provides for an inner peace and absence of fear, regarding who you are. The hand of God is always felt directing, helping and sustaining every step taken in life! "Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee. [Isaiah 26:3] The course of your prayer life is filled with confession and recognition. Shameful sin is confessed and God is exalted as the only true deliverer from trouble. "He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I [will be] with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him." [Psalm 91: 15] Joy and gladness dwell confidently in your heart.
"Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope." [Psalm 16:9]
The satisfying results of Ezra's choice to rely on God is seen through his personal attainment and influence. Truth was highly valued, and steadiness of purpose came from listening to God's instruction. There was a developing self-sacrificial spirit, believing the hand of God was in every event of life.
The beauty of his position enabled him to edify others by instructing them in the ways of the Lord. "Blessed [is] the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is." [Jeremiah 17:7] [thoughts taken from Ezra chapter 7]