Sunday, April 19, 2009

4-19- Confidence and Boldness

(Rock of Gibralter- symbol of confidence, assurance- Christ is our "rock")
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

4/19- Very truly I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed from death to life. (John 5:24)

Calvin: Faith produces confidence, which again, in its turn, produces boldness. There are three stages in our progress. First, we believe the promises of God; next, by relying on them, we obtain that confidence, which is accompanied by holiness and peace of mind; and, last of all, comes boldness, which enables us to banish fear, and to come with firmness and steadiness into the presence of God. To separate faith from confidence would be an attempt to take away heat and light from the sun. I acknowledge, indeed, that, in proportion to the measure of faith, confidence is small in some and greater in others; but faith will never be found unaccompanied by these effects or fruits. A trembling, hesitating, doubting conscience, will always be a sure evidence of unbelief; but a firm, steady faith, will prove to be invincible against the gates of hell. (Ephesians 3:12 commentary).

Calvin says that faith produces confidence and boldness. Confidence is “possession of a peaceful and god heart and mind.” Boldness is “the power to banish fear and to come with firmness and boldness into the presence of God.” Boldness is not pride, for boldness involves humility to God. Boldness also does not mean we have no need to care about our actions or to pray. But godly boldness, brought on by faith, stirs us up to pray and to seek God’s help. Another evidence of faith and assurance of faith is fearlessness in the face of earthly danger. Fear and worry can be overcome by faith and prayer. That doesn’t mean that people of faith are never afraid. It does mean that people of faith have a resource (“What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee” Ps. 56). We can be bold in sharing our faith, and confident in the midst of troubles- whether economic, or sickness or otherwise.

Prayer: Lord, let our faith well up in us into confidence in you and even boldness in answering your call in life. Amen.

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