I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13
CONFIDENCE: First, a big shout-out to the birds around our feeder for today’s photos. Watching them reminds me of Christ’s words in the Sermon on the Mount, where he points out how birds live without anxiety and in such confidence (Matthew 6:25-27).
It’s a sentiment echoed in Paul’s words to his friends in Rome (above). God is the wellspring of our hope, and we are filled – completely – with joy and peace because we trust in God’s faithful love. Then, not only will we know hope, hope and confidence will literally flow out of us because we are so full!
TED TALKS: It all fits beautifully (God does this all the time) with some thoughts that have been percolating in my heart and soul in response to a recent series of TED Radio-hour Podcasts.
I tend to hoard Podcasts for a few weeks then listen to several in a row while walking Scout in the late evenings. Consequently, this week I have enjoyed an illuminating show on brain science, followed by some insightful thoughts on “Success,” and then a very interesting discussion on communication called “Spoken and Unspoken.”
For me, the common thread was the observation that human beings seldom function at anywhere near capacity. Long story short, it turns out that confidence is a critically important resource. Not wishful thinking, not self-deception, not the false theology of name-it-and-claim-it.
It turns out that confidence is about hooking in to that which is already true. Confidence depends on reality, or it simply doesn’t work. Similarly, even the truth doesn’t do us much good if we don’t – or won’t – believe.
Case in point: A wee hours of the morning black-and-white vampire movie draws to its conclusion. The vampire has a man cornered and is about to strike. Suddenly the victim pulls a cross from his cloak and holds it up. The vampire staggers back, shielding his face. Then, just as the audience breathes a sigh of relief, a smile crosses the vampire’s face and he resumes his advance. The man waves the cross again, but the vampire tears if from his grasp. “It only works,” he said with a sinister laugh, “if you believe…” And the scene fades to the closing credits. (Rebekah – who watched the movie – tells me the exact line was “It doesn’t work if you don’t have faith…”)
My confidence in God is based on reality; that’s why – that’s how – the Good News imbues me not only with hope but with power. This is a resource that is ours to embrace, and our responsibility to live into.
Then – as Paul writes – we will be “filled completely with joy and peace…” And – because we trust – we will, in consequence, “overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
In the hope and the fact of God’s rich promise – DEREK