Mothers for Prodigals

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Quiet Confidence

The result of righteousness will be peace;
the effect of righteousness
will be quiet confidence forever.  Isaiah 32:17 (HCSB)

The quiet of my backyard deafened me. Even though nocturnal animals roamed, at 4:45 in the morning, most humans either slept or initially roused themselves out of bed. I stood outside watching my dogs as they emptied themselves, the quiet surrounding me. The eerie silence unnerved me until I took my thoughts captive and turned them over to Jesus. 

Straightaway the uncanny sound of soundlessness transformed into peaceful calm. My heart reveled in God’s serenity. I felt Him speak to my soul. 

“Quiet confidence,” He said.

“What is quiet confidence?” I asked.

“Read my words, listen with your heart, and I’ll explain,” I sensed Him say. 

I walked back inside my house and opened my box of God’s promises. The words fixed themselves in my heart and mind. God, through His everlasting Word, said to me…..

The work of righteousness will be peace,
And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.  Isaiah 32:17 (NKJV)

I opened my Bible and reread God’s holy Word in a different translation. 

And the work of righteousness will be peace,
And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.  Isaiah 32:17 (NASB)

Wow, God, you are the transformer, the One of righteous peace. When we believe and turn our thoughts toward you, you exchange our sinful nature with your righteous assurance. You died a horrible death on a cross to make that exchange with us. You are worthy of our praise. Keep my thoughts on you, Lord Jesus. 

And He did. I visualized my righteous, confident Savior before human judges and the governor, Pontius Pilate. Jesus, the Perfect One, had been arrested and stood before sinful men, awaiting His sentence.  

Now Jesus stood before the governor. “Are You the King of the Jews?” the governor asked Him.

Jesus answered, “You have said it.” And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He didn’t answer.

Then Pilate said to Him, “Don’t You hear how much they are testifying against You?” But He didn’t answer him on even one charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.  Matthew 27:11-14 (HCSB)

Our Savior fulfilled Old Testament prophecy as He quietly faced His accusers.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet He did not open His mouth.
Like a lamb led to the slaughter
and like a sheep silent before her shearers,
He did not open His mouth.  Isaiah 53:7 (HCSB)

I felt His assurance as I read the Word of God. Jesus knew His destiny. He chose to fulfill it for me and you. When Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection, He offered to believers the authority given to Him by His Heavenly Father. This authority exudes quiet confidence with assurance of its origin. 

The conviction of Jesus comes from power, the unimaginable power of God. Jesus endured mocking and beatings from His enemies. He withstood pain as He walked to the cross. He persevered with assurance because of His heavenly focus. And He didn’t utter a word.

The same confident power is available to us—Jesus died to save us and fill us with this quiet, authoritative power. Do we tap into it or allow worldly noise to drown it out? Too often we tend to engage heavily in the things of this world. Instead of reading God’s Word, we allow others’ thoughts and opinions to shape our own ideas. Worldly noise keeps us distracted. The result—increased pain within our circumstances. 

Is it possible to stand in painful situations with an authoritative certainty? Can we acquire the same assurance that Jesus lived out? How do we go about following His example? 

Be still before Him (Psalm 46:10). Take anxious thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). Embrace silence. Allow Christ Jesus’ power to invade your mind with quiet confidence. His power is the greatest power in the universe. Lay hold of it and persevere with Jesus by your side. 

Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,

who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God
as something to be used for His own advantage.
Instead He emptied Himself
by assuming the form of a slave,
taking on the likeness of men.
And when He had come as a man
in His external form,
He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death—
even to death on a cross.
For this reason God highly exalted Him
and gave Him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee will bow—
of those who are in heaven and on earth
and under the earth—
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:5-11 (HCSB)

Now I, Paul, make a personal appeal to you by the gentleness and graciousness of Christ—I who am humble among you in person but bold toward you when absent. I beg you that when I am present I will not need to be bold with the confidence by which I plan to challenge certain people who think we are behaving in an unspiritual way. For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ. 
 2 Corinthians 10:1-5 (HCSB)

But you, man of God, run from these things,
and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith,
love, endurance, and gentleness.
Fight the good fight for the faith;
take hold of eternal life
that you were called to
and have made a good confession about
in the presence of many witnesses.

In the presence of God, who gives life to all, and of Christ Jesus, who gave a good confession before Pontius Pilate, I charge you to keep the command without fault or failure until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. God will bring this about in His own time. He is

the blessed and only Sovereign,
the King of kings,
and the Lord of lords,
the only One who has immortality,
dwelling in unapproachable light;
no one has seen or can see Him,
to Him be honor and eternal might.
Amen. 1 Timothy 6 (HCSB)

May You be praised, Lord God of our father Israel, from eternity to eternity. Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to You. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom, and You are exalted as head over all.  
1 Chronicles 29:10b-11 (HCSB)

In the trials you face, in the obstacles you come up against, in the discouragement that hounds you relentlessly, will you cast your confidence toward the power of God or the hard facts of “reality”?  ~Chris Tiegreen

"Same Power" - Jeremy Camp

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