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I sat on the edge of my bed and wept.
To this day, I recall so clearly the desperation I felt at that very moment. The moment when I realized that everything I had invested my life in was slipping like quicksand from my grip. And it was slipping without my permission.
If not for the Sovereign Lord, the darkness would have consumed me.
I was living in New York City at the time, testing the waters of show business and working three unsatisfying jobs to (barely) pay the rent. My family and friends lived thirteen long hours away. The marriage I thought I would enter after one year of dating turned out to be a heart-wrenching break up. And just when I thought circumstances could not get any worse, I started having excruciating pain in my left knee—a devastating injury to sustain while living in a walking city.
Lord, where are You? The tears rolled down my cheeks as I inquired of Him. The God of all creation, full of goodness, faithfulness and sovereignty, seemed so far away.
Yet, there was one thing I knew for certain: God was still with me. No, I could not see Him or sense Him. But I held on to the hope that knowing Christ had instilled in me: that I could go nowhere from His presence, His care, or His abundant grace even when I felt utterly, desperately weak and broken.
Somehow, in the most ironic way and despite everything falling apart, my confidence in God deepened.
You may be asking, “How is that possible?” If you do not yet know Jesus Christ, I am here to assure you—it is possible, indeed. It is more than possible, in fact, to have everything falling to pieces around you and yet still to rest in the security and strength of the Lord. However, the keys to building confidence cannot be sought and found in earthly solutions, remedies, religions and mantras—but only in realizing our weakness, trusting the Lord’s sole sufficiency, and finding our hope in Him.
KEY #1: Realize your desperate need for the Lord.
Psalm 62 is a beautiful prayer sung by King David, a weak, sinful man in desperate need of God’s strength. David states, “Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion” (v.9). The first key to finding God-confidence is in realizing that we cannot find it within ourselves. We are but a breath. The world sends us the opposite message: “Be all you can be!” But as sinful beings, no amount of righteousness or strength or effort or beauty can attain the inner-satisfaction and perfection we so desire. We need a Savior.
KEY #2: Trust in the Sovereign Lord, who is solely sufficient for you.
Becoming a more confident woman is only possible by surrendering to the one perfect example, Jesus Christ. In admitting that we simply cannot find satisfaction or strength within ourselves, God gladly bestows righteousness and a secure identity upon us, in exchange for His Son’s very life.
Verses 1-2 read, “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken”. David’s prayer above reminds us that there is only one solution to our innate need for satisfaction, acceptance and confidence: God alone. Notice how David uses the words “alone” and “only” to describe the satisfying character of the Lord. He is set apart. No human being can find even the slightest bit of security or strength apart from knowing Him. In Jesus Christ, God sent His Son to make this relationship possible, and by His redeeming blood our souls can be eternally satisfied.
KEY #3: Find your hope in Him.
“Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them” (v.10). Clearly, the world is not as it should be. The simple fact that it is impossible to predict tomorrow’s circumstances should confirm the obvious: our confidence cannot be found in the things of this world. We invest in relationships, expecting them to satisfy us, only to experience disappointment time and time again. We crave financial gain, plan our ten-year goals, and strive for achievement and recognition—no matter what the cost.
In and of themselves, money, relationships and successes are not sinful. It is the heart motive behind them that draws fallen people into sinful attitudes and allegiances. Above, David exhorts us never to put our trust in earthly gain. When we come to terms with our weaknesses and put our trust instead in God’s strength, we are found no longer in the world—we gain Christ! Turning from selfish ambition and worldly hopes to finding our hope in Christ is the only way to build true confidence that will last for eternity.
Lyricist Edward Mode wrote the words to this traditional hymn, which brilliantly expresses the keys to building confidence in Christ: My hope is built on nothing less / Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness / I dare not trust the sweetest frame / But wholly lean on Jesus’ name / On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand /All other ground is sinking sand.
May we build our hope on nothing less than Jesus Christ, finding our true confidence in Him!
Kristen Leigh Evensen is a writer, blogger and singer/songwriter. She writes on faith and identity at The Identity Project and keeps a column at WHOLE Magazine. Her desire is to see women transformed by the Gospel! Follow her on Twitter @kristenlevensen and on Facebook.