Sometimes I’ve wondered if my hope and confidence in Jesus has more to do with getting me to heaven safely than with a real-life trust that could change things. It’s easy, I find, to make Jesus into this name, hazy person we don’t know much about aside from John 3:16 and the odd famous verse. It’s easy to forget who He really is and how our trust in Him can be translated in our day-to-day life. But if we look, if we trust, then we will see the ripple effect of our confidence in our story.
Words for the Week
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
2 Corinthians 2:14-17
But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.
“Faith in Christ is the only thing to save you from despair”
To trust in someone, to have confidence that they will come through, we need to know them. Maybe that is why we find it hard to trust politicians, because we don’t know who they are. The same goes with Jesus. If we want to trust Him we must know Him.
In the Gospels, we find a Messiah who juggles between strength, challenging words, unheard-of grace and compassion. There we find him turning to the little, the weak, children. He weeps, heals, delivers, confronts people’s motives and comes through for people who cry out for help. We find a Jesus worthy of our trust, not only in his death and resurrection, but equally in the way he behaves, treats others, his fearlessness when it comes to spending time people who aren’t deemed worthy. He comes through for his friends and the crowds following him.
Jesus came as fully man and fully God and showed us He is trustworthy. When He promised that death will not hold him, He came back. He calls for our confidence, for it is well placed in Him. The more we learn about Him the more our confidence is rooted, unshakeable. We cannot only rely on Sunday readings and sermons to feed our knowledge and love for Jesus. Scripture needs to be the foundation of our confidence in His love.
Last summer I went back to family home, as I always do, to soak up the sun, and enjoy the reunion with the people I love. However, within two hours of landing in Marseille, my thoughts were jumbled up. I can’t explain this any other way than it feeling as if someone was throwing thoughts at me, constantly, so much so I couldn’t hear myself think and taking part in conversations was difficult. I was floored by anxiety within a few hours, I felt my confidence in Jesus waver. I couldn’t find Him.
Thoughts of terror, death, apocalyptic-like scenarios made it difficult for me to go to sleep or enjoy the company of my loved-ones. Since there was seemingly no way out, I went to my home-church and shared this with a wise friend. He told me to literally ‘proclaim the blood of Jesus’ over every gateway in the house. I thought to myself this was a bit old-fashioned, a bit out-there. Maybe I even thought that it wouldn’t do anything since God doesn’t fix everything. Regardless, I went home and did just what he suggested. I went around my childhood home, prayed over every doorway, the garden gate, every window.
When I finished, I wasn’t quite sure what to do or to expect. Within a few minutes my thoughts cleared up. I could feel fear at the door, but it was precisely that: outside the door, instead of eating me from the inside. I could hear myself think again. I turned to my family and I could feel the joy of our time together. I looked up at the starry skies, I heard myself being in awe of God. I thought of Jesus and I was amazed. I had spent two weeks battling an enemy I couldn’t see and didn’t seem to be winning. And everything changed radically in no time.
All of that because I claimed Jesus as my protection, in weak faith. That experience reminded me that Jesus was a real-life saviour, not a theoretical one. He helps us in our weaknesses. Not always as we expect Him to, but nonetheless He steps in.
‘You may forget that you are at every moment totally dependent on God.’
I have, many times, seen Jesus coming through. Be it in bringing healing to my heart, providing for money when I was completely penniless, pushing back spiritual oppression. He’s not done everything I ever asked Him to do. I still have questions. However, He has done enough for me to know that Scripture depicts Him correctly. I have full confidence that my hope in Christ will not be put to shame.
Own it personally…
- Where in your life, could you do with more confidence in Christ? Take time to list them, ask God to highlight them to you, to give you practical ways to let Him step in.
- Grab your Bible, open the Gospels. Forget that you know a lot of the stories well from Christmas and Easter services. Pay attention to his words, his reactions, how He behaves. Write it down, unpack it and discover a Jesus who is beyond your preconceived ideas.
- Identify one area where you can take a practical leap of faith and jump! Start with something that you can handle and put yourself in a situation where He needs to step in. Trust, like patience, is only real if it’s put to use.
- Seek people who will encourage you to trust Jesus more and who will help you work out any trust issues you might (we all have them.). Be proactive about changing the way you function if it keeps in a box of fears and doubts.
Speak it Out – Pray and Prophesy
Lay it All Down (feat. Will Reagan) –
Let You Go (feat. Will Reagan)
The Jesus I Never Knew, by Philip Yancey
Surprised by Hope, by Tom Wright