There is a plan and a purpose for each of our lives, and a myriad of opportunities. There are new friendships to make, old friendships to value and maintain, exciting projects and adventures to embark upon, places to explore and wonderful things to see and do. So what are we waiting for? Is tomorrow full of promise or fear for us?
Are we people who embrace change and adventure, or is the unknown too risky? Is the fear of failure part of the issue?
The bible is full of accounts of people who stepped out into the unknown, who chose to believe God’s promises and to take action, believing that God was able to keep them from falling. Some of them, like Moses, really struggled to have the confidence to do what they knew God was asking of them. And yet they ended up doing it. How come?
There seem to me to be three main types of people in the world: those that lack confidence in themselves, those that seem very confident, but probably are just bluffing, and those that realise that it’s not what they can do that counts for anything, but rather what God can do, that gives them confidence. If the bridge ahead has been designed by a brilliant engineer then we have reason to trust that it will take our weight, and if that engineer happens to be our father, who has an interest in our safety, how much more can we be confident?
God’s plans for our lives are 100% good, even when the way is difficult and doesn’t look safe.
So how do we walk in that way, and fulfil those plans when we are full of fear? Only by taking our eyes off the problems, dangers, and our own inadequacies, and fixing them on the One who has conquered fear.
Encouragement is such a powerful tool when it comes to growing in confidence – and there is plenty of encouragement in the Word of God: encouragement that takes us beyond the reality of our own incompetence into the Truth of God’s competence.
We can also play a part in increasing the confidence of others, especially children, by the encouragement that we give them. Looking for the positives in what they do is part of it, but more than that, we can teach children to look to the One who is bigger than they are, the One who is able to keep them from falling – the One who doesn’t demand that we achieve the impossible, but instead puts the impossible within our reach.