Give Thanks for Confidence
“I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). Paul wrote these words as he stared certain death in the face. He wrote them from a dank prison cell after having been deserted by many Christians. But he remained confident. Even joyful.
He could be so confident because he “entrusted” his entire salvation to the Lord. He left nothing in his own hands. He didn’t think for a moment that he had to supplement Christ’s work. He knew the only thing he could add to Christ’s perfect work was his imperfection. Just a few verses prior he had written: God “has saved us and called us to a holy life – not, because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace” (2 Timothy 1:9). Because salvation was God’s gift to him and rested entirely on what God did, Paul remained confident – even when facing execution.
During this week of Thanksgiving, we all will pause and give thanks to God for his innumerable blessings. His spiritual blessings of salvation, peace, joy, love. His earthly blessings of health, work, food, lodging. The special blessings we have experienced this past year. The blessings of family and friends. On and on it goes. Any list of blessings we make will only be the tip of the iceberg. We have an amazingly generous God.
One blessing I especially thank God for is that the confidence which Paul had is not exclusive to Paul, but one all Christians can have. Each and every Christian can be completely sure that heaven is their home – that they will spend all eternity in God’s presence. We all can be confident of this because Jesus has done it all for us also.
I often encounter Christians, however, who are not completely confident about their eternal destiny. Instead of looking at what Jesus has already done for them, instead of taking to heart Jesus’ cry of “it is finished”, they focus on their failures and sins. Seeing our sins is good, even essential, to destroy any confidence we have in ourselves and our goodness. But when seeing our sins also lessens our doubts about what Jesus has done for us – when our sinfulness causes us to question whether or not we will go to heaven – then we not only create a lot of needless pain for ourselves, we also do God a terrible disservice. Then we obscure the tremendous fact of his wonderful salvation.
So this Thanksgiving be confident of your salvation. Thank God for making you confident. And then thank him by telling all far and wide about your confident. As Paul wrote in a different letter: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:31).
God will be well pleased. And some who you tell will be eternally thankful.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving.