Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, THAT your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 THAT ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till (with a view toward being ready for) the Day of Christ. 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Holding Onto Our Confidence
Before the Lord
THIS MONTH we will give ourselves to the building up of our confidence before the Lord, both for ourselves and in behalf of those for whom we pray. Each day we will take a passage that makes use of one of the "confidence" words Paul was fond of.
• THE SETTLED CONFIDENCE OF A DEEP CONVICTION.
• THE CONFIDENCE OF COURAGE WHILE UNDERGOING TRIALS.
• THE CONFIDENCE THAT COMES FROM HAVING A STRONG FOUNDATION
• THE CONFIDENCE THAT MAKES US BOLD AND FREE IN OUR TESTIMONY AND IN OUR PRAYING
• WITH CONFIDENCE WE WILL HOLD BEFORE THE LORD THOSE THAT ARE DEAR TO OUR HEARTS.
THE SETTLED CONFIDENCE OF A DEEP CONVICTION.
The New Testament Greek word here is peítho. It carries the meaning of "to be persuaded with deep conviction; to be confident of." It is the basis of the word pístis which means "faith."
Rom 8:38,39 For I am persuaded ("I hold a firm conviction with a deep confidence"), that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
• FATHER, there are forces against me—at work constantly—trying to convince me Your love is conditional and that I don’t measure up. Please show me how great Your love is. Help me become settled in it, with deep confidence, that nothing can separate me from it. Today, let someone learn of Your love through me.
His love reached us in our unworthy state; it will reach others in theirs—Rom 5:6-8
DAY 2—Paul’s confidence for others was that God would complete His work in them.
Phil 1:6,7 Being confident ("firmly persuaded") of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace (that is, "of grace with me").
• FATHER, it seems that confidence was born in Paul for those people because he held them in his heart. Stir up love in me for these people I am about to bring before You. My tendency is to worry about them. Teach me to hold them in my heart and before Your Throne with a confidence that You will move in them.
Love and faith work well together—GaI 5:6; Eph 3:17; Cal 1:4; I Thes 5:8
Phil 1:12-14 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel; so that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; and many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident ("having confidence built up") by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
• FATHER, please help me bear a testimony of confidence before these I hold before You. Sometimes my faith has grown dim and I’ve not born the best testimony with them. Strengthen me in this matter so I’ll not complain and speak wrong things before them.
Those who minister the Gospel need others praying for them—Col 4:2-4
Phil 1:21,23-25 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. ... For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence ("holding this deep and settled persuasion"), I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith.
• FATHER, sometimes I feel tired and want to come home to You, but You have not called me yet. Please strengthen me with a settled conviction that You still have purpose for me here. This, now, is my earnest request: let joy and faith increase in me so I can impart it to others by how I respond to life, and to its pains.
Believers who die for their faith, as Paul did, have the hope of a better resurrection
—Heb 11:35; Rev 7:14-17
Phil 3:4,7,8a Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more…But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord...
• FATHER, I’ve tried religion, but have found little lasting hope in it. Now in Christ Jesus I have that hope. There is a confidence in me that I can stand in Your presence. Let this become a settled thing with me. Help me walk in the freedom of knowing You at all times.
Only through faith can we enter a covenant relationship with the Lord God—GaI 3:1-9
THE CONFIDENCE OF COURAGE WHILE UNDERGOING TRIALS.
This Greek word is tharréo and means "to be of good courage,
to have a confident hope" and thus, to maintain a cheerful bearing when under pressure.
Ac 23:10,11 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle. And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer ("maintain your confidence"), Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
• FATHER, it takes little to shake my confidence. Heal this in me. Bring me to the place where I can hear Your voice freely and move on through life with good courage even in trials. Help me know You will never forsake me—or these I am holding before Your Throne.
As we learn to wait on the Lord, our heart will be strengthened to stand in every trial— Ps 27:11-14
II Cor 5:5b,6 ... God... hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident knowing ("even with the knowledge") that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord...
• FATHER, even in this trial I rejoice in Your faithfulness. Thank You for sending Your Spirit to dwell with me and to strengthen my confidence. Here, now, are these undergoing a great trial of their faith. Strengthen them with Your presence. Speak to them like You spoke to Paul and like You are speaking to me.
The voice of the Lord is powerful, therefore we live with confidence—Ps 29:1-11
Heb 13:5,6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say ("We can say with cheerful confidence"), The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
• FATHER, prepare us for days when we may have but little other than Your presence. Forgive us for complaining about something we’re deprived of. Teach us to find our sufficiency in You. Teach us to trust You more than we trust man to provide what is necessary for our life. Strengthen our confidence for the evil day.
We have confidence because our faithful Lord will never forsake us
—Ps 9:10; 37:28; 94:14; Isa 49:14-16
Heb 13:6 So that we may boldly say ("speak with cheerful confidence"), The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Ps 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
• FATHER, I need Your help. My confidence has been shaken because of these people who are giving me trouble. Forgive me for regarding their anger and the poison of their plot. I now turn my heart toward You, to see, instead, Your power and Your love for me—and for them. Right now, I forgive them and I trust You. And at last, I feel happy about everything that has happened.+
Fear of man is a trap; trust in God is a stronghold—Pro 29:25; Ps 56:1-13
THE CONFIDENCE THAT COMES FROM HAVING A STRONG FOUNDATION—
The New Testament Greek word is hupostásis which literally means "a standing under."
It describes an assured foundation, a substructure that is solid and true.
Heb 1:2,3 (God) hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image (from hupostásis, "the underlying confidence and foundation") of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high...
• FATHER, I see You were the underlying foundation of all Christ Jesus was. Because He stood on Your Covenant, Your faithfulness, Your strength, and Your wisdom, He could move with confidence in the face of every demand. Teach me now this same confidence can be mine because You have received me in Him.
It is in Christ Jesus that God has accepted us, therefore we have a strong confidence—Eph 1:4-7
Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence ("the assurance of our foundation") steadfast unto the end.
I Cor 1:30 But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
• GRACIOUS FATHER, show me more of my redemption. As You have received me in Your Son, so help me live in Him. I want Him to be the foundation of all my living, of everything I do. Teach me how my wisdom and my righteousness come from Him. Help me live a holy life in Him, before You and before man.
Because we are justified by faith, we can stand in the grace of God—Rom 5:1-5
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance ("the underlying confidence") of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
I Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
• FATHER, my hope has no foundation outside of Your Son Whom I have received as my Lord. Thank You for giving me the faith to believe in Him and to continue trusting Him. Let this same confident hope You have given me now come to birth in these I hold before You. I name several before You, one by one, with the expectation that Your grace will move in upon them.
Our hope in Christ is like an anchor for our soul—Heb 6:13-20
THE CONFIDENCE THAT MAKES US BOLD AND FREE IN OUR TESTIMONY
The Greek word we find here is parrhesía which means "bold confidence." It describes the confidence of someone who is free from shame. With it we can speak and move with freedom and without hesitation, both before God and before man.
Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly ("with bold confidence; with open freedom"), triumphing over them in it.
• FATHER, I’ve been timid in my testimony and in my praying. I know I’ve been under spiritual bondage. But I am ready now to walk in the freedom Jesus obtained for me. Show me how far His triumph reached when He dealt with the principalities and powers that oppose me. Let what He accomplished come over on my living, on my testifying, and on my praying.
Because of what Jesus did, we have freedom to enter the holiest place of all—Heb 10:19-23
Phil 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
• FATHER, forgive me for ever being ashamed to testify about Your Son. Do a new work in me so my testimony will not be weak. I desire a bold confidence so I can let it be known clearly Whose I am and Who I serve. I want this even if it comes to the point I may have to die for it.
We see in Jeremiah the kind of confidence He will give even to a child—Jer 1:7,8,17-19
Eph 2:18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Eph 3:12 (Christ Jesus) In Whom we have boldness ("bold freedom") and access (i.e.: "admission into the presence of God having been persuaded that the faith of the Son of God allows me to come into Him"--See Gal 2:20) with confidence by the faith of Him.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly ("with bold freedom and confidence") unto the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
• FATHER, I come to You today in the boldness of what the Lord Jesus has done. I have great need. Thank You for receiving me and setting me free from the timidity I once held in praying. Now, with confidence, I bring these petitions before You. And, I bring these souls before You, again naming them, holding them before You.
Becoming free from bondage, we come before the Father as joint-heirs with Christ—Rom 8:15-17
I Jn 5:14,15 And this is the confidence ("the bold freedom") that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.
• FATHER, thank You for the confidence You have given me in praying. I am holding before You some people who are in deep trouble. They have no hope unless You move in their behalf. With the authority You give me in Christ Jesus, I bind the work of Satan in their lives. I loose them to feel Your love and receive Your grace.
God will show Himself strong—Il Chron 16:9; Ps 34:15
I Jn 2:28 And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence ("bold freedom"), and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
Jn 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.
• LORD, bind my spirit to Yours. Hold me in the grasp of Your love. Teach me to abide in You. Holy my reins tightly lest I wander from Your side. Keep Your hold on my heart, on my mind, on my emotions, and on my will. And LORD, please do this in these I hold before You.
To whoever would abide in Him Jesus gave a powerful promised about praying—Jn 15:4-7
WE WILL HOLD BEFORE THE LORD THOSE THAT ARE DEAR TO OUR HEARTS.
I Cor 1:9 God is faithful, by Whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
II Thes 3:3,4a But the Lord is faithful, Who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence ("we have been persuaded") in the Lord touching you...
• FAITHFUL LORD, here are these people who have been wavering in their faith. Evil seems to lurk all around them. I bind those forces that reach for them. I hold them in Your presence with a confidence that You will convict them and draw them to Yourself—and that you will keep them as Your Own.
We are learning to never give up in praying for others in need—Rom 1:9; II Thes 1:11,12
Heb 6:9,11,12 But, beloved, we are persuaded ("we are confident of") better things of you, and things that accompany salvation... And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
• FATHER, these I hold before You today who once felt Your call upon their lives. Draw them on. Hold them close. Let them feel Your compassion for them. Let them feel Your love. Show them Your faithfulness in what they are facing today. Cause them to know You are moving to bring them out of their trouble.
We will not cease in praying for certain ones the Lord has laid upon our hearts—Col 1:9; I Sam 12:23
DAY 20—We enter the conflict in praying for those who are in the enemies’ line of fire that they may hold their confidence.
Eph 6:17-19 And take the helmet of salvation (the confident covering that protects our minds from the enemies attacks), and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance ("unremitting continuance") and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly ("with bold freedom"), to make known the mystery of the gospel.
• FATHER, here are these servants of Yours on the front lines of battle. Let Your protection come over them—spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically. Let the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation work in them so they will know clearly how to move at Your command. Let their confidence become stronger to withstand the enemy and to lead souls to Your grace and power.
We will not cease in praying for certain ones the Lord has laid on our hearts—Col 1:9; I Sam 12:23
DAY 21—We are learning to hold on to our confidence, not letting it go under any circumstance.
Heb 10:34-36 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence ("the bold freedom" in which you are learning to live and to pray), which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience ("perseverance when under pressure"), that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
• FATHER, my confidence is growing, but sometimes I feel weak. The pressures still reach me and make me weary. Today I wait before You. Search out in me what attacks my confidence. Bring me to a place of stability in trusting You, both for myself and for these I have been holding before You. I rest in Your faithfulness. Here my confidence is complete.
The rewards of our confidence will be great—Mt 5:12; 10:32,42; 1k 12:8; I Cor 15:58
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