I seem to play host to an army of self-created demons.

I think I have a special talent for inventing and empowering my own private foes. The smallest adversity spurs a frenzy of inner creativity, and another haunting voice begins whispering messages of doom.

There’s nothing imaginary about these self-defeating creations. They’re more real and more terrifying than any obstacle I might encounter. In fact, I’m increasingly convinced that outside opposition poses relatively minor threats compared to the fearsome firepower of my internal enemy.

I’ve been wondering about the leader of this hostile force that’s encamped in my heart and head. I’m certain that their supreme commander is the enemy of my soul, but perhaps their general is loss of confidence.

When we encounter significant adversity, we’re somehow robbed of confidence. Past mistakes, illness, injury, or evil actions of other people—any of these can make us uncertain, tentative, and fearful. It’s impossible to move forward in hope when you’re always looking over your shoulder for an event or person from the past.

When I examine those instances when I’ve lost confidence, I recognize a consistent trend. I think I’ve consistently placed my confidence in the wrong location.

I’ve entrusted my sense of hope to health, financial stability, and relationships. I’ve been confident in my own ability, in a career, or a society. And each, in one way or another, has failed to provide the foundation in which I can be confident. People disappoint, health falters, and finances fluctuate. Whenever I’ve been certain about any worldly circumstance, something happens to rattle the ground until I’m standing in shifting sand.

… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

Through all I’ve experienced, I’ve become convinced of only one fact: God will never let go. He’s not going to toss my life away, no matter what mistakes I’ve made, no matter what’s happened to me, God offers a new beginning.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

That’s my bottom line. That’s where I want to place my confidence. In the face of that power, my little internal infantry shrinks to insignificance.

What’s the source of your confidence?

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Copyright 2009 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.
Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:
Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance
. Visit his web site

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