But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy,because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us! Romans 5:3-5 (TPT)
What does confidence feel like? You know, that swagger that comes from knowing that you’ve got it in the bag? You know you’ve done the work and you know you have the ability so you step out with that “look” on your face ready to face the challenge of whatever you are facing.
What happens, though, when you carry that confident air and you don’t do what you thought you were going to do? Often, it stirs up doubt about ability and even identity. That makes sense when your confidence was based on your ability or your preparation. Facing those times is really tough.
The good news from Romans 8:3-5 is that you don’t have to carry that feeling with you when you face disappointments and struggles. You see, real confidence is not from inside of you. Paul tells us toward the end of this passage that it comes from “the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” So, what does that look like? For starters, you don’t get hung up on the disappointment because you have something that can hold you together and allow you to see the situation in a different light.
When your confidence is joyfully placed in the cascading love of God, certain things begin to happen. Rather than feeling defeated, you begin to feel like you can make it through the tough time because you have something that is bigger and better than success--God’s loving presence in you! After you start to see that you can get through by God’s grace, you start to see yourself differently. Instead of a lack of confidence in yourself, something inside of you actually changes. You start to live out of the loving presence of the Holy Spirit. That internal change creates a hope--hope for the outcomes of your disappointment along with hope for the future. In other words you begin to have a joyful confidence that God’s got this and always will.
So, in the midst of your disappointments and challenges, you don’t need to be hard on yourself. Instead, go to God, embrace His unconditional cascading love for you, and allow Him to do His work--making you more like Jesus and providing the joy that comes from a God who has your back no matter what. Partner with God’s desires for you by praying that He would allow you to shift your perspective to see the good results rather than the difficult present. You can live with joyful confidence in God and it can show in the ways that you live your life today.