The Gift of Confidence
by Graham Cooke
God is not an optimist. He is a realist with a joyful disposition. He is also confident, carefree and generous. He smiles, laughs, sings and dances through His relationships. He knows the heart of man, yet is no pessimist. He does not get hung up on negatives; instead, He prefers goodness, mercy, grace and lovingkindness to display His demeanor. His love never ceases and never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).
He will use truth to set people free not put them in chains. He does not put mankind down but calls them up to a future that He provides in the Beloved. In Christ, He has taken responsibility for the past and seeks a loving partnership with people to upgrade their identity and destiny in Him. In His realm, accountability is always connected to freedom, not sanction.
He prefers justice over judgment. His chastisement is evidence of love, not anger. He creates, shapes and molds people in His likeness. He uses every circumstance to make us like Him. His objective is to bring many people into glory through Sonship (Hebrews 2:10). People choose their own judgment when they reject their place in the Kingdom. There are two options: light and dark. Some people walk in the light, others love darkness more. Everyone receives from their choices. His mercy will always triumph over judgment (James 2:13). He is not willing for anyone to perish but that all should be with Him forever.
Grace is a weapon of mass destruction. It will overthrow every negative. It neutralizes everything contrary to God’s nature by being the revelation of that nature. Grace is always firmly placed next to any sin or error. Where sin abounds grace shows up much more powerfully (Romans 5:20). Grace is God’s abundance in the place of man’s deficiency. Grace is the foundation for confidence in God. All growth is built on grace. It gives people a place to stand in favor. Whilst they are learning to be Christ-like, God does not punish for mistakes. He provides for them. It is a huge adjustment to move from sinful man to beloved son.
The journey into being made in His image would be terrible were it not for grace. At all times people would be beset by fear, anxiety and doubt about their performance as a believer. Man can never be good enough by his own efforts. Without grace they would be enslaved to a religious spirit and at the mercy of doubt. Grace is the enjoyment of God that empowers people to love the learning in the freedom He supplies. Grace makes love, mercy and truth accessible in a way that elevates people without downgrading them first.
If God is not radiant, He is not anything. If His love is not majestic, He is diminished. If His lovingkindness is not from everlasting to everlasting, there is no living with Him forever. If His joy is not the abiding atmosphere of heaven, there is no pleasure in being there. If grace is not all-powerful, there is no place to stand that makes people confident in goodness. Whatever God is, He is relentlessly and forever. He never changes (Malachi 3:6). He remains eternally the same in Himself (Hebrews 13:8).
Grace never travels alone (1 Timothy 1:14). It is always accompanied by faith and love in and from the Lord Jesus. Only a Pharisee would call grace into question. Grace is an incomparable gift (Ephesians 2:8) that allows people the freedom to cast off their captivity and experience the benefits of freedom in the process of exploration. The Father provides everything for the sake of His people (2 Corinthians 4:15) so that His grace can cover huge territory. He receives much glory from grace. All over the world multitudes of people abound in thanksgiving because grace has uplifted life and relationship with God.
His throne is made of grace and all who gather around it receive massive increases of confidence (Hebrews 4:16). In that place of secure dependence people are empowered to receive mercy. Grace is not undeserved favor. If it was then Jesus never had any. He grew in grace with God and man (Luke 2:40; Luke 2:52). He never sinned but needed grace! Grace is the empowering Presence of God to enable people to mature into what the Father wants them to become. Grace is a transformational gift because it empowers people in their place of weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). It enables them to have the confidence to grow into who God sees that they are in Christ.
It is a requirement that people enjoy grace; that they should exult and give thanks for grace. The gift of grace enables man to touch, experience and know for certain the beautiful gift of love that is the Lord Jesus Christ.