A lion goes forth to face each day with an innate confidence that he can face whatever challenge lies before him.
There be three things which go well, yea, four are comely in going: A lion which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any (Proverbs 30:29,30)
God only gives such confidence to the righteous.
The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. (Proverbs 28:1)
Blessed assurance is the product of righteousness.
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. (Isaiah 32:17)
The understanding and knowledge we have of God through Christ provides us with a confidence that He is a true God into whose hands we can entrust our lives.
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. (1 John 5:20)
We will be kept in peace, not only as we pray, but as our minds are stayed on the Lord as our true and trustworthy God.
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9)
What is TRUE is what is CERTAIN. It is established beyond “a shadow of a doubt.” It is guaranteed.
And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain… (Deuternomy 17:4)
What is most assuredly TRUE and what we can be CERTAIN of.
- I am certain of God.
- I am certain He will never leave me nor forsake me.
- I am certain He will never disappoint me, but do far more than I could ask or think.
- I am certain He can take care of things better than I can.
- I am certain He will keep all I commit into His hands.
- I am certain He will go before me and be in all my tomorrows.
- I am certain He will give me the strength I need to deal with any challenges I may face.
- I am certain that because He is my Shepherd, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in His house forever.
- This blessed assurance is not shaken by the thought of anything that could possibly happen.
- This is not faith in faith, but faith in a good and trustworthy God.
- This faith gives me confidence and courage to face any uncertainty concerning the future.
- This faith is a shield that quenches every fiery dart of the wicked one.
- This faith is the victory that overcomes the world.
We cannot make God do anything He doesn’t want to do; but we can hinder Him from doing what He would like to do.
Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:1,2)
We can hinder God from answering our prayers.
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)
The quantity of our prayers are meaningless to God when we are out of right relationship with each other.
And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isaiah 1:15-20)
If we do not love, in deed and in truth, our heart should condemn us, and our confidence toward Him should be taken away.
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. (1 John 3:14-22)
Not only our attitude toward and treatment of others can hinder God from answering us, but our motivation in wanting God to come through for us can cause Him to not listen to us.
Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. (Isaiah 58:1-4)
We “ask amiss” if are wanting God to prove us right, or help us “win an argument” (debate). Though we fast and pray for His hand to move, He will not do so if His positive answer would satisfy our “lust for vindication.”
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 4:3)
Jesus will work on our behalf only when we want Him to be glorified.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:13)
Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified. (Psalm 40:16)
God searches the hearts and the reins and if He sees that we are “regarding iniquity” He will not hear us.
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me. (Psalm 66:18-20)
If we turn our ears away from what His Word tells us to do, God will turn His ears aways from our prayer. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. (Proverbs 28:9)
Confidence in prayer belongs to the righteous who “eschew (turn from) evil” and “seek peace.”
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. (1 Peter 3:8-12)