by Ken Weliever
Several years ago I heard a story about a little girl who was unaccompanied on a cross-country flight. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot’s voice came over the speakers and calmly told the passengers, “I apologize, ladies and gentlemen, but we will not be serving any beverages or snacks at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please stay seated with your seat belt fastened.”
Pretty soon, the turbulence could be felt. Lightning was flashing, thunder was cracking, and the plane was shaking. Many of the passengers were concerned. The man relating the incident—a veteran of many flights—even confessed, “I was beginning to feel pretty anxious.”
Then he noticed the little girl across the aisle. She had tucked her feet beneath her and was reading a book, seemingly oblivious to the turbulence.
As the storm finally passed and the ride became smoother, the gentleman leaned over and said to the little girl, “You sure are brave. That rough ride didn’t seem to bother you a bit.” The child looked up, smiled and said, “Oh, I wasn’t afraid. My Daddy is the pilot. He’s taking me home.”
That’s confidence—not in one’s self, but in another. Confidence seems almost natural when we have something or someone to trust. To believe in. To count on.
I’m repeatedly reminded as I read the epistles of Paul of his deep confidence in Christ. Although his life hung in the balance while imprisoned in Rome, three times in Philippians he speaks of his confidence as it relates to his relationship with the Lord (Phil 1:6, 14, 25). Whether he lived or died, all would be well. The gospel was being preached, God was being glorified, and Paul would rejoice.
When writing to Timothy during the same ordeal, Paul urged him not to be ashamed of his imprisonment. “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day” (2 Tim 1:12). Consider those words of deep confidence.
I know. Paul’s confidence was grounded in knowledge. He knew Christ. He had experienced God’s grace. His walk with the Lord was personal. How’s your relationship with the Lord? Have you responded to His providential care? Do you recognize His blessings?
I have believed. Faith is essential to confidence. Paul’s faith was fueled by the Scriptures. He knew the word. Well-founded confidence in Christ isn’t going to grow apart from the Bible. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17). Get into the Word. Read. Think. Study. Meditate. Pray for wisdom, insight, and guidance.
I am convinced. Conviction is essential to confidence. There was no wavering. No distrust. No misgivings. Only assurance. Skeptics, critics, and agnostics are all around us. They will try to undermine your faith and tempt you to compromise your convictions. Don’t listen. Don’t be deceived. Be strong. Stand fast. Be assured in God’s precious promises.
He is able. Paul’s knowledge, faith, and conviction were firmly fixed on God’s ability to watch over Him. Greater than any troop of Roman soldiers, Paul was being guarded by God. He knew the Lord would keep watch over him. You can know that too. God guided Abraham in his journeys. He raised up Moses to be a great leader. He empowered Joshua to conquer Canaan. He protected David when assaulted by Saul. And he was with Paul, even in prison. God is able—regardless of the challenges, in spite of the circumstances, God is able. Do you believe that?
I have entrusted. It’s the language of a deposit in safe-keeping. Paul had deposited his soul and spirit in the safekeeping of the Savior. He was convinced of Christ’s care and His faithful protection. Even today, we continue to be invited: trust the Lord with all your heart. Don’t doubt for a moment that your deposit is safely-assured.
Whatever turbulence you face in life, you don’t have to fear. Your Father is the pilot. Come what may, he is willing and able to see you safely home.