Daily Bible Reading: Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 5:7

Today is Day 20 in our 28-Day Journey. I trust you’re learning and growing as you spend time daily with the Lord.

I want to share from my heart for a few moments about a challenge I had to deal with several years ago that you might relate to as well. Because of all that I was responsible for — my family’s needs, the women’s ministry and music ministry at the church, extensive traveling, etc. — I was beginning to feel a great deal of pressure. Of course, I always reached out to God for grace to help. But sometimes my emotions would kick in, and before I knew it, I would start thinking I was failing at everything. Although I knew Jesus is my only answer, sometimes the trials of life seemed to cloud my view of His wonderful face, the only place where I could see my overcoming victory.

Feeling undue pressure to perform well is a pressure we all feel at times. As I began seeking God, I asked Him, What am I supposed to think about all this? Please help me think correctly about this and show me what to do. Have you ever felt that way? Maybe you feel that way right now.

As always — in this case and in every other challenge I’ve ever encountered — my answer was found in the Word of God. Every word in the Bible is anointed to strengthen us and to break off bondages, including the terrible bondage of feeling like a failure. God has the answer we so desperately long for, so allow me these few moments to comfort and encourage you even as I received comfort and encouragement from the Word.

Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” During this time of seeking God, as my eyes read those wonderful words, “Being confident of this very thing,” I realized that my feelings were anything but confident. It seemed like everything in my life was rising up and declaring, “You are a failure!”

Oh, how our emotions can lie to us! Although they can sometimes be a blessing, we cannot live by our feelings. We must be the master over our emotions and not let them be master over us.

As I began to meditate on the phrase “being confident of this very thing,I began to see that it doesn’t say, “Being confident in yourself and in your performance” or, “Being confident that you do everything right and people really like you” or, “Being confident that everyone is singing your praises because of the great job you’re doing.” No, it says to be confident in what God is doing in you. Subscribe to Denise’s 28-Day Journey Email Devotionals! God is at work in you right now. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? And when you read the next sentence of this devotional, and when you take your next breath, God will still be working in you.

Notice that this verse also doesn’t say, “Being confident as you work on yourself. Philippians 1:6 doesn’t say you’re the one who’s responsible for making yourself successful and never feeling like a failure at anything.

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

The Scripture says you’re to be confident because of the very thing God has begun in you. He has started a good work in you, and He won’t stop working on and perfecting that good work until the day of Jesus Christ!

I encourage you to meditate on this truth right now. God — not your spouse or parent or child or boss or even yourself — is working in you. God is working, and He is not going to stop! If you’re disappointed in how you’ve been performing lately, just stop for five minutes and consider the beauty of God’s performance on the inside of you! Think about all God is doing inside you that you can’t see with your physical eyes. It will bring a smile to your face and strength to your mind and your body!

How do you visualize a confident person? Are his shoulders slumped? Is there a frown of worry on his face? I visualize a confident person with his shoulders thrown back and his head held high. That confident person has the presence of hope on the inside of him that makes him believe everything is going to be all right and that he can smile in the face of problems.

You and I will fit the description of that confident person as long as we keep taking hold of this truth every minute of every day: There is One living inside us who is much greater than any problem we could ever face. When the pressures of life make us feel like a failure, we need to stay conscious of the Holy Spirit’s presence within. As we remain confident that He truly is greater than anything in this natural world and that He is working in us at this very moment, eventually the harmful thoughts of self-judgment will subside. Then we will receive the peace that only comes when we’ve placed all our cares and worries in His hands and begin to see ourselves as He sees us — as His workmanship, an ongoing masterpiece in the making (see 1: Peter 5:7; Ephesians 2:10).

We are to believe that God is working in us. We are to embrace and be confident in that divine work, even though it is a “secret” performance, hidden from our natural view.

We often hear people say, “I believe in myself.” But that belief isn’t high enough. Our confidence must be in God and in Him operating in our lives. This is the only kind of thinking that will comfort us in the midst of every storm and give us courage when we feel overwhelmed.

I trust this devotional encourages you, or perhaps it will encourage someone you know who may need to hear these very words. If you have any prayer needs, please let us know. We want to be a help to you. Remember this eternal truth: You can be confident about what God has started and is doing in you RIGHT NOW!

In His great love,

Denise Renner

Denise Renner