Anchor On … The right confidence
Saturday, February 18, 2017 6:23 AM
Lidie Edmunds wrote the poetry for “No Other Plea,” which was put to music and then published in 1891. She tells of confidence, in the first verse, of her faith in Christ:
“My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device nor creed;
I trust the Ever-living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.”
Perhaps the melody that William Kirkpatrick mated to the poetry will come to your mind as it now does to mine. Can you hear the “Old-fashioned Bible Hour” quartet as they harmonize so beautifully? It has been decades since they sang for Charles E. Fuller’s preaching, but the words will never quit ministering to the hearts of believers.
Noah Webster published his “Dictionary of the English Language” in 1828. He informs us that confidence is “a trusting or reliance, an assurance of mind, a firm belief in the integrity” of another, “or in the truth and reality of a fact.” The writer of Proverbs 14:26 assures: “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.” In this day of intentional chaos and social division by design, we must have strength of confidence and surety of refuge, if we will have victory of faith.
Our day is not the first that has been beset with conquest of nations and confusion of the masses. King Solomon wrote over 3,000 years ago: “For the Lord shall be thy confidence and shall keep thy foot from being taken” (Proverbs 3:26). Earlier in this chapter, we are encouraged to: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (verse 5) and “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy
paths” (verse 6).
When Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, decided nearly 2,700 years ago to try conquering the city of Jerusalem, he first sent generals to arbitrate with Hezekiah, the Judean king. The scribes and recorders from Judah met with Rabshakeh the Assyrian general to resist the likely invasion. After taunting and belittling the Jews, Rabshakeh asked: “What confidence is this wherein thou trusteth?” (2 Kings 18:19).
Hezekiah was one of the few kings of Judah who trusted God. His prayer for deliverance included 2 Kings 19:19: “Now therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even thou only.” God answered the confidence of the Jews in verse 34: “I will defend this city (Jerusalem), to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.” When the angel of the Lord “smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand” (verse 35), Rabshakeh found out about the confidence wherein the Jews trusted. The verse ends by stating: “behold, they were all dead corpses.” To this day, I wonder what other kind of corpses they could have been.
The term “confidence in the Lord” is a good way to describe the saving faith that the child of God has received. Our Creator is not pleased apart from you and I having faith in Him (Hebrews 11:6). Peter writes so beautifully in his first epistle: “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable
and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). Not only is the true believer empowered to love Jesus Christ whom they have never physically seen, but they are given supernatural joy which cannot be put into words!
Near to the middle of our Bible, we are told by the Psalmist: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8). Neither are we to place our final trust in the rulers of this world (118:9) or in the arm of any flesh (Philippians 3:3). The child of God is not to be unaware of truth, but rather up-to-date and growing in the wisdom of God. As
such, he or she is able to cast down the strength of the world’s confidences (Proverbs 21:22).
The conviction of Mrs. Edmunds’ confidence is declared in her second verse:
“Enough for me that Jesus saves,
This ends my fear and doubt;
A sinful soul I come to Him,
He’ll never cast me out.”
She declares that the death, burial and resurrection of Christ are all sufficient to save each and every sinner who comes to Him for forgiveness. Whosoever will may come in the confidence of never being cast out. When the Holy Spirit of God draws our heart to receive Christ as Savior, our part is to gratefully answer “yes” and to begin growing as a Christian.
The concern that our poet carries is for the believer to feed on the Bible every day:
“My heart is leaning on the Word,
The written Word of God,
Salvation by my Savior’s name,
Salvation thro’ His blood.”
Psalm 119 is almost all about the Word of God. It has 176 verses that speak of the precepts, statutes, judgments and testimonies of God. There are eight verses under each of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. These 22 letters, times the eight verses each, gives us the 176 total. Read through it and notice that nearly every verse encourages us to honor and respect the Bible, its commands and its Author.
The personal claim that Mrs. Edmunds holds confidently is given in verse four:
“My great Physician heals the sick,
The lost He came to save;
For me His precious blood He shed,
For me His life He gave.”
We live in a sin-sickened world. It is saturated more than ever before in our lifetimes with diversions and perversions that would lead us farther from God.
Confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ is the absolute answer of God for our woes. Isaiah assures: “In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15). That confidence is shown to us in our obedience to love Christ above all others and to conform our lives to the Word of God, “that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming” (1 John
May we say “amen” to Mrs. Edmunds’ chorus?
“I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.”
R.D. “Bob” Hottle is a retired schoolteacher, farmer and pastor of the Anchor Baptist Church.