Secrets of Confidence: A 60-Day Devotional for the Inner You

Secrets of Confidence: A 60-Day Devotional for the Inner You

by Ramona Richards

Paperback

$4.97

Overview

Solid biblical truth helps to unveil the secrets of confidence every woman needs. Sixty encouraging and affirming devotions for women ages 25 to 45 remind them that the ability to banish fear and step out in assurance comes directly from the God who made them and cares so deeply for them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593109127
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/28/2005
Pages: 190
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.50(h) x 0.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Secrets Of Confidence


By Ramona Richards Barbour Publishing, Inc. Copyright © 2005 Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59310-912-7


Chapter One Confidence in Action

When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. She fell at his feet and said: "My lord, let the blame be on me alone. Please let your servant speak to you; hear what your servant has to say."

1 Samuel 25:23-24 NIV

How many women have the confidence to believe they could stop an army? Abigail of Maon, married to Nabal, lived in a culture in which women had little social or legal power. Her own talents would have been focused on her home, not the court or the battlefield. Yet, while Abigail would have been seen as little more than the wife of a fool by her society, she was far from powerless. Scripture describes her as intelligent and beautiful, and even her husband's servants relied on her wisdom when Nabal put the household at risk with his foolish pride.

The reason was that Abigail had a secret weapon: God. Faced with the news that an angry David was leading an equally enraged army toward her home, she didn't hesitate. Trusting in God's protection-and in her belief that David was indeed a man after God's own heart-she confronted the furious warrior and begged him to hear her. She appealed to his own belief in God's mercy and judgment, and she asked him to let God deal with Nabal.

Abigail had the intelligence and wisdom to know what to do, but her confidence to put her knowledge into action had only one source-the same source every believing woman can draw on. Standing on a mountain path, with only food-laden donkeys at her back, Abigail was at the complete mercy of David's rage. He could have killed her without question and gone on to slaughter her family and servants. As he most likely would have had she not had the courage to intervene.

Her belief in God, however, gave her the confidence to stand up in front of four hundred men and declare that letting God lead was a better path to follow.

The result must have astonished those men. David listened to this humble woman, overwhelmed by her confidence and wisdom. His rage vanished; he called her blessed. After Nabal died, David further rewarded her by making Abigail his wife.

No matter what our gifts and talents, they are made even more powerful when put into action under God's guidance. Trusting Him, believing in His power within us, gives all believers the confidence to take action.

Courage to Endure

For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. Job is an example of a man who endured patiently. From his experience we see how the Lord's plan finally ended in good, for he is full of tenderness and mercy. James 5:10-11 NLT

From a very early age, Shelley Hendrix felt a call to share the Lord with those around her. She realized that her true value comes from a deep and abiding relationship with Christ, and the love with which God had filled her heart made her ache to help others, especially women and young girls, understand how their worth is centered in Him.

Shelley's path toward this goal, however, has not been an easy one. The trials that she experienced -that most of us experience sooner or later-shook her to the core. In her own words, she explains how the agonies of life threatened to shake her confidence in God and her own ministry, and how the words of James helped her look to the Bible for guidance-and role models.

"In my calling to be a woman of God, I often find myself struggling with the painful events that the Lord, in His goodness, allows to come into my life. There is so much temptation in those times to lose confidence in God and to turn to my own resources to make life unfold in a way that would be more pleasant for me. There are so many different forms of suffering in the life of a believer.

"Through the painful events in my life-divorce, miscarriages, relationship struggles, and simply living in a sin-cursed world-I have been able to maintain confidence in the Lord and in His working in my life as a result of the truths of who He is and who He says I am as His daughter. And because I am His child, all of His resources are available to me.

"He is good and He does good (see Psalm 119:68). I can trust in Him confidently because of His good character. And, looking back at Job and the other prophets, and even those believers whose names are not found in the pages of scripture, I can see in their lives 'the Lord's plan finally ended in good' and take as truth for myself that He has an end intended for my struggles and pain as well-that in my life He is 'full of tenderness and mercy.'

"How could I not trust Him?"

Confidence From Encouraging Others

"You yourself have done this plenty of times, spoken words that clarify, encouraged those who were about to quit. Your words have put stumbling people on their feet, put fresh hope in people about to collapse." Job 4:3-4 MSG

I don't think I can do this." Elaine sat in the car, refusing to get out. I struggled with what to say, saying a little prayer for guidance. "What are you afraid of?"

She shrugged. "I'm not sure it's fear. More like the embarrassment that makes you clean the house before the maid comes." She paused. "I feel like I should lose weight before joining a gym."

I almost laughed. Elaine had struggled with her weight for years, and here we were, about to go into a gym for the first time in more than twenty years. Elaine, however, now faced her fear of humiliation, in her words, "of being an old fat lady in front of all those young, hard bodies and skinny girls."

It seemed trivial to both of us, given the much larger issues in our lives. But Elaine's fear was real, and it threatened to be crippling, preventing her from making a much-needed change in her life. She needed encouragement; I wanted to offer to her the same help she'd so often given me in the past. It was then that this passage from Job came to mind, when Eliphaz reminded Job that he had so often encouraged his friends in the past, when their doubts had led them away from God. His words had helped them stay on the right path.

"Do you remember," I asked Elaine, "telling me over and over that I'm beautiful in the eyes of God, no matter what people here think?"

She cut her gaze toward me. She didn't want to hear this.

I grinned. "Your advice has always helped me when I had problems thinking straight, especially about God. You are one of the most confident women I know, about everything but this. You told me that confidence lies in God. Yes?"

Reluctantly, Elaine nodded.

"So why is it you think He'll support you with your hardest tasks, but not give you the confidence to do something as simple as walking into a gym?"

We sat in the dark for a long time as Elaine stared out over the parking lot clustered with cars. "I guess," she said finally, "if He can help David and Job through their darkest times, He can help me face a few skinny girls."

We got out, thankful that God could give us the confidence to tackle any task, no matter how big-or small.

The Confidence to Save a Child

When she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river's bank. Exodus 2:3 NKJV

Imagine carrying a precious child within you for nine months, all the while knowing that if you gave birth to a boy, he would be immediately killed on orders from the government. Like every other Hebrew mother of her time, Jochebed knew that her newborn son, Moses, would be murdered if she didn't take drastic action.

For the first three months after his birth, Jochebed hid her squirmy child, but she knew she couldn't conceal him forever. So she did exactly as the pharaoh commanded: "Every son who is born you shall cast into the river" (Exodus 1:22 NKJV). Only this resourceful mother went one step further, encasing her child in bulrushes and pitch before slipping him into the water. On the bank, his sister kept a close watch over her tiny brother.

Few believers today can understand the risks and fears of living under the harsh conditions of the Hebrews under the pharaohs. Yet Jochebed, as a daughter of Levi and married to a man of her own tribe, must have known the promises of God. Choosing to follow her beliefs instead of the cruelty of her world, she stepped out in faith in an effort to protect her beautiful son. Her confidence in God allowed her to release Moses into the river, only to have him return to her arms as the protected grandson of the man who had wanted him dead. As a result, she delivered to the world one of its greatest leaders, and her entire family was blessed (see Numbers 26:59).

Although mothers today don't usually have to take such dire actions to protect our children, we are called upon to be advocates for them, to support and stand beside them, pray for them, and let them go when the time comes. All of which requires confidence in God's loving care and plan for our own lives-and that of each child born to us.

Courage to Change

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.

Romans 12:2 NLT

As a motivational speaker, Tracy Hurst is a dynamic Bible teacher who uses humor and a down-to-earth personality to draw people to her message of the love and transforming power of Christ. As a Christian counselor and cohost of Moody Radio's "Marriage and Family Today" program, Tracy also works hard to help people call on the power of Christ to change their lives, to move away from the consequences of ill-made choices and into the life-altering light of God.

The success of Tracy's leadership comes, in part, because she has walked a few of those dark paths herself. She's been there. As a teenager, she was rebellious and angry. She fought a deep depression and even became suicidal.

Then, at sixteen, she accepted Christ, which began a life transformation so dynamic that her story began to inspire others around her. She became a teen leader in her school and community. She fought her school board so she could lead a Bible study at her high school, and she even led her own mother to the Lord. Her enthusiasm for the Lord continued as she went on to pursue both a bachelor's and master's degree in psychology. She worked for New Life Clinics, and today she has a counseling practice at the Alpha-Care Christian Counseling Center.

Yet none of this would have been possible if Tracy had not allowed Christ to change her life through scripture. She writes, "Romans 12:2 made it clear that I was not going to know His will for my life until I allowed God to change the way I think. I needed to make the Word of God the final authority in my life. I am now in His perfect will as a Christian counselor, and I have the privilege of sharing this truth with my clients."

This verse gave Tracy Hurst the courage to change her life, and as a result she has been able to reach out to people all over the world, helping them change as well.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Secrets Of Confidence by Ramona Richards Copyright © 2005 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents Introduction....................7
Confidence in Action....................9
Courage to Endure....................12
Confidence from Encouraging Others....................15
The Confidence to Save a Child....................18
Courage to Change....................21
God Hears You....................24
To Instruct the Ones We Love....................27
God Is Your Confidence....................30
God Builds You Up....................33
To Follow God's Call....................36
Confidence after Loss....................39
God Rejoices in Your Confidence....................42
Claiming God's Promise....................45
Overcoming Fear with Love....................48
Confidence to Speak the Word....................51
The Confidence to Risk Everything....................54
Courage to Face the Darkness....................57
You Will Walk the Highest Hills....................60
To Follow Those Who Teach Us....................63
Confidence to See Justice Done....................66
God Rewards Confidence....................69
Confidence to Take a Stand....................72
God Will Never Leave You....................75
God Gives You Wisdom....................78
Courage to Rest and Renew....................81
God Is Your Rock and Foundation....................84
The Confidence to Have Unwavering Faith....................87
Confidence from Inner Peace....................90
The Confidence to Be Used by God....................94
Anything Is Possible....................97
The Confidence to Follow Christ Unceasingly....................100
Confidence to Go Beyond....................103
TheConfidence to Lead....................106
Confidence to Reach for the Stars....................109
God, the Father, Always Supports You....................112
The Courage to Influence....................115
God Will Complete His Work in You....................118
Confidence to Use God's Gifts....................121
The Confidence to Serve....................124
God Has Always Been There....................127
You Will Conquer....................130
Confidence to Pass On Your Faith....................133
The Confidence to Obey God, Not Man....................136
Confidence from a Parent's Love....................140
God Chooses You....................143
God Renews You....................146
God Turns Weaknesses into Strengths....................149
God Helps You Overcome....................152
Trust in the Lord Builds Confidence....................155
God Protects You....................158
God Rescues....................161
God Has Confidence in You....................164
God Is the Source of Your Strength....................167
God Is There When You Fail....................170
God Hears Your Cry for Help....................173
Confidence to Act....................176
Confidence from Respect for God....................179
Confidence in God's Wisdom....................182
Confidence in His Forgiving Love....................185
Confidence from His Sacrifice....................188

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