Courageous Confidence (2 Cor 5:6-9)

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.” (2 Corinthians 5:6–9, KJV)

There was a time in my life when I played a lot of golf. I belonged to a country club until I needed to make a financial decision to discontinue my membership. Golf is an interesting but often frustrating game. You walk around 18 holes swinging a long stick at a little white ball. The goal is to get the ball into a little hole in the ground. Sounds a bit childish but it is a great game to play. It is a constant challenge.

I was never good at the game. The best I ever did was getting to a point where I averaged in the mid to upper 90s. I had to learn something about the game. For a while I would beat myself up when I did not do well. I discovered that the more I did so, the worse my scores became. The harder I tried the worse it got. This showed up even more when I would play against another person. Then, I learned to breath easy. Whether I did well or not, I had to learn to enjoy the game itself. When I learned this, the game became fun again. Even if I did not score well, I still enjoyed the game. So, whether the score was good or bad, I was always a winner.

I cannot think of many things where you can be in a win-win situation. Perhaps it is an issue of having a proper mindset. As mentioned in previous devotions, Paul did not have the easiest of times in the gospel ministry. He endured many hardships. Yet he had a mindset that carried through the toughest of times. It was that even though he knew it would be better to be in his spiritual body in heaven, it was also good for him to be in his earthly body serving the Lord here. So, in either case Paul was “always confident.

The verb translated as “confident” in the KJV is tharreo, means to exercise courage and to have confidence (Strong G2292). According to Strong it is another form for tharseo, meaning to have courage or be of good cheer (Strong G2293). Accordingly, the ESV translates this word “confident” as “good courage.” Whether in the earthly body or the heavenly body, Paul was exceedingly positive. He had courageous confidence. He could not lose.

In our lives, we will go through times of hardship and struggle. Many around the world and even here in the United States are struggling for the cause of the gospel. The good news is this, our earthly struggles are not in vain. While in our earthly bodies we have the great privilege and blessing of being able to serve the Lord. Paul already stated, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17, KJV). Our struggles as believers today are achieving for us a glorious future beyond all comparison.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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