(“Jesus, I Trust in You.”)
“For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Do you have real confidence in God? Saint Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower, became a great saint because of her great confidence in God. There is a book about Saint Therese called The Power of Confidence. If we had more confidence in God, we would have more power to grow in holiness. Do we lack power in the spiritual life? Is it because we lack confidence in God?
A great spiritual writer, Father Lallemant, says: “One of the things in which we most dishonor God is our want of confidence in Him.” He adds: “many will never arrive at high perfection because they do not hope sufficiently. We must have a strong and solid hope grounded on the mercy and infinite goodness of God, and on the infinite merits of Jesus Christ. We must hope and expect great things from God, because the merits of our Lord belong to us; and to hope much in God is to honor Him much. The more we hope, the more we honor Him.”
But the great Father Faber laments: “What has God done, that His creatures do not trust Him? Confidence in God is meant to be the creature’s life. But how is life to be lived without confidence in God?
We came out of His hand. He will take us up again. We came from Him. We are going back to Him. There are but two eternal homes. They are both the work of His justice. One or the other of them is inevitable. We cannot fly from Him. We cannot hide from Him. What shall we do, if we cannot trust Him?
Yet confidence in God is far from common, and an adequate confidence most rare. Yet confidence is the only real worship. Our confidence is our religion. It is the sweetness of life. It is worth our while to have lived, if it were only to have known the delight of trusting in God. But it is not our joy only. It is our absolute necessity.
If we consider the results of confidence, we shall see how impossible it is to exaggerate its importance. Without it there can be no living faith, because living faith, in the religious sense of the word, must inevitably lead to trust.
Oh that we could inspire each other with more confidence [in God]. Happy is he who makes one other man trust God more than he did before!”
GOD IS INFINITELY HELPFUL: “I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great His power is to help those who believe Him” (Ephesians 1:19).
In notes of Father Faber published after his death, he discusses devotion to the Omnipotence of God as “very necessary for the times in which we live,” and he indicates that the spirit of this devotion will bring with it an “immense increase of faith” and “huge courage.” He states that God’s Omnipotence is the “result of all the rest of God’s perfections.” He states that we need to look at God’s Omnipotence as “our ally.” He states the devotion will make us more gentle with others, and “impregnates our souls with the savor of eternity” (Notes on Doctrinal and Spiritual Subjects, Part I, p.7).
Basically, when we comprehend just how powerful God is – INFINITELY POWERFUL – we should feel very confident about His ability to help us out! And confidence in God is what makes good things happen. A proper knowledge of God’s Infinite power also helps to counteract doubts against the faith. Still further, the knowledge of God’s mighty power indwelling us through the gift of sanctifying grace should give us huge courage to overcome our faults and temptations, so as to walk in virtue as children of God. Does scripture confirm this? Yes! “Last of all I want to say this: Your strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you” (Ephesians 6:10).
Pray to Saint Therese of Lisieux for greater confidence in God! The Saints, united to God, also have great power to help us.
Tom Mulcahy, M.A.
References: Spiritual Conferences by Father F.W. Faber and The Spiritual Doctrine by Father Louis Lallemant.
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Thank you Tom. A great article. May God bless you.