By Elizabeth Prata
When I was little I used to love the movie The Sound of Music. This slightly fictionalized version of the real life travails of the Von Trapp family first came out in 1965.
At the beginning of the movie were two scenes I loved. One was where the nuns are singing about a “Problem like Maria”. Maria was a candidate for the novitiate at Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg. According to the movie version, Maria’s free spirit never settled down at the Abbey, and she had become a problem (in a mild way) such as being late for Mass, singing when she was supposed to be silent, and the like. When an opportunity to tutor the Von Trapp family children became available, the elder nuns thought Maria might be better suited for life outside the Abbey as governess to the Von Trapp children.
Leaving the comfort of the cloistered and familiar Abbey, Maria faces an unknown future. The movie depicts her walking along toward her destination, with her satchel in one hand and her guitar in another. Singing happily in order to bolster herself, she sings, “I Have Confidence.” Here is part of the lyrics:
I have confidence in sunshine,
I have confidence in rain.
I have confidence that spring will come again!
Besides what you see I have confidence in me.
It is a happy song, sung in a pretty setting. As Maria bounces along the byway she sings about having confidence in sunshine, in rain, in springtime, and in herself.
I loved it. I thought, I can have confidence, too! All I need to do is whip up some confidence from within! If I tell myself so, then my confidence will appear from nowhere and everything unknown or hard or scary can be faced!
That was my reasoning as a child, watching this movie.
I am no longer a child.
I wonder, where does confidence come from?
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward. (Hebrews 10:35)
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible explains the verse:
Cast not away therefore your confidence – Greek “your boldness;” referring to their confident hope in God. They were not to cast this away, and to become timid, disheartened, and discouraged. They were to bear up manfully under all their trials, and to maintain a steadfast adherence to God and to his cause. The command is not to “cast this away.” Nothing could take it from them if they trusted in God, and it could be lost only by their own neglect or imprudence
“Our” confidence comes from our hope in Jesus. We trust His promises, we trust His plan, we trust that what He is doing is for our good and His glory.
The Hebrews at the time were experiencing persecution. Their homes and lands were being plundered and confiscated. They were being publicly exposed to reproach. They’d had a hard struggle with afflictions. So the writer of Hebrews reminds them that they had suffered those things, yet had retained a joy and a confidence in Him that surpassed the earthly trials. He urged them to continue having confidence in Jesus.
Additionally, we read in chapter 4 of Hebrews,
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16).
The throne of grace is the place from which the fountain of our confidence stems. We turn to Jesus for everything. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. Even have confidence. Oh, we might generate a temporary euphoria in our own talents or abilities, but soon enough, that confidence evaporates. Indeed, Maria’s confidence disappears when she comes face to face with the grandeur of mansion in which she is about to reside. She suddenly feels very small.
However if one’s confidence is in Jesus, one never need feel small. One never need to feel insecure. We are a large part of His plan, and His fountain of grace never ceases. We can confidently approach and confidently drink there very time we feel low, scared, unsteady, or uncertain.
In other words, whatever you’re facing, a new job, medical issues, relationship woes, loss, or tragedy, He’s got this. Rest confidently in Him.