When people hear about our overseas ministry travels, they sometimes ask us, “Aren’t you afraid?” They refer to our traveling in countries where we don’t understand the language, we (as obvious foreigners) must be alert to the risk of pickpockets in trains and train stations, and driving on narrow tree-lined highways where passing slower vehicles feels downright dangerous to our North American driving standards.
Okay. I’ll admit occasional fear. I remember when one of our volunteer’s purse was stolen when we ate in a Hungarian hotel restaurant. Her purse contained her passport, her ID, and her credit cards. Our team was scheduled to return to Canada within a few hours of the theft, but she had to remain in Budapest for two additional days until the embassy processed her new passport. I felt fearful for her well-being, worried that the thieves would strike again because they knew this foreign woman—minus her credit cards—would now be carrying cash.
Overseas travel can have its scary moments, but really, how’s that different from life in North America? No matter where we live, fearful things happen—a doctor’s diagnosis flips our world upside down, an accident injures a loved one, a spouse walks out. The list is endless and leaves us facing a choice—let the fear consume us or rise above it with confidence.
How can confidence become our companion? Here are some verses that encouraged me recently. They’re from the story of Balak commanding Balaam to curse the Israelites. God, however, told Balaam to do otherwise. This is the message He gave Balaam concerning His people:
“No misfortune is in his plan for Jacob; no trouble is in store for Israel. For the LORD their God is with them; he has been proclaimed their king. God brought them out of Egypt; for them he is as strong as a wild ox. No curse can touch Jacob; no magic has any power against Israel” (Numbers 23:21-23).”
Reread these verses, one phrase at a time and ponder how they apply to you, as one of God’s children today. God has brought you out of Egypt—He’s freed you from the slavery of sin. He is with you and is strong on your behalf. No curse can touch you; no magic has power against you. This doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen, but it means that God’s presence will never leave you and that He has promised ultimate victory despite the stuff that the enemy throws our way.
What’s my reason for confidence? No matter what happens to me, I’m a victor because God is the king of my life. No harm can touch me unless He allows it. And if that happens, I’m still in His care and He will somehow use it for my good and His glory.
Question: What’s your reason for confidence?