The biggest problem with answering this question is the question itself. If faith isn’t confident, it’s not faith. In our culture, the way we have discussed faith is to undermine its very essence. So often we hear people say that they wished they had a faith as strong as another’s. When we hear statements like this, it is as if assurance and confidence can only be present with people who we deem to have the strongest of faith. By thinking this way, we are essentially saying that our faith is in our faith.
This is not the way that the biblical authors write about faith. One of the clearest descriptions of faith is found in Hebrews 11:1. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” This comment associates faith with assurance but it does not say that assurance is ultimately achieved when your faith is strong enough. You cannot have faith without having assurance. The words of assurance and conviction are never disconnected from faith.
Consider the example that the writer of Hebrews then gives.
Vs. 3. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God so that what was seen was not made out of things that are visible. We know that God’s word makes sense when we read that he created the universe because it is only logical that matter doesn’t make itself. Faith in our Creator makes sense whereas naturalism has no basis of logic. Our faith is assured not because of the strength of our faith but because we have a God of logic and power.
Vs. 4 By faith Abel offered an acceptable sacrifice to God. His sacrifice was made knowing that God alone could accept his sacrifice and therefore he made sure his sacrifice was acceptable. His hope in salvation was not in himself but to whom the sacrifice would be received. He did this in faith because his confidence was in God alone.
Vs. 5-6 Enoch’s faith is described as that which was evident in a life seeking to please God. The object of his faith was in the God in whom he lived to please. His confidence was in his self-existent God and the promise of his reward.
We could go on and see how each of the men of faith described in Hebrews 11 were defined as acting in accordance with their knowledge of God and the promise of his salvation. This also includes Noah who spent decades building an ark, and Abraham who moved away from his own people to become a father of a new people when he and his own wife were too old to have children.
In Hebrews 11:13 we read, “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” They all died with the assurance of receiving a promise given from the God in whom they knew was all powerful and faithful. They knew that the eternal promise of God for his people was a reality. Their faith was in God and his promise. Their faith was not in their faith. They died in faith because they were persuaded that their God would keep his promise.
We find Paul explicitly discussing this with reference to Abraham. “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:20-21). Abraham’s faith was not in his faith but in the promise of God. His faith was defined in the way that he was fully convinced that God would keep his promise. Abraham’s assurance is not in his faith but in the God in whom he trusted.
If we desire to have a confident faith, we must remind ourselves of a fundamental reality. Our confidence is not in our faith but in the object of our faith. We have faith in the God of the universe who has promised to save all those who would put their trust in his Son, Jesus Christ. Assurance is not in your faith. Your faith is in the one in whom you can have full assurance.