We don't lose confidence in God because of a fight, or a tragedy, or a single moment of self-destruction. We lose confidence one, tiny, seemingly insignificant surrender to temptation at a time. Temptation chips away at us. It's a slow incremental process that happens without us recognizing it. What seems insignificant, things that don't seem to matter, breaks us down moment after moment, day after day after day until one day we wake up and we're eating what we shouldn't eat. We drink what we shouldn't drink. We're disorganized, and busy, and undisciplined. We're moving backwards and decaying. And it happens to us without us recognizing it's happening. Then it hits us: our confidence in God is neither too hot or too cold, it's just not there.

Maybe it's fear of the unknown that does it to us. Maybe it's procrastination. Maybe we're reluctant to get back into worship. We're hesitant to talk to the pastor. There's too many people at church who don't do what we want them to do. Maybe we curse the long nights and the darkness that seems to consume everything. Maybe it's the sugar-coated lies, all the junk that we can't give up, that tempts us, that kills us. Maybe we just can't fight anymore. We're weak, our will is broken, and we're tired. What can God possibly do for us now? We don't need forgiveness, or a new shot at life, or the hope of eternal salvation. We just want to be able to breathe easy. We want the positives that come with being a Christian. And, we're a Christian, so why shouldn't we look forward to God rescuing us from depression, and a compromised immune system, and put us back in our comfort zone? We don't want to be helpless, or unwanted, or forced to wait. We want instant gratification. We want God to make us better, but he doesn't seem to care about the things that we care about. Then it happens without us recognizing it's happening: our confidence in God is neither too hot or too cold, it's just not there.

When we turn away from Jesus on the cross it's easy to lose confidence in God. It's easy because it happens moment after moment, day after day after day until one day we wake up and doubt Jesus on the cross has anything to do with last night's fight, this morning's pain, and the person who grabs at us to strip self-control and self-confidence from us. Then we make up our mind that the safest way to move forward is to believe in God, give lip service to Jesus on the cross at Christmas and Easter, and show up for church now and then, just in case someone is watching and judging us, just in case God is keeping score. We make up our mind that this is the best, safest way forward because our confidence in God is neither too hot or too cold, it's just not there.

We surrender confidence in God because we lack faith in Christ, and we lack faith in Christ because we rebel against the fact that all our fights, every ache and pain and each, single moment of self-destruction is nailed to that cross. When we look at Jesus nailed to the cross, we're looking at all our fights, every tragedy, and each, single moment of self-destruction nailed to the cross. In spite of what we suffer, in fact, to spite our self-destructive suffering, Jesus allows all that we suffer to be driven into His hands and feet. All our self-destructive suffering is nailed to that cross.

We surrender confidence in God because we lack faith in Christ, and we lack faith in Christ because we rebel against the fact that each, single moment of self-destruction is nailed to that cross.

The cross is why we come back into worship. The cross is why we don't hesitate to talk to the pastor. Jesus' cross is why we do what we do for the people at church, this pastor and all those people who had their self-destructive suffering driven into his hands and feet. We don't need to curse the long nights and the darkness that seems to consume everything. We don't need to listen to the the sugar-coated lies. We don't have to cling to all the junk that we can't give up. We don't have to be afraid of the things that tempt and kill us anymore. We don't need to fight to gain confidence anymore. Jesus fought for us, resisted temptation for us, and died for us.

So what that we're weak, our will is broken, and we're tired? God's strength is made perfect in weakness. And we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. That's what God does for us, his children. We baptized children of God get forgiveness, a new shot at life, and the hope of eternal salvation. We don't need to earn it. It doesn't come from inside of us. We don't have to do what we can. Weakness, brokenness, and fatigue aren't a negative with God because God's strength is made perfect in weakness. And we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

We've been gifted with faith in Christ. That's no small thing. God makes the decision, the commitment to be our God. He baptizes us. He speaks to us. He bodies and bloodies us because we need the kind of strength that can go to God in bold confidence, and that's what His body and blood do for us. Jesus' cross, His body and blood, create and strengthen faith. Jesus' cross, His body and blood, create the kind of faith that sets us free to go to God in bold confidence. How blessed we are then, that God makes the decision, the commitment to be our God. He gives us faith. He fills us up to overflowing with his love.

How blessed we are then, that God makes the decision, the commitment to be our God. He gives us faith. He fills us up to overflowing with his love.

There's not a fight, or a tragedy, or a single moment of self-destruction that can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ. So, we get to go to Him. We get to go to Him today, and always, to where He's God for us. We get to go to the font, and the table, and the pulpit. We get to go to His church, talk to His pastor, and love God's children. We can do that. We get to do that. We baptized children can always go to our Heavenly Father in bold confidence because we've been gifted with faith in Christ. And that's no small thing.

Faith in Christ gives us everything He's got for us. Every drink of His blood, every breath He gives us the strength to breathe, every confidence He stirs up in us He stirs up so we can laugh at our weaknesses, and butt heads with our self-destructive suffering, and brag about His cross.

On the cross, Jesus allows all that we suffer to be driven into his hands and feet. He allows it so that, in faith, we get to claim the one victory that no one can take away from us ever, the victory Jesus earned for us and gives to us every single day: the gift of faith, selfless, self-giving love and the bold confidence to call yourself a baptized child of God.