What does the Bible Say about Confidence?

Confidence is an admirable trait to possess in the face of challenge and difficulty. What does the Bible say about how we gain confidence, and where we should place our confidence?

What does the Bible Say about Confidence

Meaning of Confidence in the Bible

When the Bible speaks of confidence, it speaks of hope, but not just in an abstract future outcome. Confidence comes from trusting both the capacity and the will of the one in whom we place our confidence:

“I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power… In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. ” Ephesians 3:7, 12

Paul had already experienced the grace and power of God. So because God had already demonstrated His will and His capacity, Paul approaches Him with confidence.

Still, it is necessary to approach God in accordance with His will—that is what Jesus means when He instructs us to ask in his name—and not just seek God for the sake of our own agenda.

John instructs us to test our hearts by our conscience and the revealed will of God:

“If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask ” 1 John 3:20-22

God knows our hearts, and if they are not in line with His heart, He will reveal this truth through the Holy Spirit. But when we trust God in obedience and ask according to His will, we can have confidence in His answer.

No Confidence in Ourselves

It is the blood of Christ that makes us righteous before God. And it is our communion with Christ that keeps our hearts conformed to God’s will.

So before we can approach God with confidence, we must understand that He has made us able to do so. As Paul wrote, “For it is we … who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reasons for such confidence.” (Philippians 3:3-4). To prove his point, Paul itemizes all of the reasons that he should, by the world’s standards be self-confident (vs 3-6):

  • Circumcised on the eighth day
  • Of the people of Israel
  • Of the tribe of Benjamin
  • A Hebrew of Hebrews;
  • In regard to the law, a Pharisee;
  • As for zeal, persecuting the church
  • As for righteousness based on the law, faultless

Then he dismisses all of these qualities as garbage because Christ alone is his source of confidence. (v 8)

Similarly, our confidence in each other comes not from ourselves, but from God:

  • Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask. – Philemon 1:21
  • I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. – Galatians 5:10a

It is the power of God, working through the obedience of Paul’s hearers that informs his confidence, and not the audience themselves.

Confidence in God Alone

“Let us then approach God’s 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

Our confidence is in God because our solution comes from God. He has already saved us by His mercy and renewed us by His grace. The writer to the Hebrews prefaces this call to confidence by reminding us that Jesus is not an impersonal being, but that he proved his grace by walking among us and sharing our experiences.

So we approach God with confidence not only because He is God, but because He knows us, fully and completely. His life and death proved His love for us, and His blameless walk proved His power.

Yet, even before Jesus walked among us, God was our sole source of confidence:

“Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. ” Proverbs 3:25-26 ESV

The grace of God has always been the means of our deliverance from ruin. And the grace remains with all who trust in Him. When the Lord commissioned Joshua to succeed Moses as the leader of the Israelites and conquer the Promised Land, He encouraged Joshua, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9).

Joshua experienced victory in God’s power, as have others who put their confidence in Him.

What does the Bible Say about Confidence

Examples of Confidence in the Bible


Israel was overcome with fear because of a menacing giant named Goliath. Not a single soldier in the king’s army was willing to face the Philistine champion.

David wasn’t even a soldier, but when he learned of the threat, he was undeterred and pleaded with King Saul to send him up against Goliath:

“Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth… The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” 2 Samuel 17:33-37

David went into the fight without armor and without a sword because God had already proven Himself faithful to David, giving him all of the confidence he needed.


The people of Judah were threatened by the Assyrian army at their doorstep. So King Hezekiah gathered his fighting men and encouraged them:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said. 2 Chronicles 32:7-8

As the Assyrians laid siege to Lachish, their king sent a taunting message to the people of Judah gathered in Jerusalem:

“On what are you basing your confidence, that you remain in Jerusalem under siege? When Hezekiah says, ‘The Lord our God will save us from the hand of the king of Assyria,’ he is misleading you, to let you die of hunger and thirst. Did not Hezekiah himself remove this god’s high places and altars, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship before one altar and burn sacrifices on it’? 2 Chronicles 32:10-12

The Assyrians had mistakenly believed that Hezekiah had turned the people of Judah away from God. But Hezekiah had only removed the altars to false gods that had been set up by his predecessor. In reality, Hezekiah had returned Judah to pure worship of the One True God.

And Hezekiah’s worship and confidence were well placed:

“King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this. And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the commanders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. …
So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all others” 2 Chronicles 32:20-22

When You Lack Confidence

David and Hezekiah make confidence look easy. So easy that we might become discouraged by our own lack of confidence. But even the ‘heroes of faith’ that we read about in the Bible wrestled with fear and suffering to reach a place of such confidence.

When we read David’s psalms, it is clear that He does not take his confidence in God lightly. We can bookend a couple of verses from Psalm 27:

Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;

though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.  (v 3)

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord

in the land of the living. (v 13)

But between these proclamations of confidence, David pleads for mercy, instruction, and God’s presence. Our own challenges will, at times, lead us down a similar path of contemplating the danger and difficulty around us. Because it is only against the magnitude of our problems that true confidence is revealed.

So that difficult road is often the best one for us to take. When we come up against our own limitations and weaknesses, that is where God’s love and power are magnified, and that is where we grow in our confidence in God:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Jac F

Jac is a church leader, lay preacher, and writer from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His articles and devotionals appear on multiple Christian blogs and Bible apps. His first book, an Advent devotional, is scheduled to be released in September 2022.

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