So what do we place our confidence in?
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
This is what makes all the difference. God makes all the difference.
In the 2000 Olympic Games, a young female diver named Laura Wilkinson was not expected to do very well. The Chinese have dominated the sport and were looking at taking home more Olympic Gold Medals. On top of that, before the Olympics, Laura had broken a bone in her foot and was not expected to be in top form. Also, her father had a stroke and her mind was also on his health during the games.
During the Olympics, Laura fell back into 8th Place and it looked like a done deal for the Chinese divers who had won 7 of the last 8 Olympics in diving.
Laura jumped up, hugged her coach and soon after a reporter came over and ask her about her performance.
Laura didn't say "I knew I could do it." "I believed in myself." She didn't say "I've worked so hard and now it has paid off."
She said "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
You can go to her website at http://www.laurawilkinson.com/
Click on Dive Videos, 2000 Olympics and then "Interview From the Heart" and watch the interview.
When you go back and watch her dives from the 2000 Games, you can see her mouthing some words on the platform before each dive and in fact she was saying "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Now, can we simply recite a verse and go and win a Gold Medal? No.
But what Paul is talking about in this verse is a much deeper Confidence. A confidence that frees us from worldly failure. A confidence that lets us know that no matter what challenges in life we may face, we can overcome them by putting our faith in God. It does not come from within but from our faith and trust that having a relationship with God will help us overcome anything in life.
Paul tells us to set aside all these worldly metrics of false confidence and put our faith in Jesus.
Recently, a lot of people lost large portions of their retirements, their home values and some even lost their jobs. We are in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. But we will overcome.
No matter what you face in life, no matter how dark your future looks, no matter what the world stakes up against you. You can do all things when you put your faith and trust in God.