Forfeiting Confidence and Comfort
I don’t know about you, but I need a mindset adjustment fairly regularly. I can often get too deep into my own head when I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed by focusing on my circumstances.
Even when I turn to God in prayer asking for help in times of stress, my thinking might still be off. For example, in the midst of anxiety, I often plead with God to give me peace, which is good. But, in all honesty, I sometimes end those prayers wondering whether he will give me peace or not. I hope he will, but I’m not always sure that I will practically feel peace any time soon. In those instances, I’m forfeiting the confidence and comfort of embracing the promises of Scripture that say that God will give believers peace through the Holy Spirit.
Fixing Wrong Thinking
The truth of Scripture is the only remedy to fix wrong thinking. Turning to God’s Word helps reset our thinking to focus on what is true. Ephesians 1:3-14 is an excellent text to give us confidence and comfort in times of trouble. It reminds us of everything God has blessed us with in Christ. In this passage, the apostle Paul tells us something remarkable: believers already have every spiritual resource we need in Christ.
Embracing this truth gives us solid ground to stand on in the midst of trials. We don’t need to wonder if God will give us what we need in times of trouble. He has already given us everything we could ever possibly need.
Possessing Every Spiritual Blessing in Christ
Ephesians 1:3 says this:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
Paul opens this verse with a call to action. He’s issuing a call to praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why? He says that God has blessed (eulogeó — “confer what is beneficial”) us in Christ. And what is it that He’s given us? Every spiritual blessing (eulogia — “concrete benefit”).
Let’s break that down even further.
When he says that he’s blessed (or conferred what is beneficial) to “us” — who is he referring to? By “us”, Paul means true believers in Jesus Christ. (He’s referring to “the saints who are faithful in Christ Jesus” in Eph 1:1.) And what has God blessed believers with? Every spiritual blessing or concrete benefit.
The Greek word for “spiritual” (pneumatikos) speaks to the source of these blessings. This word is most often used in Scripture in reference to the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is the source of these blessings. And Paul says that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. Notice that he doesn’t say we’ve been blessed with some spiritual blessings. He doesn’t even say that we’ve been blessed with many spiritual blessings. He says every spiritual blessing.
What does that mean? It means God has given us everything we need in this life. We have all spiritual resources at our disposal at all times. This great truth is echoed by Peter:
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.2 Peter 1:3
If you have placed your faith in Christ, God has given you everything you need to live a life that honors him. Think about just a handful of the blessings that scripture tells us already belong to us in Christ:
- Salvation (Rom 8:1)
- Forgiveness of sin (Eph 1:7)
- The Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17)
- The Bible (Ps 119:105)
- Access to God through prayer (1 John 5:14-15)
- Joy (Gal 5:22)
- Peace (John 14:27)
- The provision of God (Phil 4:19)
- Eternal life (John 3:36)
- The promise of God sovereignly working all things for our good (Rom 8:28)
This is just a small sample of a list of spiritual blessings that God has given to us that could go on and on.
Living in Confident Faith
Embracing the truth that God has already given you everything you need in Christ can completely change your mindset. Let’s go back to my opening example of praying for peace to illustrate this. I shouldn’t pray for God to give me peace and then doubt that he may or may not give it to me. I should be praying in confident, expectant faith that I will be able to experience the peace that he’s already given me through the Holy Spirit.
If I realize that I already possess all spiritual blessings, that puts me in a totally different mindset. This truth should keep me from failing to utilize what I already have at my disposal in Christ. Imagine the heir of a billion-dollar estate living on the street in poverty because he doesn’t realize the wealth that’s at his disposal. Why should he be living in a cardboard box scrounging for food when he can afford everything he could ever want or need? Similarly, believers have already been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ, so it would be foolish to live like we didn’t.
We should have confident faith in God’s provision for us based on the promises of Scripture. That confidence should result in our comfort and joy, but, more importantly, it should lead us to praise God for his lavish blessings.
(Over the next several articles, we’ll continue looking at Ephesians 1:3-14 to see the specific examples that Paul shares of the many blessings we already possess in Christ.)