Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward.
I. WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF THIS CONFIDENCE of which the apostle speaks? It is not very easy to explain this word in one English word. It means that freedom, that peace, that at-home-ness which makes a man feel bold, free, confident. The elements of it seem to me to be these.
1. Confidence in the principles which you have espoused. There must be certain undoubted truths about which you can sing, "O God, my heart is fixed, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise" — things which you perceive to be plainly taught in the Scriptures — things brought home by the power of the Holy Spirit.
2. This is the groundwork of true confidence but to make it complete there must be an open avowal of our belief in our Lord Jesus.
3. To do all this you must know your own interest in those truths man will readily let go a truth which may condemn him. Who will die for a truth in which he has no share? The man who can live and die for Christ is the man who believes that Christ has lived and died for him.
4. This means, besides, a full and firm reliance upon the faithfulness of God, so that we are free from all mistrusts and fears, and simply rest in God.
5. Where this confidence really reigns in the soul, it takes the form of full acceptance before God.
6. Upon this there follows that further confidence, of which John says, "This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He heareth us" — confidence that when we pray we shall be heard.
7. Over and above that, how delightful to feel that even what we do not pray for, by reason of our ignorance or forgetfulness, our gracious God will bestow.
8. You may add to all this the confidence that He is able to keep that which you have committed to Him; for we have this confidence — that whether we sleep or wake we shall be together with Him.
II. How THIS CONFIDENCE MAY BE CAST AWAY.
1. By changing it for self-confidence. Be empty, and Christ will be your fulness, but if you become full in yourself you have done with Christ. Cast not away your confidence by leaving your simple reliance upon Jesus Christ.
2. Some, however, cast away their confidence by giving way to sin. Old Master Brooks says, "Assurance will make us leave off sinning, or sinning will make us leave off assurance." You cannot grieve your Heavenly Father and yet feel the same confidence towards Him.
3. Another way of losing our confidence is by getting into worldly company and mixing up with the gay and frivolous. A child would soon lose his loving, confident feeling towards his father if his father had an enemy opposite, and he constantly went into that enemy's house, and heard all the language that was used there.
4. You can very easily lose your confidence by changing your aim in life. While your object is God you will be bold as a lion, but a sordid motive is the mother of cowardice.
5. Some unhappy professors have apparently cast away their confidence in utter unbelief.
III. THE REASONS GIVEN FOR HOLDING FAST OUR CONFIDENCE.
1. "Cast not away therefore you confidence." What does this "therefore" mean? Why, it means this — because you have already endured so much. Do not lose the victories which you have already gained. If it was wise to go so far, it will be wise to go on to the end. I recollect going over the Col D'Obbia on the Alps, and when I got a little way down I found myself on a steep mountain side upon a mass of loose earth and slates. There seemed to me to be some miles of almost perpendicular descent and no road. My head began to swim. I set my feet fast down in the loose soil, turned my back to the scene below me, and my face to the hill-side, and stuck my hands into the earth to hold as best I could. I cried to my friend, "I shall never go down there: I will go back." He coolly replied, "Just look where you have come from." When I looked up it appeared to be much worse to try and clamber up than it could possibly be to go down, and so he remarked, "I think you had better go on, for it is worse going back." So we must go on, for it will be worse going back. Let us gird up the loins of our mind, and push onward with firm resolution, by the help of the Spirit of God.
2. Do not cast away your confidence, for it has great recompense of reward. There is a reward in it now: for it makes us happy. Do not cast away your confidence, since it yields you such pure delight. But it makes you strong both to bear and labour. When you are like a child in confidence before God, you can endure pain and reproach right bravely. And, moreover, it makes you victorious. And, best of all, there is a recompense of reward to come.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.