Quietness and Confidence

“Thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.”
—Isaiah 30:15

THE QUALITY OR VIRTUE of habitual quietness and confidence in the Christian walk of faith before God, places one exactly opposite to the modern rule of life and way of the world. The world rushes on to accomplish, whereas Christians achieve by waiting on the Lord. Thus, as Jesus said, while we are in the world, we are not of it.


It is encouraging for us always to consider the counsel and admonition of the Word of God, especially the convincing assurances of these consequences resulting from obedience to his Word. In our present subject we have the enchanting characteristic upon which God has been pleased to place such high value;—namely, quietness, a quiet spirit. Solomon reminds us, “Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.”—Eccles. 4:6

The Apostle Peter draws our attention to these virtues also. Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott reads, “Decorate the hidden man of the heart with what is incorruptible—a meek and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (I Pet. 3:4) This means it is a treasure of great value. It is incorruptible, and an adornment to the hidden man of the heart.


The word quietness is sometimes translated as calmness, tranquility, harmony, peace, and rest. In thinking of quietness, we readily visualize green fields of pasture, refreshing waters; and we are lifted away in our thoughts to some of these very pleasing visits we have made, away from the rush and bustle of daily routine. How arresting it is! How consoling and soothing to the mind! The psalmist must have known so well the sweetness, restfulness, and joy of like experiences when he wrote Psalm 23. “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters”—waters of quietness.—vs. 2

We need to be led by the Divine Shepherd every day in the green pastures of his Word, and the still waters of rest and faith, trust, and confidence. We are to feed upon him, drinking, too, of the waters of Truth and revelation of his will for us as found in his Word, by the aid of his Holy Spirit. Jesus reminded the woman of Samaria, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”—John 4:14

Jeremiah found it so. He wrote, “His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” (Jer. 20:9) Jesus said, “He that believeth on me, … out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38) “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread [appropriates to himself by principles and maxims of life], he shall live for ever.” (John 6:51) Should we fail to eat and drink of Jesus and his words we shall lose the art of meditation and rest of faith, and come short of that inner preparation which is so necessary to the outer expression of faith and love for the Lord.


Let us take a lesson from Isaac. (Gen. 24:63) He went out to meditate in the field at eventide. He lifted up his eyes and saw Rebekah, his prospective wife, approaching. How interesting to us in this our day of waiting and looking for that blessed hope and glorious revealing! It is on these occasions of meditation that we experience thrilling seasons of enlightenment upon the Lord’s Word, with increasing love and anticipation for him.

Perhaps we would grow more spiritually minded if we were more alone, and accomplish more if we attempted less. Let us seek to redeem our time by adjusting some of the unnecessary habits of daily life to that of meditation and waiting upon God. It was when Jacob was left alone that a man wrestled “with him until the breaking of the day,” and Jacob triumphed saying, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me,” and his name was changed to Israel, because as a prince he had “power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.”—Gen. 32:24-27

Moses was alone in the “backside of the desert” when “the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush,” and the Lord called to him. (Exod. 3:1,2) Peter was alone on the housetop hungry, when it was revealed to him that Cornelius needed his services. (Acts 10:9) The Prophet Isaiah records these words for Israel, words of encouragement from God, “O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace [quietness] been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.”—Isa. 48:18


Quiet hearts are as rare as radium. Yet quietness is so strengthening and comforting to faith. Someone has said, “Rests or pauses in music contribute to the finer expressions of harmony and melody.” Rests or pauses certainly contribute to the finer music of life with the Lord’s dear saints. Our Lord during his ministry enjoyed these rests, for we read that Jesus withdrew himself into “a desert place apart.” (Matt. 14:13) Luke says, “He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” (chap. 6:12) In every life there is a pause that is better than onward rush.

There should be zeal and activity for the Lord and we must perform the many duties of life; but there should be also a Selah [pause, or end] in every Christian life, to reflect, to think over, to weigh up, compare, and to pray. “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”—Lam. 3:26


The strenuousness of life today, with the increasing distraction of the world around us, demands that the Lord’s followers seek a zone of silence and a quiet hour. Like many other aspects of the life of faith, the Christian way of life is in direct contrast to that of the world. The world rushes on in turmoil, uncertainty, and confusion. The prophet says, “Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not.” (Isa. 59:7,8) Consequently, the world is full of fear, agitation, dissatisfaction, and unrest. Again, as prophesied by Isaiah, “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” (Isa. 57:20,21) Also, “The way of peace they know not; and there is no right judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.”—Isa. 59:8, Marginal Translation

Isaiah again depicts the condition of our day as if he were living right here with us. He writes, “Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey,” or, as the margin states, “is accounted mad.”—Isa. 59:14,15

The Christian way of life should be that of the Master—a way of meekness, humility, unselfishness; a way of truth, steadfastness, purity and covenant-keeping, even to one’s hurt or loss. A strait way is a way of self-denial, cross-bearing, sacrifice, righteousness, justice and love. How true are the words of Jesus, “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”—Matt. 7:14

In the chapter from which our subject is taken (Isaiah 30), Israel had made an alliance with Egypt and had entered into war against Assyria. They sought to find shelter and protection in Egypt, refuge in her shadow, or cover. They were told by the prophet that by so doing they were adding sin to sin. “Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.” (vs. 3) The Lord assured them that ‘in returning [to him] and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.’ The Egyptians’ help would be in vain. The strength of God’s people was “to sit still.” (vs. 7) How often we have need to learn this lesson; ‘to sit still’ and wait . . as David said, “Wait, I say, on the Lord.”—Ps. 27:14


What wonderful patience and mercy is revealed in God’s dealings with Israel, and with us today! His mercy, patience, long-suffering, forgiveness, and love are so often repeated in our blunders, careless omissions, and commissions. And how characteristic of our beloved Redeemer, our merciful High Priest, and Advocate toward us! When we become overanxious and wayward, as well as prone to seek refuge and comfort in others, he says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”—Matt. 11:28,29

It is the Divine purpose to have a New Creation—a Divine family, a people for his name—in possession of the Divine nature and character of wisdom, justice, and love in perfection. Surely serenity, evenness of temper, calmness of poise and being, quietness, and complete control of one’s spirit with undisturbed confidence in God and in each other, must be one of the essential characteristics to be developed and possessed eternally in such a family, enduring happily through all experiences and ages.

Paul’s prayer was for such attainments. “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”—Eph. 3:14-19

What a precious thought it is for us who are called to a throne, to the High Calling of God in Christ to complete the Divine family, that our Father accepts, through the merit of Christ Jesus our Lord, our hearts’ desires and affections, our sterling intention to seek, with all diligence, righteousness and holiness, with wholeheartedness and perfection of will!


In the life of Jesus there is also a great lesson for us in quiet submission and tranquility of mind and spirit. When Jesus was before Pilate, and was questioned concerning himself “he answered him to never a word.” Pilate “marvelled greatly,” as well he might, and said, “Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.”—Matt. 27:14; John 19:10,11

When Judas escorted a crowd of men and officers and soldiers, with torches and weapons, to arrest him, “Jesus therefore, knowing all things … went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. … I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way.” (John 18:4,5,8) This remarkable composure and courage, the calm, quiet poise of mind and heart under such unjust and cruel circumstances, is nothing short of amazing to us.

We may yet be called upon to take our stand with Jesus in faithfulness to God and our covenant with him, when we shall need the same strength and courage as possessed by Jesus. Our complete confidence in the overruling providence of our Father will provide the quietness and composure to witness for him.

O for a faith that will not shrink,
Tho pressed by every foe;
That will not tremble on the brink
Of any earthly woe.
                     —Hymns of Dawn

It was undoubtedly because of the trust and confidence Jesus had in his Father, with entire submission to the Father’s will for himself, that he maintained a meek and quiet spirit, unperturbed in every experience. Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me.” (John 4:34) This was his great ambition and lofty attainment.

Let us seek to fortify ourselves with that mind which was the mind of Christ, so that in the severest provocation, from whatever source it may come—the world, the flesh, or the Adversary—we may find ourselves in possession of strength, furnished and maintained in the quietness, calmness, and tranquility displayed by our great Exemplar, Christ Jesus, our Lord and Head.


Silence, or in being alone, or restraining oneself from retorts or retaliation to unjust charges, is not the quiet spirit to which we refer. Quietness created by restraint will not furnish one with a quiet spirit for long. This is self-developed and is temporary, and, “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small,” says Solomon. (Prov. 24:10) The quiet spirit to which we refer, and which we are exhorted to possess, is begotten within by the Holy Spirit through the written Word of God being “shed abroad in our hearts.”—Rom. 5:5

This calm spirit, this implicit trust, has been, and still is, the aspiration of all God’s saints through all ages. These have always experienced, when during the daily routine this treasured possession is broken by some omission or commission, or has been attacked from without, that inward cry of David, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me?” (Ps. 42:5) Then the heart and mind immediately seek refuge and deliverance, breathing, “Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” (vs. 11) The hymn we sometimes sing beautifully expresses the mind of such:

Quick as the apple of an eye,
O God, my conscience make;
Awake my soul when sin is nigh,
And keep it still awake.
                    —Hymns of Dawn


This quietness can be enjoyed amidst the greatest confusion, and is acquired by fullness of devotion to the Lord’s will from day to day. The first essential is stated in Malachi 3:10. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” An offering to God must ever be free and willing, wholehearted, and complete without a blemish.

The apostle explains very clearly this same theme of consecration to God, which he has always required of those desiring to worship and serve him, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”—Rom. 12:1

The outworking of verse 2, “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,” is one of the greatest honors conferred on men, and the noblest deed that man can perform. The result of one’s endeavor in this respect is that their life becomes “hid with Christ in God” and, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”—Col. 3:3,4

The sincerity of such a resignation and quiet acquiescence to the Lord in every experience depends not on self-reliance but on acquaintance with the Lord through his Word. Jesus told his disciples, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”—John 14:23

John, in his epistle, also confirms this wonderful unity and perfect oneness of the Lord with his dear children. “We have known and believed the love that God hath to us.” (I John 4:16) This inspires confidence, and confidence inspires quiet rest in him.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment,” or restraint, as the Greek warrants. (vs. 18) This delightful love for the Lord and his Word is inspired within, and instinctively resists fear. It is evidenced by a quiet, calm spirit—a mind and heart possessing implicit faith in God and in Christ Jesus.

Abiding in Christ our Lord and in fellowship with the Father is, or should be, the valued treasure of all who keep his Word. They possess this treasure, not because of talent, ability, courage, or age, but despite everything in themselves, or out of themselves. They have an inward conviction of love and delight for the Lord and his all-abiding presence in their daily life. They are able to sing,

But what to those who find? Ah this,
Nor pen nor tongue can show,
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but his loved ones know.
                          —Hymns of Dawn

Paul, in relating some of his experiences to Timothy, enjoyed this blessedness and treasured relationship, saying, “I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (II Tim. 1:12) This attitude of heart and mind assures an indwelling trust and confidence, whereas wavering faith and disobedience disturb the mind and heart before God. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”—Isa. 26:3


Enoch, “walked with God.” (Gen. 5:22) This meant fellowship and communion. It must have been so, because Jude tells us that Enoch prophesied the Lord would come with “ten thousands of his saints” to judge the ungodly.—Jude 14,15

Daniel’s self-possession in times of extreme provocation and persecution enabled him to declare in calmness of spirit, “O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me.”—Dan. 6:21,22

Job, in his severe and heartbreaking trials, said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”—Job 1:21

It is an inspiration to trace this quiet confidence and restful spirit, this great composure of all the Lord’s saints. We can be greatly strengthened in our faith by reviewing their complete resignation to the Lord’s overruling of their every experience, and it inspires in us the same tranquility of being. Our Heavenly Father has so graciously arranged that our imperfections, our weaknesses and unwilling blemishes, are covered by the righteousness of Christ Jesus, and the first blessing accruing by faith in him is peace. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”—Rom. 5:1


The Lord does indeed lead us beside quiet waters of Truth. We live in a very rushing time from early morn to close of day, our responsibilities are great, our obligations are pressing, our duties multiply, and we find it difficult to tear ourselves away from these ties that bind us to a world like this with its cares and exactings. Nevertheless, a quiet moment or two at the beginning and close of day is so very necessary to our growth in grace and truth. Even though the feet may join the throng in the pursuit of our daily needs, the mind and heart may enjoy sweet communion with God at any time, in any place.

We need the quiet time of waiting upon the Lord, so that we can freely “mount up with wings as eagles” and renew our strength, in order to run, and not be weary; and to walk, and not faint.—Isa. 40:31

Confidence is trust, and to possess this is to have a well-grounded persuasion of audience and acceptance. This is acquired by constant fellowship in meditation and prayer with our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle urges, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward;” and, “We have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.”—Heb. 10:35; Eph. 3:12

What then is the prayer that will enable one to possess and enjoy the blessed state of rest in faith, and of peace and quietness, engendering confidence and trust? It is not a prayer for all occasion of disturbance to be removed, but it is a longing and a prayer for sweet, trustful, loving acquiescence in the revealed will of God. Such will bring “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,” keeping our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.—Phil. 4:7

Let us, then, make great use of the legacy our beloved Master left for our present possession, the legacy of peace, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” (John 14:27) Let us appropriate it in every experience by his grace, that we, like our Lord, may be unperturbed, tranquil, restful in him. If faithful in this to the end we soon shall receive our change, for we are nearing our home. When introduced to our Father and the holy angels by our blessed Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, we do not wish to be embarrassed. We wish to feel at home. Let us all resolve that in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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