The Joy of Being Reformed (9): Finding Confidence & Comfort in Each Person of the Trinity

What gives you confidence in life? What comforts your heart in life? It’s quite common for people to draw their confidence from what they do or accomplish or produce. Do you ever do that? People often work very hard, achieve success, and then feel confident about themselves based on the level of success they’ve achieved. Their confidence and comfort are tied to their attainments. I struggle with this.

Think about it. Don’t you feel like life is more fulfilling and brighter when you’re killing it in your marriage, parenting, career, and social life? Isn’t there a bounce in your step when life is good, when people admire you, when you’re achieving something? Your house is clean and tidy, and you feel confident. Your kids are excelling in school, and you feel confident. You got a promotion at work, and you feel confident. This is how it often goes. If you’re honest, you might even sometimes feel more confidence in your achievements than thankful to God who blessed you. And isn’t it true that your morale struggles when you’ve failed? It’s hard to feel confident and assured when you’ve just underperformed, lost, or disappointed someone.

The gospel changes everything. The gospel changes your work philosophy and ethic, your focus and motivation as you live, how you enjoy your successes and persevere through your failures, and how you feel about life in general. Through your faith in God and the achievements of Christ your Lord, your confidence and comfort are anchored not to your performance but rather to God’s character and His performance and how it benefits you. The walls are straight and sturdy when they’re built upon a strong foundation. Your confidence and comfort in life and death are built upon the foundation of what each divine Person of the Trinity does for you.

Last time we quickly looked at Belgic Confession Article Eight and the doctrine of the Trinity, and Article Nine gives Biblical evidence for the doctrine of the Trinity. Please know that Reformed catechisms and confessions are not intended to replace Scripture or even distract from it. Quite the opposite. Reformed catechisms and confessions help us better hear and understand Scripture. They define things, highlight things, and explain things so that we know what God is truly saying. So, Article Nine concerns itself with giving Biblical proof for a Trinitarian view of God. Referring to Article Eight’s explanation of the Trinity, here’s how Article Nine begins, listen carefully:

All this we know both from the testimonies of Holy Scripture and from the respective works of the three persons, and especially those we perceive in ourselves. The testimonies of Scripture which lead us to believe this Holy Trinity are written in many places of the Old Testament. It is not necessary to mention them all; it is sufficient to select some with discretion.

We know the contents of the Apostles’, Nicene, Athanasian, and Chalcedonian Creeds are true because in the Bible God reveals Himself as such. In Scripture, God Himself tells us all about His wonderful works. We also experience the gracious work of God in our lives, and this too testifies to the Trinity’s power and love.

Where would we go in Scripture to find the doctrine of the Trinity? Many places, and this is what Article Nine does. It takes us to Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 3, Matthew 3:17, and other texts. Article Nine says, “In all these places, we are fully taught that there are three persons in one only divine essence.” The Belgic Confession is deeply concerned with stating what is true and divinely revealed in Holy Scripture. Innovation is not its aim.

Then Article Nine says this:

Although this doctrine far surpasses all human understanding, nevertheless, in this life we believe it on the ground of the Word of God, and we expect to enjoy its perfect knowledge and fruit hereafter in heaven.

That’s a great statement because it gives the reason we believe God is one and three, and it connects this belief to our confidence and comfort. We believe God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit because God has revealed Himself to us as such in His Holy Word. We also expect to enjoy knowledge of God and the fruit of His grace in this life, albeit imperfectly, and in heaven perfectly. That day is approaching.

So, it’s important to recognize that the doctrine of the Trinity connects to our confidence and comfort in this life and the next. The Trinity is for construction workers as they seek to build, for salesmen as they strive to sell, and for homeschool mothers as they tirelessly teach. The confidence and comfort come by trusting not only in who each Person of the Trinity is but also in what each Person of the Trinity does for you. When you’re building, selling, or teaching, who is God for you, and what is God doing for you?

Article Nine mentions several heretics and also the truthful and trustworthy ecumenical creeds. But it says something in the last paragraph that will help you find confidence and comfort in God instead of yourself. The last paragraph explains who God is and what He does for you. Listen:

Moreover, we must observe the distinct offices and works of these three persons towards us. The Father is called our Creator by his power; the Son is our Savior and Redeemer by his blood; the Holy Spirit is our Sanctifier by his dwelling in our hearts.   

Here is where the Belgic Confession follows the Trinitarian ecumenical creeds of Christianity. God the Father is your Maker, your Fashioner, your brilliant Creator. He lovingly sustains you, upholds you, governs you, provides for you, and turns all things, even your greatest adversity, for your good by His almighty power and providence (HC 26). God the Son who is Jesus Christ has saved you, is saving you, and will save you; has redeemed you, is redeeming you, and will redeem you; he is teaching you, revealing God to you, interceding for you, leading you in the paths of righteousness by his Word and Spirit, and defending and preserving you in the redemption he obtained for you (HC 31). God the Son is your Prophet, Priest, and King who helps you according to each of these offices. God the Holy Spirit is in you sanctifying you daily, conforming you to Christ daily, applying the benefits of Christ’s works to you daily, and giving you confidence and comfort daily.

So, the gospel of who God is and what He has done, is doing, and will do for you is your confidence and comfort. You will have successes and failures in your marriage, parenting, career, and social life, yet your confidence and comfort in life and death are not found in your performance but rather in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit working in your life, and the way to have true confidence and comfort is to trust all three Persons of the Trinity. Trust God, hope in God, believe God, and you will find yourself loved and lively, steadfast and strong, fulfilled and faithful all by sovereign grace.         

Quotes from the Belgic Confession are taken from Guido de Brès & Jonathan Shirk, The Belgic Confession: Truth Worth Dying For (Manheim: Small Town Theologian, 2024). Purchase at:

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one-half of any book of the ESV Bible.

About the author

Jonathan Shirk

Welcome to the online home of Jonathan Shirk, family man, Reformed pastor, author, podcaster, and small town theologian. Whether you're from a small town or big city, may this website help you find deeper comfort and joy in the gospel.

View all posts