"Can I really be completely confident? I doubt sometimes. Life is hard. Sometimes I feel that my faith is hanging by a thread."
This week's "awkward text" is 2 Corinthians 5:6 where Paul seems to express a confidence that is way beyond us. If that is what is required we might be tempted to give up.
Well, here's what I think. It's a bit like listening to an accomplished pianist or watching an elite athlete. I see these people and I know that they got why they are by hard, persistent work. I also know that I could never get quite where they have got, but if I work hard and am careful to avoid injury I might just beat my Parkrun personal best.
Paul got to this place of confidence by going through a series of events that tested his faith to the limit. He found that God was there every time. In the end Paul knew that God is the God who raises the dead and he learned to rely on him. So Paul learned to be confident that the resurrection is real. He learned to live in God's forgiveness. And he learned that he was part of God's new creation that began when God raised Jesus from the dead.
Here's my suggestion: don't focus on Paul's confidence. Focus on the God that Paul believed in. And as Paul said, make it your aim to please him.