Draw Near

Heb. 4:16

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Concerning the book of Hebrews, the Christians who first received this epistle were living under intense pressure of persecution. They were being tempted to move away from Christ; to drift away and to neglect their initial commitment; in some cases, to just walk away, back into their former religion of enslavement.

Well here is something God gave them that they were able to do for help and strength – and this implies and certainly includes prayer.

Look with me at the last phrase in the verse: “….help in time of need…” I don’t know anybody who can’t identify with this phrase: “HELP IN TIME OF NEED.”

Whatever the specific personal need is, there is this discipline God has given to His people with this invitation, to draw near to the throne of grace. He wants to hear from us; we should want Him to hear. “Draw near.”

The need may be a very visible physical illness or injury. It may be some interpersonal conflict that just doesn’t seem to arrive at any resolution. It may be a nagging evil thought. It may be internal pressure to compromise.

It may be some burden we carry concerning people we love, who are hurting … or who are lost in sin. I can’t possibly list all the needs, all the issues and problems that nag at us inside. The stress and worries and temptations and wretched fear we may suffer.

God says to His people – Tell me about it!  Through Christ – you can approach Me! By the way, ancient peoples did not commonly think of approaching kings. Certainly, not with any boldness or confidence. But that’s what the faithful can do, because of our participation and response to Jesus Christ. We are Christians!

While maintaining a healthy fear and reverence, we are able to approach this throne of grace. God gives us this as a discipline we can use every day.  In time of need there is help from the highest source. As to the nature of that help – mark these two words in the verse: “grace” and “mercy.” It is not just a verbal rant, or an unleashing of rage or merely some imprecation. It is not like modern therapy – where you spill your guts and feel better.

God offers Grace and Mercy, to help in time of need. To receive mercy, in this context – is to get help, though you never deserve such consideration – GOD IS GRACIOUS TO HIS PEOPLE. It is a spiritual discipline God provides for us that is always available.

The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray. – Samuel Chadwick (1832–1917)

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