Drawing Near God With Confidence

Hebrews 4:16 says, "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."

The verse tells us to draw near the throne of grace with confidence. The word confidence is sometimes translated as “boldly” or “with boldness”. Confidence describes the manner or attitude of our approach to God’s throne. That throne itself is characterized as a place of grace. So anyone who comes to this throne must admit his unworthiness, his undeserveness, and recognize that access to it is only through the gracious privilege granted by God.

Through Jesus our Great High Priest we can come boldly before God and expect to find His grace rather than His wrath. Unlike the Old Testament people of God under Moses who were terrified and trembling at the presence of the Lord, we as the new covenant people may come boldly before Him in prayer. We can always stop and pause at work, at school, or at home and reach out in prayer to approach our heavenly Father. This is true any time and anywhere. All this is possible when we come before God in prayer through our perfect mediator. How often do you commune with God in prayer?

John Calvin notes that the author of Hebrews “encourages those who believe in [Christ] to be bold in presenting themselves before the sight of God without any hesitation.” As our high priest who understands our every weakness, Christ is presented in the Scripture as the One who holds out His hand to us, even holding us by the hand, ushering us into the presence of the Father whose love and delight for His children is unmeasured. So Calvin asks, “Indeed if we were so persuaded that Christ was holding out His hand to us, who would not [grab] the full boldness of approaching?”

Boldness of course does not mean presumption. We do not presume that because we feel holy or righteous or mature we have earned our right to approach God. No. This confidence does not come from our own effort or determination. It does not even come from our being Reformed or Calvinist. Boldness here implies faith, characterized by utter dependence on Someone's merit, on Someone's name. This confidence therefore in coming before God is not our own but was purchased for us by the blood of our Lord and Savior and inspired within us by the Holy Spirit.

So our confidence in coming to God comes from the fact that through our faith union with the One who died and rose again from the dead God will hear us. And how do you grow in this spiritual union with Christ? It is by constant fellowship with Jesus, who breathes by His Spirit into your soul the strength and courage of faithful service for the sake of God's kingdom.

As you and I are in constant communion with the living Word of God in the preaching of His Word and in the regular administration of the means of grace, and in prayer, our confidence, that is, our faith is also being nurtured. We want to grow in our faith and confidence in Him so that when we go out, ministering and witnessing to others the greatness and goodness of our God, they would see Jesus in us.

I think those of you who constantly battle against the pressure of life in this broken and sinful world can testify that it is not easy. Trials come. Difficulties abound. Relationships turn sour. We need strength. We need help. We need forgiveness. And the Bible tells us to come to God through His Son Jesus Christ and we will find mercy and grace in time of need.

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