Finding Grace in Drawing Near God

(Another meditation on Hebrews 4:16)

If we draw near to God with confidence on the basis of Christ's atoning sacrifice and as our sinless High Priest, we draw near Him for the purpose of obtaining mercy and finding grace (v.16b). God calls us to come boldly into His throne of grace for there we find mercy and grace to help in time of need.

A minister once said, “Prayer is our supply line to God in the battle. His abundant, sustaining grace flows to us through prayer. Because prayer is so vital, the enemy tries to sever that supply line. When we suffer, the enemy often whispers, 'God doesn’t care about you and He isn’t answering. Why waste your time with these worthless prayers?' It’s easy to get discouraged and quit praying, which cuts us off from the very help that we need!”

The Hebrew believers’ problem is that instead of drawing near to God they are in danger of drawing back (10:35). Instead of facing persecution, they seem to be discouraged to the point of going back to their old lifestyle and inadequate religion.

Some of us who are facing many trials might have been tempted to quit following Christ. This is the same struggle that these Hebrew believers were facing. God comforts us with these words of encouragement. He tries to lift our spirits up by looking unto Jesus, our high priest in the presence of God. So let us keep on looking at our Lord and Savior. Let's fix our eyes on Him.

God presents to us His Son, who endured every attack of sin so that you and I may not grow weary. I know that every trial that comes our way has the potential to drive us to self-pity, depression and apathy. Maybe you may have been praying to God to give you victory over besetting sin which haunts you all the time. I don't know how you persevere in such situation.

But the Scripture is clear in instructing us that when such occasion comes, it should drive us, not away from God, but near Him in prayer. When we do, we find help. We find that much needed 'supply' for that specific time of special need, when afflictions abound and temptations press us sorely.

If your faith in God is being tested today, God reminds you to pray with confidence. He would give you the grace to endure and to deliver you from that trouble. Help comes to those who ask for it!

Sometimes, of course, God does not positively answer our prayers. I think of broken vows in marriage, failing health and prolonged suffering of a relative, maybe you think of an unrepentant friend.

Both in all our trials and in our triumphs, God exhorts us to take delight in drawing near Him in prayer for we always find grace to help in time of need, and that time is actually all the time.

I can't help thinking how our Lord Jesus effectively interceded on Peter's behalf in Luke 22:31-32. There He says, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethen." Peter was fully restored to the faith only because of the faithful intercession of our merciful great high priest, Jesus Christ.

As you actively pursue obedience and holiness in life, be aware that there are trials of various kind. But I urge you to keep on pressing to the goal of godliness, asking God's grace and wisdom when troubles come.

On the basis of Christ's redeeming work and constant intercession, your faith is being strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit. Do not doubt the goodness of God when your faith is being tested. Trust His loving-kindness. Believe that in Christ, God will supply your need, even in the most difficult or dangerous circumstance. As you persevere and persist in prayer, God will surely mature your faith. May you and I remain steadfast in the Lord.

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