Came across some thoughts from around this time eight years ago. A really, really uncertain and hard time. A turn-your-world-upside-down time.
And as I chew on the same passage eight years later, and consider the confidence I was reminded of then, I realize that there is confidence still.
Re-running those musings this morning . . .
I’m pondering an invitation this morning. Reflecting on the access gifted to me. Chewing on the wonder of a door opened to me. The invitation is to draw near to a throne. The access is to a footstool before a King. The open door leads to an inner chamber of royalty, authority, and power. And, so goes the invitation, I may draw near to such a hallowed place with confidence.
“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.”
(Hebrews 4:16 ESV)
It occurs to me that I’ve been hanging out at this place of privilege for most of the past week . . . and so have a lot of other people on my behalf, and on behalf of my wife and family. Within this inner sanctum, upon this holy ground, there is a throne of grace . . . a seat of unmerited favor . . . a dispensing place of God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. It is a place where one can receive mercy and find grace when it is needed most. And, so goes the invitation, I can draw near to it with confidence.
Confidently . . . boldly . . . openly . . . plainly. Freedom to speak what’s on my mind . . . no need to conceal or be ambiguous . . . just pouring out what’s on my heart. Not presuming, but prevailing . . . not demanding, but desiring . . . all with assurance that He hears . . . and, as He determines, He dispenses grace to help in time of need.
And, if I put this verse in its context, the confidence isn’t based on who I am . . . or what I’ve done. But the confidence is found in Another. It is based on the fact that “we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God” (4:14). A High Priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, “one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (4:15). He who died for my sin and was risen again now abides at the right hand of God, alongside the throne, ever living to make intercession for us (Rom. 8:34, Heb. 7:25).
I don’t approach the throne of grace on my own . . . I do so with an Advocate. I don’t have to have it all figured out . . . or have just the right words . . . or have determined what God’s will is . . . or pretend to know what God knows . . . for “the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom. 8:26). I’ve got a lot of help before the throne of grace . . . and so, I can draw near with confidence.
As I mull it over in my mind, it has a way of impacting my heart. With this confidence there comes a peace. Not because everything is going to work out how I think it should work out, but because I have a faithful and merciful High Priest who goes with me when I rise up from the footstool and get back to doing life. A peace infused through the Spirit of the Living God who resides within me . . . 24/7 . . . my parakletos . . . my Helper . . . my Comforter . . . my ever present Intercessor. A peace that comes from knowing that I am never far from the throne of grace . . . that the door is always open . . . that the footstool is always available . . . my High Priest always on duty.
Praise God for such confidence! Praise God for such amazing grace!
Oh, what a Savior! Amen?