Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
I’m so grateful for the throne of grace.
Lately, I’ve been operating in what I like to call, “Desperation mode.” My wife has been dealing with some significant health issues, which, in turn, has resulted in numerous extra burdens being placed on me.
I feel like I’m spinning ten different plates, frantically running back and forth to keep all of them spinning. I feel kinda like this…
Work. Dinners. Taking care of my kids. Being a faithful, caring husband. Shuttling kids to school and soccer and track. Making sure my kids are clothed in relatively clean garments that don’t smell of stale Cheese-Its.
All. The. Homework.
In the grand scheme of things, my struggle is pretty insignificant. I mean, nobody is dying, I’m not going bankrupt, and nobody is going to prison.
But it’s still hard, and it reveals just how weak and needy I really am. It exposes the lie of self-sufficiency – the ridiculous idea that I can make it on my own apart from God.
It shows me just how much I need the throne of grace.
And praise God, I can come boldly to the throne of grace and receive grace and mercy in the midst of my desperation.
Come Boldly To The Throne of Grace To Receive Mercy
When I’m in desperation mode, I’m particularly in need of God’s mercy.
Frankly, when life is hard, I’m much more tempted to give in to various sins. Circumstances wrap around my heart and squeeze, causing the sin that’s inside to ooze out.
I easily become impatient with my kids. I operate out of self-sufficiency, thinking I can simply blunt force my way through the struggle. My devotional life tends to suffer. I allow discouragement to color the way I see my circumstances instead of God’s word.
Simply put, I’m not often a model of God-honoring suffering.
I need mercy. Forgiveness for my sins.
When I become aware of my sins, I’m tempted to run from God, thinking he must be sick of my struggles. Surely, God must be fed up with my impatience and self-sufficiency and lack of faith. Surely, he’s ready to give up on me and move on to someone who will suffer in a more godly fashion. Someone who doesn’t struggle so much.
Hebrews 4 tells me that when I’m struggling and wallowing and flailing, the solution is NOT to run from God but to come boldly to the throne of grace to receive mercy.
When I come to God, I don’t experience the judgment my sins deserve. Instead, I find mercy. Forgiveness. Restored fellowship with God.
And I’m to come boldly. Not hesitantly. Not fearfully. Not treading lightly. This really is quite staggering, when you think about it. The throne of grace is where God himself sits. Angels encircle the throne, constantly singing out, “Worthy!”
When I come to the holy throne, I find mercy, not judgment. Why?
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
I can come boldly to the throne of grace because Jesus is my High Priest. He lived his entire life in desperation mode, and yet never once sinned. He was tempted just as I am tempted, yet when his heart was squeezed, only righteousness came out.
This High Priest offered himself as a substitutionary sacrifice for me so that I can receive mercy instead of judgment. The withering, blasting judgment I deserved was poured out on Jesus.
Now, when I’m weary and desperate and hanging on by a thread, I can come boldly to the throne of grace and expect to receive ONLY mercy.
Isn’t that sweet news?
Come Boldly To The Throne of Grace To Receive Grace
Mercy is not receiving what I do deserve. Grace is receiving what I don’t deserve.
When I come boldly to the throne of grace, I don’t only receive mercy. In other words, I’m not coming to God simply to receive forgiveness for my sins, as glorious as that is.
I’m also coming to the throne of grace so that he can give me supernatural, sustaining, all-sufficient grace.
The simple fact is that I can’t make it through life on my own. It’s too hard, too complicated, too heartbreaking, and too confusing. More than ever, I’m realizing that huge swaths of my life simply aren’t under my control.
If I’m going to thrive as I sojourn in life’s wastelands, I desperately need grace.
Where do I find this grace? At the throne of grace.
And who is sitting on the throne of grace? Jesus, the one who was tempted just as I am. Jesus, the one who can sympathize with my weaknesses.
Again, this really is quite mind-boggling. Jesus, the one who upholds the universe by his word, knows what it’s like to experience weakness. Though he never once sinned, Jesus truly does understand what it means to struggle.
And because Jesus was tempted in every respect, he knows exactly what I need to honor him in every situation.
Jesus doesn’t dispense generic grace. Because he was tempted in every way, he knows EXACTLY what I need when I’m discouraged or impatient or overwhelmed. Jesus gives me grace that is custom tailored for every trial and tribulation.
The moment I’m aware of my weakness, I should come boldly to the throne of grace, expecting Jesus to give me exactly what my weakness requires. When I’m tempted, when I’m discouraged, when I’m weary, I can come to Jesus and receive the exact medicine my soul so desperately needs.
Again, isn’t this sweet news.
Oh What Needless Pain We Suffer When We Don’t Come Boldly To The Throne of Grace
As I write this, I’m reminded of the classic hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus,” which says:
Oh what peace we often forfeit oh what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer
If I try to make it through life in my own strength, I will forfeit my peace and bear needless pain. I’m simply too weak to make it without God.
But praise God, I can come boldly to the throne of grace and receive both grace and mercy to meet every need.
As Jesus put it in John 15:4:
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.