Relevant Bible Teaching "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth."
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The Throne of Grace
Hebrews 4:15-16 says, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” There is great significance to the fact that Christ was born in the likeness of man and lived through adulthood on this earth. Sometimes we might think that God, being God, could not possibly relate to or understand our incessant needs and weaknesses. Yet the message from Scripture is that Jesus understands and even sympathizes. There is no need to be embarrassed or confounded by our neediness and weakness. Christ wants to show Himself to be strong in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10), and He promises to meet our needs according to His good and perfect will (Philippians 4:19). When we feel like we can’t help but give into sin, He promises to provide a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). His throne is a place of mercy and grace. He knows that we need help, and He wants us to come and ask Him for it.

He understands pain, for He was beaten and bruised for our transgressions. He understands rejection, for many professing followers abandoned Him. He knows what it is to be fatigued as He spent many long nights in prayer. He endured intense temptation from the devil. He knows the frustration of laboring for the Father when even His own disciples seemed not to understand. He can relate to family life, to the workplace, to the meeting place for worship, and to the everyday issues of life. He hungered and He thirsted. Our God understands, for He has been there.

Yet, despite all that He experienced and endured, He did not sin. This has made it possible for us to be saved and to have the ability in Christ to draw near to God in prayer. We have the awesome privilege of approaching the God of the universe in prayer in the name of Christ. It is not our goodness that makes this possible but His. And given all that He endured on the cross for this to be made possible, how awful it must be to Him when we don’t take advantage of this privilege of prayer! He is our intercessor and advocate, and He wants to be there for us. But He won’t force us to call out to Him; we need to draw near to Him. Then He will draw near to us (James 4:8). How great is it that we get to approach the very throne of God in prayer, for it is a place of supreme authority and power! It is a place where things can get done, where sin can be forgiven, where requests can be answered, and where hopes can be renewed. And because of Christ, this throne is not a place of the pouring out of God’s wrath but a place of grace and mercy for those who believe. Why wouldn’t we be willing to trust in our Savior such that we share what is truly going on in our hearts and minds? He already knows, so why not tell Him! As we become convinced that He understands and sympathizes with our condition, we will be more open with our Lord and grow deeper in intimacy with Him. We are safe with Him, and our honest, humble prayers are never too stupid or a waste of His time. Our God cares, and this is why we are to cast our cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:7).

When we do approach our Lord in prayer, we need to remember to take care of first things first. If we have unconfessed sin, we must start by setting our hearts right with God (Psalm 66:18). Until we do that, we ought not to expect answers to our prayers or even the ability to pray properly in accordance with God’s will. A clean heart enables us to take advantage of the privilege of prayer and to enjoy intimate communion with our Lord.

There will be times in life when we will just need somebody to talk to, somebody to understand and sympathize with our condition or circumstances. There are few things as frustrating as opening up to somebody about things that we are feeling and thinking and getting a judgmental reaction, a Christian cliché, a condescending preaching to, or a failure to listen. Or, perhaps the person we open up to is really caring and kind, but he or she just doesn’t understand. In either case, there is a sense in which we will go on our way likely feeling abandoned, isolated, or unknown. The beauty of the fact that our Savior is both sympathetic and understanding is that we will always have somebody to lend us an ear, to give us a hand, to offer us forgiveness and freedom, to provide us with the wisdom we need, and to offer us a perfect gift of grace. Taking advantage of the throne of grace is one of the most underestimated and underutilized privileges and graces of the Christian life. There is no better confidant and friend than our Savior. Why wouldn’t we take advantage of this? It is a great privilege when God provides us with people who do understand us and sympathize with us, and we praise God for these people. Yet let us not forget that we always have Christ to go to for ultimate comfort and consolation (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). He is fully sufficient to be able to comfort us and help us.

Our hope is that we have a God Who cares and can relate to us because He anticipates our needs and sympathizes with our struggles. He is not a distant, impersonal being, but He is our Comforter (John 14:16 KJV). Let us take full advantage of bringing our petitions, cares, and needs to the throne of grace so that we can receive cleansing when we need it, wisdom when we ask for it, and comfort and understanding each and every time. Will you take your place before the throne of grace?

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