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“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).

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE OBEYED THE GOSPEL, THE THRONE OF GOD SHOULD ALWAYS BE THOUGHT OF AS “THE THRONE OF GRACE.” Needing help in so many ways and wanting our obedience to Christ to be steadfast, we can’t do without the confidence of which the Hebrew writer speaks. In order to keep from faltering in our faith, we’ll need to stay close to the throne of God’s grace.

It is a marvelous thing that we may have this confidence, but in Christ, that is the good news. As a gracious God, He wanted to save us from our sins, and to do so, He made a sacrifice of unimaginable love. Having done that, there is nothing else He wouldn’t do to help us, in whatever way we need Him. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).

The character of God, then, is the key to the assurance of our salvation. God being who He is, we do not doubt that He desires for us to overcome every discouragement thrown at us by the enemy (1 Peter 5:8). God will give us the help we need — abundantly.

The prayer at the end of Jude’s letter to his embattled brethren is appropriate to our point: “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24,25).

“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” is one of the greatest hymns ever written. In it Martin Luther powerfully captured the essence of the Christian’s faith: “Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing; were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing: Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabaoth His Name, from age to age the same, and He must win the battle.” It is, after all, a battle. But we do not doubt that we will “receive mercy and find grace to help.”

Beneath the shadow of Thy throne,
Thy people are by faith secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone
To make the soul’s defenses sure.
(Isaac Watts)

Gary Henry — +

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