Day 36: With Confidence
“Let us then approach God’s throne of Grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Yesterday we saw there was a kind of firmness of faith which comes from understanding what Jesus has done for us. But this confidence extends beyond what we believe to how we act, and how we relate to Him.
In our country and culture it is difficult for us to understand trembling before a ruler, in fear for our lives. These days our highest officials are ridiculed and people refuse invitations into their presence, but there are other places and times when such actions would be met by imprisonment, torture or immediate death. When the book of Hebrews was written this would certainly have been the case, as they were a people under persecution, and many of their brethren had been executed for their faith by pagan rulers.
As a result of this very real fear of human authority, their concept of God was one of much more reverential fear than most people possess these days. We remember, too, that the Jews had emphasized God’s holiness to the exclusion of His love, to the point that they saw Him as so far above them, and so full of righteous indignation at man’s sin, that He was virtually unapproachable. Today we have lost much of the concept of His holiness in contrast to our sinfulness. The God of many in our nation is indulgent, looking the other way, or so concerned with our happiness that holiness has no part in the matter. If we better understood or suddenly experienced His Holy presence, we would be on our faces just like Daniel and John were.
But the Lord wants us to not only come to Him—even into His holy Presence—but to do so with confidence. Not because of anything we have done or are, but because of what He has done. We can have confidence in Him and in the sufficiency of His saving, cleansing work. The blood of Jesus has cleansed us from all sin! We are now holy in His sight. When He looks at us He sees Jesus.
Even at those times when we have stumbled or fallen, and we feel like fleeing His presence in shame or fear of His displeasure, we need to remind ourselves that His forgiveness is full and free. He did not pay such a costly price to redeem us only to hold us at arm’s length. And the safest place to be in the face of a God expressing His just wrath against sin is in His arms. Nothing can harm us there. We have no need to fear.
• What is the difference between the confidence this verse calls us to and the brashness we see from those who want to order God around?
• How confident are you in God’s presence? Why? Why should you be?
Lord, thank You that I approach the throne of Grace, not the throne of condemnation because of what You have done for me. I need to grow in the confidence that You truly desire me to draw near. Help me to experience more of the acceptance that is mine in Your finished work which pairs mercy and justice.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries
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