For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. And no creature is hidden from God, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account. Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help. (Hebrews 4:12-16 NET)
Today’s scripture is that final verse, verse 16: “Therefore, let us confidently, some translations say boldly, approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.” What a powerful verse! Even more powerful when coupled with the others! This verse is found right at the end of a chapter whose focus is entering God’s rest and keeping a tender heart rather than letting your heart become hardened. God, in His great wisdom, when He created the world instituted a Sabbath day or day of rest. Was this because He knew our humanity and that we would need it? Probably. When He instructed humans to observe this day and set it aside to worship Him, was it for His benefit? No. I don’t for a moment believe that. I believe that our loving Heavenly Father knew the frailty of our existence. He knew to remain strong and finish well, we would need a time to rest, focus on His Word to nourish us and to renew our mind and strength. After all, have you ever tried to make an important decision when you were worn out and exhausted? I have an this is what I have found… It is certainly not the best decision making time!
Many of you probably won’t remember, but there was a time in our country when Sunday’s were that appointed day of rest. Nothing was open on Sunday. Ok, maybe one emergency pharmacy and gas station would be open in larger cities but that was about all. Sunday was church, relaxing with family and friends and a Sunday afternoon nap. I remember how bored I would be when that nap time came because as a child, I wasn’t tired. Today, life is much different with stores open 24/7. We tend to cram as much as possible into every day and then try to stretch the day to accomplish all we want to do and then we wonder why we get so tired. We allow ourselves to become exhausted and wonder why we say or do things that are not really in line with who we are. For years I have heard ministers speak about obedience in our finances, tithing, keeping our finances healthy. Teaching on the Sabbath is not nearly so popular, yet now that I am older I can understand it’s wisdom and the benefits it provides.
The context of today’s scripture tells us spending time in God’s Word is important because it is able get to the heart of who we are. It is able to reveal the thoughts and desires of our heart and judge them. I don’t know about you but I notice that when I get really tired from running the race we call life, sometimes I am too exhausted to understand why I made a bad decision or had an uncharacteristic emotional outburst. When I get into His Word, wisdom and understanding are not far behind. What would happen if we set aside one day a week for rest and refreshing, time in the Word, prayer and family?
Next we are reminded that Jesus, our high priest is able to completely sympathize with our weaknesses because He was tempted in every way we are but remained sinless. He knows every struggle we face and He was victorious over those struggles. It is because of Him that we are able to approach the throne of God boldly whenever we need help. Jesus intercedes on our behalf with the Father and because of His victory over sin, we are able to receive mercy and grace in the life situations we face. In His Word we can find answers for every question, advice for any situation and peace for our weariness. In prayer we can find answers, comfort, peace, wisdom and understanding. In Jesus we can find love, acceptance, mercy, peace and grace to continue moving forward in any situation. In Him we can find rest! Even in the middle of a storm, rest can be found In Christ. What an incredible gift, to have direct access to go boldly before the throne with confidence that He not only hears but He answers our prayers! Do we always get the answer we want? Most likely not, but He knows the big picture and the best outcome and we can rest in the knowledge that He is for us and wants what is best even when that means walking through a struggle rather that being rescued out of it.