“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Three verses in Hebrews chapter four begin with the words “Let us”, and each time, along with the text which follows, we are presented with a promise. Hebrews 4:16 can be said to be the sum total of all that has been written before. We are therefore encouraged to pray and believe so that we can receive the precious promises of God.
Here is God’s open invitation to all who will come unto Him, but we must do it His way to get the promised results. Our focus must be on Him alone, therefore the destination of our prayer is “the throne of grace.” “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2).
Though we “come boldly” this does not imply presumption or arrogance on our part, instead the term speaks of confidence and assurance. The imagery is of the high priest coming to offer sacrifices to God in the temple. He could only approach the altar and the Mercy Seat with the assurance of sins forgiven. For the believer it is on the basis of our Great High Priest Jesus Christ who offered Himself as the sacrifice for sin. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession” (Hebrews 4:14). There is no way for man to approach the throne of grace without Christ. “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
We have a God who knows our every need even before we do. “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13). Plus we have a representative who knows just how frail and weak the flesh can be. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:14-15).
The vast majority of our praying is caught up in the things we think we need, but on rare occurrences we pray about that which really matters. Of course we do need temporal things, and so God takes this into account. “For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things” (Matthew 6:32), but how few of us notice the significance of the “but” in Matthew 6:33? “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” We have to get our priorities sorted out if we are to be abundantly blessed by the Lord.
Far too often we concern ourselves, even worry ourselves sick, over the things of the world, food, clothes, health and shelter, when we ought to be bringing them in faith before the throne of grace and mercy. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:34). If we are God’s people then we have the wonderful opportunity of finding deliverance from all our worries, fears and anxieties. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Let us start by putting the emphasis on our spiritual needs first.
Our text reveals the marvellous provision that awaits all who come in faith to God. Mercy and grace are two of the most important gifts that we will ever receive. Mercy speaks of God’s love and forgiveness, not deserved, but richly given. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us” (Ephesians 2:4). Grace transforms us into the children of God through the precious blood of Christ. “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5-7).
Since we are in Christ there ought to be no second thoughts about receiving what God has promised. We will “obtain mercy” and “find grace” without any effort or merit of our own if we come to the throne through Christ. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
What more could we need than God’s mercy and grace? Everything than comes from His throne covers our every need both spiritual and temporal. We must believe that when God speaks from His throne He speaks ex cathedra (totally infallible), so the promises are sure. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17) … “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” (2 Corinthians 1:20). When danger comes, when doubts arise, when sickness weakens, and in every dilemma, we can come unto Him and find the answer to all our needs.