By Katie Pearson
“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
Recently my husband and I took a trip to Montana with friends, where we decided to do a ropes course. The outdoor obstacle course is high off the ground and designed to help you overcome your fear of falling, literally and metaphorically. The activity also teaches individuals and teams to believe in themselves and one another. My husband and I both hate heights, but as an ex-gymnast, I felt confident in my ability to walk across a log thirty-five feet above the ground (with a fancy rope-climbing harness, of course). But after two steps, I froze. My self-confidence vanished. Going back wasn’t an option, so I was forced to keep putting one foot after another until I safely reached the platform on the other side.
My shaky steps were a kind of faith, especially in the harness that held me. But Christian faith is different. Holy confidence in a sovereign God keeps us moving forward as we walk by faith, held secure by the ultimate safety net.
God’s original design for humanity was peace. We, humanity, brought suffering on ourselves. But even our darkest days are still temporary. What are you facing today that feels overwhelming? God may be calling you into a season of preparation, as he called Jesus into the Garden of Gethsemane to prepare for his execution on the cross. But nothing you face will ever come close to what Christ faced as he carried the sins of the entire world with him into death. Jesus willingly and completely severed ties with his Father (and ours) to ensure we never have to.
It’s utterly terrifying to get to the end of yourself. Whether your sin lands you at rock bottom or tragedy has left you helplessly wondering where to turn for help: cry out to Jesus. Turn to him with holy confidence. When you can’t hang on any longer in your own strength, when you lose your grip, he will catch you. What you battle today is permitted by a God who loves you and will use everything in your life for good (Romans 8:28).
Your trials will drive you closer to His heart if you move through them with his Son. He went through the fiercest trial, so you don’t have to. He descended so you could ascend. Whatever trial is in your way, God can use it in your life for mercy and grace.
Each time we cross to the other side of a seemingly impossible challenge, our faith grows stronger. We remember that God goes before us and behind us. He hems us in on all sides (Psalm 139:5). The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to keep our eyes fixed on the suffering servant. We can follow him through the darkness, for his grace comes in our time of need. In the dark or the light, in the heights and the depths, he holds us fast.
Heavenly Father, sometimes you feel so far away I’m terrified to take a step in any direction. Give me the courage to simply move forward today, trusting that you are with me at every turn. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a small group Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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