"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
I sometimes wonder if the words to the Santa Claus song "You better watch out. You better not pout. You better not cry I am telling you why" haven’t spilled over and become our default thinking about God rather than the view expressed through this verse in Hebrews.
Though it has a jolly tune, the message is anything but inviting!
Remember how it goes?
He knows when you’ve been sleeping,
He knows if you’re awake,
He knows if you’ve been bad or good — so be good for goodness sake!"
How can we approach the throne of grace if we are suspicious that we "better watch out" and that we are unwelcome?
We are indeed to come with reverence and godly fear, but not with terror and amazement; not as if we were dragged before the tribunal of justice, but kindly invited to the mercy-seat, where grace reigns, and loves to exert and exalt itself towards us.
The office of Christ, as being our high priest, and such a high priest, should be the ground of our confidence in all our approaches to the throne of grace.
Had we not a Mediator, we could have no boldness in coming to God; for we are guilty and polluted creatures.
All we do is polluted; we cannot go into the presence of God alone; we must either go in the hand of a Mediator or our hearts and our hopes will fail us. ( Matthew Henry)
"We cannot pray fervently without faith and hope. If we approach a door expecting that no one will be at home or fearing that whoever is at home will receive us coldly, we may not be inclined to knock more than once.
On the other hand, the fact that we may have been received with frequent kindness will give us the faith and hope to knock hard a second time.
Faith and hope in God bring prayer alive and make it persistent.
Faith and hope come to us in the measure that we are storing Scripture in our minds and hearts." ((John White, Daring to Draw Near))