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. – Heb. 4:16 NIV
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The scripture for today’s devotion is the inference of the writer of the biblical book of Hebrews based on the various submissions he had presented in the earlier chapters. His main interest is to let all people especially the Jewish Christians, who were planning to defect away from their Christian faith due to persecution, know that Jesus Christ is indeed the son of God and he has a position much higher any man or angels. He aimed at convincing them all of the priestly nature of Jesus Christ and the salvation role that he was destined to play in the lives of all those who accept him as Lord and Savior.
He stated that it was the intention of the Almighty God to bring His people into His rest, a feat that Moses and Joshua did not achieve neither was all those who were preached to earlier able to get their rest due to their unbelief and disobedience (Heb. 4:1-11), but which is now available to all those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. The sin of such people will no longer be a hindrance to their entering this rest because Jesus Christ has played the role of High Priest for all those who have received him – Heb. 4:14. With his coming, death and ressurection, he had paid the supreme sacrifice and in the process cleared all, who believe in him, of all their sins so they will be better off holding onto their faith rather than allowing the persecution they are going through to move them away from the great salvation that was made available for them and for all people and there will be no escape from eternal damnation for anyone who ignores this great salvation of God – Heb. 2:3. If however they remained in their faith, they will actually have nothing to fear in approaching the Almighty God who is able to save them from all the pains of the persecution and grant them rest from all the stress that may accompany such persecution.
Today’s scripture encourages the true Christian who is experiencing persecution of any form to approach the throne of grace with confidence in order to receive mercy needed to successfully navigate such difficult phases of the Christian life. To be persecuted is to experience hostility or ill- treatment and in this situation it will be because one has chosen to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and accept him as Lord and savior. It can indeed be a very excruciating experience and when applied by the enemy, can be really unbearable. The victim of persecution is discriminated against and deprived of several rights and privileges all aimed at forcing the victim to publicly deny his/her faith in Jesus Christ. The effect of persecution on the one that is persecuted can be physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual in nature and it will definitely require the grace of God to bear it. The most amazing part of persecution for a Christian is that the Almighty God in most cases permits it and does not prevent it from being effected. The experience of Job and Jesus Christ are instances to cite here.
However the scripture for today informs that in such situations, it is best for the Christian to approach the throne of Grace with confidence. To approach with confidence will mean to go towards the throne of Grace with the firm belief that one will not be turned back and whatever is asked for will be granted. It is the throne of Grace because what will be achieved before that throne will not be the reward of any work that the one approaching may have done but it will be due to the grace that comes with remaining in faith in times of persecution. It will be because of the spirit of glory and of God that is made available to people of faith in such situations – 1Pet. 4:14-19. Demands made during times like this is basically to seek for help to overcome all the difficulties that the persecution may have brought on the Christian. All these will be available to the Christian, despite the fact that such may still be associated with sinful acts but perseverance under such circumstances makes the grace very much available. How is this possible?, one may ask. The writer of Hebrews says we are able to approach the throne of Grace because our high priest is able to sympathize with our situation. This is because he has experienced temptation and persecution in several ways, similar to what the one seeking help is going through, the only difference being the fact that he was able to overcome those temptations, after all, he is God in man. We are however not able to overcome all the temptations that the devil has placed before us but he, being our priest can help us to receive mercy in our situation and help us to find grace that we need to overcome that situation.
So, think less about persecutors. They will be there for as long as the Almighty God permits but you can avoid the effect of persecution for as long as the persecution is due to your adherence to your faith in Christ Jesus.
Are you presently being persecuted because of your faith in Jesus Christ? Then approach the throne of grace with confidence so you can receive mercy and grace necessary for your time of need. May His Mercy and grace be available to overcome the effects of persecution over your life in Jesus name. Amen.