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What to Do In Times of Need. Heb. 4:16


What to Do In Times of Need

Text.  Hebrews 4:16 

What do we do in times of need or trouble?  One solution is to panic! But there really is a better solution than panic.  The Hebrew author here has the key…. Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

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Before we begin to think about a single verse like this we must always try to establish the context in which it has been written, in case we misunderstand its meaning.  In his sermon to the Hebrew church, Paul has been preaching about the priesthood of Jesus, who is sympathetic with our human condition.  He was God in human flesh, fully God, and fully man – he was one of us on this earth, and he knows what it means to suffer, to be rejected to be refilled, to be ‘a man of sorrows and aquinted with grief, he knows what it is like to suffer and die, and he knows the burden of sin and guilt which weigh us down in our consciences, for he bore that burden for us at Calvary.  Now, Paul tells us that because he understands us, and cares for us, we can come to him and he will help us.

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So, today I want you to come with me, come to the Lord and seek his help, in our time of need.  Numbers 10:29. To take seriously the invitation given to in our text, and the promise it contains. 


What Will Be Our Destination?   the throne of grace 

Now we need to know where we are travelling to on this journey.  Our destination is described here for us as THE THRNE OF GRACE: 

  • A throne!  A throne always speaks of royalty, – it speaks to us of the power of God, the omnipotence which is part of his divine attributes.  It speaks of God as the one who is to be praised and exalted, Psalm 22:3    It speaks of his eternal kingdom,  Psalm 29:10  But for our purposes this morning we note that this particular throne is… 
  • A place where grace is dispensed.  In this sermon Paul is preaching to Hebrews, to Jewish converts to Christ living in a Jewish city.  When they thought of the ’throne of grace’ they would immediately think of the Temple at Jerusalem, where there was, upon the ark of the covenant, the ‘mercy seat.’  It was a solid gold lid, with two seraphim, one at either end.  On the day of atonement, the high priest would enter the holiest place of all in the temple, where the ark rested, and he would sprinkle the mercy seat with blood from the sacrificial animal.  It was a vivid illustration of the atoning work of Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. It was the place where mercy was obtained for all God’s people.   

So for the Hebrew Christians and for us, our destination is one of great significance.  We are to come into God’s presence through Christ, through his toning work, providing forgiveness for all our sins, we are to approach the throne of grace! 


2 What will the Journey be Like?  Let us therefore come boldly  

Shouldn’t we have some degree of fear or worry coming into the presence of the one who is the King of all Kings?  Actually, in his sermon, Paul tells us that we should come before the throne of Grace with BOLDNESS!  Now what does that mean? 

  • We certainly shouldn’t come RASHLY AND WITH IRREVERENCE.  Bold in this context doesn’t mean with reckless abandon, or carelessness, or without due preparation.  Sometimes we use the word to chastise small children… “Don’t be a bold boy!’   
  • We should come with CONFIDENCE.  Not RASH boldness but CONFIDENT boldness! Not ’self-confidence’ but confident about our status in Christ, believing God’s word, knowing that when we are trusting Him, when we rest in his finished work on the Cross, we are already ‘accepted in the beloved.’  In a letter Paul wrote…. Ephesians 1:5-7  

So we travel boldly to God, knowing that we have free access to his courts, knowing that whatever we have on our hearts we may freely pour it out before him, and hold nothing back, knowing that our prayers will be heard, knowing that no matter how often we come, we will never be turned away, knowing that we will always be welcomed, and that our Heavenly Father will always receive us. 

  • We should come with HUMBLE SIMPLICITY.  There is nothing complicated about this.  We just come.  We come without ceremony or ritual, without the need for a particular building or gathering, we come where we are, as we are.  We don’t need the help of others to come either.  We don’t need a priest to intercede for us, or saints or the Virgin Mary – Christ is our mediator and no other.   

So, we approach the throne of God, coming into his presence with reverence, with repentant hearts, with servant praise and faith boldness in Christ. 


3 What Will be Our Reward When We Arrive?  that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

The best part of any journey is when you arrive!  It makes the tedium of the journey well worthwhile.  Believe me, when we approach the Throne of Grace, we will find it was a worthwhile and blessed experience!  That blessing will be our motivation to come, for there we will find… 

  • We can obtain MERCY!  Mercy to take away all our guilt!  Our sinful nature is one of the reasons why we must come often to the Throne of Grace.   We come to God’s throne, to obtain mercy, knowing that all our sins are atoned for at the cross. 
  • We will find GRACE!  Undeserved favour from God.  Grace to help us live for Jesus, grace to help us to withstand the devil, grace to help us to persevere in the Christian pathway until the end of life, grace to help us when suffering times come, grace to help us triumph in Christ, grace to help us when we approach the end of this earthly life.   

So, let us come and approach the throne of grace!  Not just when we are in trouble, but every day, for every day is a time of need, – we need the Lord, each and every hour.  

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