A Sympathetic God
Written by Heath Gregory
I was reminded this week how loved and supported I am even when I feel weak and incapable.
As I sat in the comfort of my home office, fresh brewed coffee and bible in hand, ready to devour Gods word and come away encouraged and prepared to be the best Christian I can be, I realized I was just not feeling it.
As I was searching, flipping, and thumbing from page to page trying to decide what to read, instead of a hunger or delight for God’s word, I felt burdened. And instead of pausing to ask the Lord for help, I pressed on in my own strength to no avail. It didn’t matter where I turned, it just felt empty.
But God, in His kindness, allowed me to flip the page one more time and I found myself in Hebrews 4 again.
I’m by no means and expert on Hebrews, but what I’ve learned in reading it recently is the recurring emphasis on Jesus our High Priest. I’m not sure there’s another NT book that spends as much time on the subject. And on this morning, in need of a serious attitude adjustment, verses 13-16 caught my attention.
There I was trying to generate an experience with the living God and at the same time being lazy, weary, and unfocused. I was more concerned with my to do lists for the day ahead then on encountering Christ. But as I read verse 13, I was gripped by these words...
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
At that moment, in my quiet office, with a wrong attitude and an incorrect motive, as I was trying to hide my feebleness and unwillingness from Him, I recognized that the Lord of All, my great High Priest, could see right through me. It took me a moment, but my shock turned to confession. I confessed it right there. Lord, I don’t want to be doing this, forgive me.
The passage continues and I continued to read:
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:13-16
I felt comfort knowing we can’t hide from His eyes. And as my insufficient self-propelled reading diminished, I found myself drawing near to a God who loves me on my good days and my bad days. A God who knows I’m weak, weary, and prone to wander, but loves me just as much as he did before the foundation of the world when he chose to set His love upon me.
The beauty of a relationship with the Lord is that He knows me better than I know myself. He knew my heart at that very moment. He knew the weakness I felt. He knew the wrong motives. He knew the pressures I was putting on myself. And He knew the things I thought more important than Him on that Wednesday morning. But, He didn’t leave me to myself. He didn’t turn His back. He didn’t shake His head in disgust. He didn’t let go of me. He grabbed me ever so gently on the cheek, turned my head, directed my eyes to His word and allowed me to rest in His superior sympathetic self.
What a joy it is knowing we have a perfect High Priest who intercedes for us. And unlike every high priest before Him, is more holy and glorious than we can fathom. One who sympathizes with us not because we deserve it, but because He feels it when we are weak and hurting and has been tempted in every way like us, yet without sin.
Beloved, don’t forget how close we are to the throne of grace! Don’t forget the price that was paid to give us unlimited access to the God of the universe. Don’t forget, we can draw near with confidence to the living and active God who knows no matter how hard we try, we can’t wake up everyday full of excitement and energy ready to marvel at the Majestic One. He’s listening, wanting us to boldly approach Him with all of our garbage.
And this throne does not require a ticket or a season pass, you don’t have to make an appointment or wait for one day a year to meet with him privately, you and I have an all access, VIP, eternal membership to the Kingdom of God. He just wants us to use our membership. And when we do, when we approach Him with confidence, knowing we are His beloved, sought and bought, secure and imperfect, He gives us the mercy and grace we need.
Brothers and sisters, every day is a time of need, so approach him boldly, honestly, and expectantly and He will give freely.
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4/27/2020 04:57:10 pm
5/2/2020 06:33:58 am
Thank you for letting us see your struggles which we can relate to so well.
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