By Ben Simpson

Scripture

Hebrews 4:16

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.

Reflection

Two of the values imparted to me while growing up were independence and responsibility. My family expected me to tend to my studies, enter the workforce, get a job, start a family, make my way, and become responsible for myself.

But I haven’t always found life to be easy. I haven’t always been able to do things on my own. Sometimes being responsible has meant acknowledging my dependence. I have had to ask for help. I have needed guidance from friends, support from family, wisdom in financial planning, and counsel on big decisions.

Asking for help has always been hard. When we ask for help, we admit a kind of helplessness, an inability to be fully independent. We worry our dependence will let others down or we will be considered a burden. We don’t want to impose or ask too much.

Asking for help takes courage and involves risk. Independence can be a good, but it can also lead to poor decisions. Sometimes we really need help. When you’re drowning, it’s better to signal a lifeguard than to let the waters take you under. Sometimes the riptide is too strong and the waves are too great for us to overcome danger on our own. 

It is also difficult to ask for God’s help. Pride gets in the way. We are worried about letting God down. We think we need to prove ourselves worthy of God’s help. What we need is a better theology. We need to see that we are already helpless, but that God is our great help. We also need to see that God’s grace has abounded in Christ, that God truly does love us, and that God is pleased to help. 

We need God’s grace to overcome sin, grace which has been amply supplied in Jesus Christ. Our biggest weakness is that we can’t save ourselves, but thankfully God has taken care of that. God’s grace also teaches us humility and trust, which we need if we are to have faith and dedicate ourselves to serving others. Compared to God we are small, but God is great, and God’s Spirit dwells in us. God is “an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1), and because of the work of Jesus we can “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence.” His love has brought us near. Mercy, grace, and help are ours through Christ.

George W. Truett said, “Prayer is just talking to God. Anybody can pray. The sanest and most reasonable thing in the world is prayer. Prayer is the cry of the little, finite, mortal, dependent human to the great God, able, and willing, and merciful and mighty. Prayer is the cry of a little one whom God made, to that great God who can help, and wants to help, and offers help.”

God’s help is available to us through Jesus Christ. Call upon him. Trust him. Rely on him.

 

Where do you need God’s help? Ask today.

Prayer

God Almighty, you are my refuge, strength, and ever-present help. Guide me today and meet my needs. Teach me to trust you and rely on you, to be humble before you and to serve you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.