By Lucas Miller
Since then 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 is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 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 4:14-16)
For me, at least, there are times when everything seems to be going wrong—times when I just feel overwhelmed, in over my head, and quite honestly want to just crawl back into bed. There are times when I wonder if God knows the struggles I face or if He’s put these obstacles before me to see me fail. Is God far off, watching me struggling day to day? I think to myself if I could get past this point, I’d be okay. “If I could have more money or have that enemy gone then all would be well and all my problems solved.” “If I had more power, then I could do what I want when I want and not answer to anyone.” Or, “If only I were more holy and righteous then I could save myself and not worry about my sins.” I’m sure many of you have felt this way before, maybe even right now as you read this.
There are indeed times when we’re overwhelmed by anxiety, depression, and feelings of helplessness. But, as we read in Hebrews 4, we have God who took on flesh and has experienced the harsh world as we have. We have God who has cried tears of sadness and pain. We have a God who has been hungry and thirsty. We have a God who has faced temptation. We have a God who has experienced the loss of loved ones, even His own Son. We have a God who has been beaten. We have a God who has bled. We have a God who has even experienced death.
So to think He is far off is a lie of the devil. Don’t buy into it, because God is indeed able to sympathize with our weaknesses; He faced them too, but without sin. Repent, friends, and cast these feelings on Christ, drawing near to the throne of grace where God is so near that He gives the weak and lowly gifts of forgiveness and love—His Body and Blood—and hear the words, “You are mine.” “You are forgiven.” “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Dear Heavenly Father, Healer of all conditions, be with us through our struggles. Give us the strength to move forward when we feel like giving up. Give us Your grace when we don’t deserve it and grant us forgiveness through the blood of Your Son Jesus Christ. May we approach Your throne of grace in times of need and receive all the gifts You freely give us through Christ. Amen.
Rev. Lucas Miller was a pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pierce, NE from 2016-2018. He suffered a stroke and is currently recovering and staying home with his family. He lives in Plainview, NE.
This article was originally published on the Higher Things website in September 2016.