Help In Time Of Need
We use this phrase often.
If I walk into the house just as Jess was about to text me, perfect timing.
If someone brings us something right as we were about to ask for it, perfect timing.
The other day I saw a video of acrobats on a trapeze.
As I watched them fly across empty space to be caught by one another, I cheered for their perfect timing.
Magicians who perform slight of hand tricks.
Athletes who perform feats of daring and awesome displays of ability.
All of these can cause us to marvel at their timing.
Has anyone else ever noticed how God has perfect timing?
He sends what we need, when we need it.
Many times He sends help when we don’t even know we need it.
He does this consistently and faithfully.
And yet, so often when I have a need, I get fearful and I doubt His ability.
God has never let me down.
He has never failed me.
His timing in my life has always been perfect.
Yet I doubt.
The cure for doubt is faith.
Faith is anchored in reality.
Today we consider three realities that will silence our doubts and calm our fears.
When we walk by faith, the storms of life will not sink us.
1. Our Purpose: An Enduring Witness v. 14
1. Our Purpose: An Enduring Witness v. 14
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
If you read the book of Hebrews you learn pretty quickly that Jesus is our High Priest.
This verse gives us an action to take as a result of that truth.
Because Jesus is our High Priest, we are called to live differently.
Three important points anchor our call in this verse.
1 - We have a great High Priest.
2 - He is in heaven.
3 - He is Jesus the Son of God.
Based on these three points, we are called to hold fast our confession.
That is what we have been called to do.
Let’s look at these words.
Hold fast – κρατέω (krateō) seize; arrest. to hold (adhere) v. — to remain firmly committed to. Finite verb, present, active, subjunctive, first person, plural.
Hold fast – κρατέω (krateō)
Confession – ὁμολογία (homologia) confession. profession n. — an open avowal (true or false) of some belief or opinion. Noun, genitive object, singular, feminine.
Confession – ὁμολογία (homologia)
We are called to remain firmly committed to our stated belief in Christ.
We hold fast our confession.
This is what we have been called to do, to hold fast our confession.
Now we ask the important question.
Why are we called to hold fast our confession?
The need to hold fast would not exist without opposition.
Let me explain what I mean with an illustration.
Let’s say we are hiking and I trip and begin to slide over the edge of the cliff.
I grab onto a small tree and it stops my fall.
You rush over yelling “hold on!”
You yell hold on because gravity is trying to pull me down.
If there was no gravity, there would be no reason to say hold on.
If no force is trying to pry us away from our confession of Christ, there would be no reason to call us to hold fast.
We must endure, we must hold fast because there are those opposing us.
I don’t ask this because I am searching for a list of names.
We need to be aware of the opposition we face.
Every child of God faces two forms of opposition.
External and internal.
Externally we face pressure from a world system that denies Christ and wants nothing more than to move us away from Him. Look at 1 John 2:16.
1 John 2:16
16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
This world system is energized by Satan himself whom Scripture reveals to be in charge during this time in history. Look at 1 John 5:19.
1 John 5:19
19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
That is the opposition we face.
Externally, we face opposition from a world system that is under the control of the Devil.
Internal opposition arises from our sin nature.
The child of God has been given a new nature. We are new creatures in Christ. Let’s look at a couple passages that deal with this.
First, look at 2 Corinthians 5:17.
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
All things have become new! We are new creatures in Christ!
Our responsibility is to walk in this new nature. Look at Ephesians 4:22-24.
22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
This passage reveals two very important truths.
The first is that We have an old and new nature.
The second is that We have the choice which nature rules our lives.
Our old man, our sin nature is still alive and well and it continually fights against us.
Look at Galatians 5:17.
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
There is a battle going on inside the believer.
Our new nature that is created after Christ in righteousness and holiness is at war with our old sinful nature that is corrupted by deceitful desires!
Added to that is our own self-doubt and shame that comes from our refusal to believe ourselves to be who and what Christ has made us.
We face internal and external opposition as we seek to be dedicated followers of Christ.
Our response to this opposition is to hold fast our confession.
We endure with a clear and faithful testimony of Christ.
This is our purpose!
To have an enduring witness. An enduring testimony to the faithfulness of Christ!
We cannot have an enduring witness without a proper focus.
That’s why the author of Hebrews reminds us of Whom we serve.
We endure because we have a High Priest!
We endure because Jesus the Son of God ever lives to make intercession for us!
We endure because our Savior is going to return for us.
My ability to endure trials depends on Christ.
Because of who He is, we endure.
Paul reminded Timothy that times were going to be tough (2Tim. 3:1-5).
He reminded him that people were going to want nothing to do with truth (2Tim. 3:13).
He warned him to expect suffering, trials, and opposition (2Tim. 3:10-12).
And yet, endurance is possible.
There is a very important point I want to emphasize here.
We are never commanded to do what we are not enabled to do.
The very fact that we are commanded to hold fast our confession means that it is possible!
Yes times are tough. Yes persecution is growing. Yes trials are going to come.
The God of eternity is on our side!
Look at two verses with me. Psalm 62:7; 91:2.
Psalm 62:7; 91:2
7 In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
Our High Priest who is seated in heaven, who is the Son of God, enables us to endure!
He will deliver. He will return. We have nothing to fear!
Our purpose is to endure the trials of life and point people to Him!
That is reality #1.
2. Our Problem: An Indwelling Weakness v. 15
2. Our Problem: An Indwelling Weakness v. 15
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
We’ve already mentioned that our ability to endure is dependent on Christ.
Because of who He is, we are able to stand against temptation and proclaim the grace and glory of Jesus.
He is our High Priest. According to this verse He sympathizes with our weakness.
Sympathize – συμπαθέω (sympatheō) sympathize with. to sympathize v. — to share the feelings of and understand the sentiments. Verb, aorist, active, complementary infinitive.
Sympathize – συμπαθέω (sympatheō)
By taking on human flesh, Jesus Christ was able to share in our feelings and understand our sentiments.
He knows what it is to be tested!
He knows what it is to face opposition.
He understands what we face.
However, Jesus did not have a sin nature.
Therefore, when he faced temptation, he did not sin.
Tempted – πειράζω (peirazō) test; put to the test; tempt. to be tested v. — to be put to the test in order to ascertain the nature of someone, including imperfections, faults, or other qualities. Verb, perfect, passive, attributive participle, singular, accusative, masculine.
Tempted – πειράζω (peirazō)
The temptations we face are a test. They are designed to expose our imperfections and faults so that we might know the areas we need to work on.
Temptation isn’t sin, what we do with temptation is.
We have access to the only one ever to face temptation and never sin.
He knows our weakness. He knows our struggle.
As we saw earlier, we all have a sin nature that battles against us.
Go with me to Romans 7:18-25.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
This passage clearly depicts that battle that rages inside us all.
We have a sin nature. That sin nature desires to lead us away from Christ.
We have a new nature. That new nature desires to conform us to Christ.
The only solution is Jesus! He is the only one who offers deliverance.
We have a problem. We have a sin nature that is waging a war against us.
Hebrews 12:1 adds another element to our problem.
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
For each and every one of us, there are certain things, certain sins that ensnare us more easily than others.
Anger, gossip, lying, lust, gluttony, unthankfulness, etc.
There is a particular area of struggle for each of us.
We are weak.
We face temptation.
I don’t bring this up to give an excuse for failure. Neither does the author of Hebrews.
These things are written so that we can identify our problem, and do something about it.
We need to take steps to guard our hearts.
Dealing with our indwelling weakness requires decisive action.
The sin that besets us, the temptation we face, will not go away on its own.
We cannot ignore it and hope for the best.
We must seek deliverance.
Reality #1. Our purpose.
Reality #2. Our problem.
3. Our Provision: An Eternal Willingness v. 16
3. Our Provision: An Eternal Willingness v. 16
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.
The verses we have considered build on each other.
We are called to hold fast our confession.
We are then reminded that Jesus knows our weaknesses.
Now we are told to come to the throne of grace when we are in need.
As we seek to be faithful witnesses of Jesus, we are going to face opposition.
Some of that opposition will take the form of temptation.
No matter what opposition we face, we are going to need help.
Mercy, grace, and help are available.
To access them we must come.
This is the first step.
When we are in need, we must come to the throne of grace.
All the help we could ever desire is available to those who ask!
The only reason we don’t experience it is because we don’t come to Jesus!
Look with me at 1 Peter 5:6-7.
1 Peter 5:6-7
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
If we want God to carry our burden we have to bring it to Him!
When in need, come to Jesus.
Come with boldness.
This word has the idea of coming to God with courage and confidence.
How are we, guilty sinners, able to come before a righteous and holy God with courage and confidence?
Because of Jesus!
Ephesians 2:13 says
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Hebrews 10:19 says
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,
We come into the presence of God by the blood of Jesus Christ!
We come with courage and confidence because His blood has cleansed us from all sin.
As we seek to hold fast our confession, as we face trial and hardship, as temptation strikes, we come before the throne of grace.
We come seeking.
We cannot obtain mercy, and find grace, and help if we are not seeking it.
These words are in the active voice meaning we do something.
The mercy and grace are available but only if we actively seek them!
All of this demands two acknowledgements.
First, that we recognize our need.
Second, that we recognize God’s ability.
We need the mercy and grace of God.
We need it when we sin. We need it when we are tempted. We need it when we face opposition.
This mercy and grace is ours when we come to the throne of grace seeking it.
As we look at the world around us, we need mercy and grace.
This is where the second acknowledgement comes in.
God is the only one able to provide mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Psalm 60:11 says
11 Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless.
This same phrase is found in 108:12
When we have need, we come to the throne of grace.
When faced by opposition, come.
When temptation strikes, come!
When burdened, come.
When mired in sin, come.
When broken, hurting, and alone, come.
Come to the throne of grace!
Obtain mercy, find grace!
O beloved, come to Jesus.
God is willing to provide mercy and grace! He is willing to help!
This verse concludes with the promise that we will find help in time of need.
The phrase “in time of need” translates one Greek word.
Time of need – εὔκαιρος (eukairos) well-timed; suitable. opportune adj. — suitable or at a time that is suitable or advantageous; especially for a particular purpose. Attributive adjective, accusative, singular, feminine.
Time of need – εὔκαιρος (eukairos)
The idea is that at the exact right time, the very second we ask for it, God sends His mercy and grace to help us.
Psalm 46:1 says
1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
Earlier we mentioned the idea of falling off a cliff and grabbing onto a small tree.
If we don’t grab onto the source of help, we fall.
God is a refuge. He provides strength.
He is our help in trouble.
But if we do not come to Him seeking refuge,strength, and help, we fall.
If you are falling today, reach out to Jesus.
God’s timing is always perfect.
When we come boldly before the throne, mercy and grace are made available to us.
This is our provision.
God is always willing to help when we are in need.
Mercy, grace, and help are given when we ask.
Will we come to Him with our need?
We have a purpose.
Our purpose is to reflect Christ.
It is only possible to reflect Christ as we depend on Him.
We have a problem.
As we work towards the goal of reflecting Christ, we are going to face opposition.
Some of that opposition will come for our sin nature.
The sin nature can only be overcome as we submit to Christ and live in the new man.
We have a provision.
As we face opposition and as our sin nature fights against us we run to Jesus.
To depend on Him, to submit to Him, we come to the throne of grace.
Only as we seek the mercy and grace He offers will we find help in our time of need.
In light of what we have learned, what commitment will you make?
Personal - How will you depend on the Lord? More time in prayer. More time in the Word.
Relationships - Are we lifting our friends and family members up to the Lord? Pray specifically.
Parenting - We need grace and mercy to parent well. We find that at the throne of grace! Pray for your children. Pray for response to children.
Marriage - Can our spouse see Christ in us? Are we bringing them to Jesus, not so He will change them, but so that we can be a better husband or wife?
We are salt and light.
We are ambassadors for Christ.
We must hold fast our confession.
The only way we can maintain a good testimony in this world is through dependence on Christ.
To depend on Christ we must bring every burden, care, and trial to the throne of grace.
Mercy and grace to help in time of need is found at the feet of Jesus.
Depend on Christ.
Our every need is met in Him.