“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.”
Hebrews 4: 16
Luke 21: 5-19
How do we cope in a crisis? What is our reaction in difficult times and what is our source of strength. Martin Luther King said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Archbishop William Temple (a very appropriate surname for a man of the cloth!) said, “Religion is what you do with your solitude.” In others words our true self comes out when no one else is around so our faith is clearly seen. We can argue from these wise words that when challenge comes our true character may well be revealed and our faith shown for what it is.
So how does Jesus, the wisdom of God, counsel us for such times? In our Luke reading Jesus is warning of difficult times ahead and of His return. There is dialogue over how His words apply to the imminent destruction of the temple in His day and to His return. It is most likely both/and rather than either/or. This discussion though is not today’s focus. The principles He teaches are; these are both applicable to His disciples then and His disciples today. I would like to highlight three such truths:
These truths, and the passage as a whole, remind us that all is not dependent on us; His power, provision and presence equip us to stand firm in the face of challenges. The throne of Grace is there for us to approach and bow before to receive all that we need. The literal translation of this verse (Hebrews 4: 16) is that God’s Grace, His provision, is well-timed. So when we face times of challenge we are to stand on the truth of Jesus Christ, our solid foundation and rock, our faith will be shown for what it is and God will provide the Grace we need.
To Ponder: What times of challenge have you faced or are you facing right now? How do Jesus’ directions to witness, not worry and stand firm help? Focus on His provision and presence in prayer and know the difference He makes
Prayer: Lord Jesus in our trials and temptations enable us to come before you to seek your grace. In our renewed confidence take away our fears and help us to be true witnesses to your love, standing firm in faith and so giving glory to our Father. We ask this in and through your name. Amen
Praise: On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GswGE6rQhmE
Your Grace is enough
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpYtYYaTFGQ
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.