Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
— Hebrews 4:16
I can’t begin to count the times that I’ve felt pressed into a hard place and didn’t know what to do. But in those moments, I’ve learned to lean upon the promises made to us in Hebrews 4:16. It says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Today I want us to look at the words “boldly,” “obtain,” “find,” and the phrase “help in time of need.” I am sure that these words are packed with awesome insights that will absolutely thrill your heart and will give you such peace!
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The verse begins by saying, “Let us therefore come boldly…” The word “boldly” comes from the word parresia, an often-used Greek word that was used in ancient times to refer to freedom of speech. It normally depicts a person who speaks his mind and who does it straightforwardly and with great confidence. In New Testament times, freedom of speech was restricted, and people who violated the rules were punished. The word parresia, used in this verse, depicts a frankness that was so bold, it was often met with resistance, hostility, and opposition. It just wasn’t acceptable to speak so candidly. Therefore, when someone freely spoke his mind and thoughts, such outspokenness was met time and again with scorn or rebuke.
Because the Holy Spirit uses the word parresia in Hebrews 4:16, it tells us several important things. First, we know that whenever we approach the Lord in prayer, we need never fear that we are too frank, too bold, too forthright, too honest, too outspoken, or even too blunt when we bare our hearts to Him or request His help. We should never be irreverent, but neither do we need to be ashamed to speak exactly what is on our hearts. When you go to the Lord, He wants to hear exactly what you have to say!
Second, the use of the word parresia — which was used to give us the encouragement to speak boldly to God in prayer — tells us that God will not rebuke us for telling Him exactly what we think. Even if we are wrong, it will not bother God when we’re honest with Him. He may correct us or take us to the Word to help fix our wrong thinking and believing, but He is always glad when we come to Him and speak freely from our hearts.
As the verse continues, it exhorts us to “…come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” We all need mercy, so now let’s look at the word “obtain” to see how we can obtain it!
The word “obtain” comes from the Greek word lambano. It can be translated a couple of ways, depending on how it is used in the text. For example, it can mean to seize or to lay hold of something in order to make it your very own, almost like a person who reaches out to grab, to capture, or to take possession of something. In some cases, it means to violently lay hold of something in order to seize and take it as one’s very own. At other times, it depicts a person who gently and graciously receives something that is freely and easily given.
How easily you receive from God may be determined by your own personal circumstances or inward struggles that affect the ease with which you receive God’s help. If your mind is tormented or you feel the world is pressing hard against you, it may be more difficult for you to receive — not because it’s difficult for Jesus to give, but because it’s difficult for you to focus on what He wants to give you. In that case, it may mean you have to reach out and forcibly lay hold of the help God offers.
The truth is, Jesus is willing to simply give you what you need, and all you have to do is open your heart and by faith receive it. But if exterior forces seem to be pulling you in countless different directions, it may take a deliberate act on your part to shove those external pulls out of the way and reach out by faith to lay hold of the mercy that Jesus offers you. Lay hold of it, take it, and make it your own so you can receive the mercy Jesus wants to give to help you in your situation.
But don’t stop with obtaining mercy, because the verse continues to say that you can also “find grace to help in time of need.”
The word “find” is a translation of the often-used Greek word eurisko. The word eurisko simply means to find. It expresses the idea of a discovery that is made by searching.
Usually the word eurisko points to a discovery made due to an intense investigation, scientific study, or scholarly research. There’s nothing of chance left to this kind of investigation. After working long hours and searching extensively, the time and effort finally pay off as the researcher finds what he has been seeking! In that ecstatic moment of euphoria, he shrieks, “Eureka!” — which means, “I found it!” In fact, the word “eureka” is derived from the word eurisko that is translated “find” in Hebrews 4:16, informing us of the joy experienced when a seeker finds what he has sought for so long.
Maybe you’ve sought God’s help for a long time. Perhaps you’ve prayed for it and searched for it. You’ve heeded Jesus’ word to ask, seek, and knock (see Matthew 7:8; Luke 11:10). And you’ve been persistent like the woman who knocked on the judge’s door and never gave up (see Luke 18:1-8). You have knocked and knocked and knocked — and you have sought and sought and sought. Finally, the door opens and you receive the help you needed. You have every right to shout, “Eureka! I’ve found it! I’ve received it! I have it!”
After you seek, God promises that you will capture exactly what you need from Him, so don’t stop seeking it until you have finally laid hold of it and have made it your very own!
But there is something else very important about the word eurisko that I must point out. This word doesn’t just describe a discovery made for yourself; it can also mean to acquire something for someone else. For example, do you know someone in need of some kind of help?
- Do you know someone who needs physical healing?
- Do you know someone who needs deliverance?
- Do you know someone who needs peace of mind?
- Do you know someone who needs a healing in his or her marriage or family?
- Do you know someone who needs a financial breakthrough?
Because the word eurisko also means to acquire something for someone else, it means you can go to Jesus, the Great High Priest, and seek Him for help on behalf of others. You can obtain help for those who are in need — those who need healing, those who need deliverance, those who need relief from mental torment, those who need wholeness in their marriages and families, and those who need a financial breakthrough. Not only can you take your own needs to the Lord, but you can also take their needs to Him to obtain the help they so desperately need. This means the Lord wants to hear about your needs and the needs of those you love and hold dear to your heart.
But now let’s look at the phrase “help in time of need.” The phrase is a translation of the Greek word boetheia, a word with a military connotation. The word boetheia can be translated to help, as to help a person with his or her needs, but the military connotation of this word adds much more meaning and makes it really powerful.
In the world of the early New Testament, it was a military word that beckoned soldiers to battle. That word was boetheia, which was first and foremost a military word that depicted the exact moment when a soldier heard that his fellow fighter was entrenched in battle, captured, or struggling. Once alerted to this situation, the soldier quickly went into battle to fight for the safety and well-being of his fellow fighter. For that soldier, just hearing of a fellow fighter in need was all that was necessary to beckon him into battle. He spared no effort to deliver his brother as he went into action to rescue him and bring him back into a place of safety, security, and protection.
The Holy Spirit uses this same word to tell us that when we get into trouble and we tell Jesus about it, He goes into battle like a Mighty Warrior to be our defense and to secure our deliverance!
When Jesus fights, He is always on the winning side. So the next time you’re struggling, don’t try to slug it out all by yourself. Instead, go to Jesus and tell Him your situation. He will go to battle for you and fight until you are delivered and free! This is the kind of “help” Jesus wants to provide if you will present your needs to Him in faith. Why fight alone when the greatest Warrior in the universe is willing to fight for you?
For the last 2,000-plus years, Jesus has been seated at the Father’s right hand, where He ever lives to make intercession for anyone who comes to Him by faith (see Hebrews 7:25). The Lord has been fighting for every believer who has come boldly and honestly to Him in prayer. If you are willing to seek His assistance and not stop until you get it, Jesus will step up to the plate and fight for you. More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus died for you, but today — and right at this very moment — He is living to fight for your every need!
Isn’t that some of the best news you’ve ever heard in your whole life? Jesus is just waiting for you to present your needs to Him and to ask for His help. So why don’t you take a few minutes right now to present your needs to Him? Don’t worry that He will rebuke you for being too honest. He is beckoning you to come boldly to His throne to obtain mercy and to find grace to help in your time of need!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord Jesus, I come to You boldly with the needs I am facing in my life. I have wrongly lacked confidence and failed to be straightforward about them with You, but now I understand that You want me to be frank, forthright, and direct with You about these challenges I am facing. Thank You that You don’t rebuke or scorn me for being bold — and thank You for stepping forward as a mighty Warrior to help fight my challenge with me. Today I am coming to You boldly, and I am expecting You to step forward to fight in my defense!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I declare that I obey the Lord’s charge to pray boldly and forthrightly when I come to the throne of God’s grace. He bids me to come, and today I accept His invitation to come boldly and to declare my each and every need. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I will lay hold of the answers that I need and my exterior circumstances must change as a result of this time at the throne of God’s grace. Jesus will step forward as my Mighty Warrior to fight for me. He is just waiting for me to issue Him the invitation to step into the fray with me and to manifest His victory in this battle!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Can you think of a time when you boldly approached the throne of God and received help in your time of need? When was that experience? What happened as a result of boldly asking for help?
- Are there others you know who need you to do some asking for them today? Who are those individuals who really need you to bring their names before the throne of grace?
- Is there is a moment you recall when Jesus stepped forward like a Mighty Warrior and fought for you when you were in need? When was that moment? Wouldn’t it be good for you to meditate on His faithfulness to you today? It will help stir you up for the victory that you need right now.