Receiving From God, Even in Hard TimesJune 4, 2018
I’m excited to write you this letter today and to share a powerful truth that I’m sure will be so liberating to you! But first, I want to thank you for being a faithful partner to this ministry. With the aid of your prayers and financial gifts, we are doing what we could never do alone. It is so powerful when people join together to accomplish a mission — and you are definitely on our team when it comes to doing what God has asked us to do. We cannot begin to stress how important your role is in our assignment, and we thank you!
This month, my focus is on obtaining the help of God even in difficult times. Knowing that we can go to the Lord anytime is such a powerful, strengthening thought.
I can’t begin to count the times I’ve felt pressed into a hard place and didn’t know what to do. But in those moments, I’ve learned to lean on the promises 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.”
I want you to look at the words “boldly,” “obtain,” “find,” and the phrase “help in time of need.” These words are packed with awesome insights that will absolutely thrill your heart and give you peace!
Hebrews 4:16 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.
Because the Holy Spirit used 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 heart 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 heart. When we go to the Lord, He wants to hear exactly what we have to say!
Second, the use of the word parresia tells us that God will not rebuke us for telling Him what we think. Even if we’re 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 heart.
SHOULD YOU REALLY EXPECT
AN ANSWER WHEN YOU PRAY?
Hebrews 4:16 continues to exhort us to “…come boldly…that we may obtain mercy, and find grace….” The word “obtain” comes from the Greek word lambano and can be translated a couple of ways. For example, it can mean to seize or to lay hold of something in order to make it one’s very own, almost like a person who reaches out to grab, capture, or 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 you receive from God may be determined by your struggles, which can affect the ease with which you receive His 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 hard for Jesus to give, but because it’s difficult for you to focus on what He wants to give. 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 “pushing and pulling” you in different directions, it may take a deliberate act on your part to shove that pressure out of the way and reach out by faith to lay hold of the mercy that Jesus offers. Lay hold of it and make it your own so you can receive the mercy Jesus freely desires to give you!
The verse continues, “…And find grace to help in time of need.” The word “find” is a translation of the word eurisko, which simply means to find. It expresses the idea of a discovery that is made by searching, by intensely investigating, or by scientifically studying. There’s nothing of chance to this kind of investigation. After working long hours and searching for a long time, the time and effort finally pay off as the researcher finds what he was seeking! In that joyful, ecstatic moment, he shrieks, “Eureka!” — which means, “I found it!”
Maybe you have sought God’s help for a long time. Perhaps you’ve prayed for it and searched for it. You have knocked and knocked — and sought and sought. Finally, the door opens and you receive the help you needed. You have every right to shout, “Eureka! I have found what I’ve been diligently seeking!”
After you seek, God promises that you will capture exactly what you need from Him, so don’t stop seeking until you have finally laid hold of it and made it your very own!
WHAT DOES “HELP IN TIME OF NEED” MEAN?
Now let’s look at the phrase “help in time of need.” This 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 early New Testament times, boetheia was a military word that summoned soldiers to battle. It depicted the exact moment when a soldier heard that his comrade was entrenched in battle or captured. Once alerted, the soldier quickly went into battle for the well-being of his fellow fighter. For that soldier, just hearing of a brother in need was all that was necessary to beckon him into battle. He spared no effort to deliver his comrade as he took action to rescue him and bring him back to a place of safety.
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 secure our deliverance!
When Jesus fights, He always wins. So the next time you’re struggling, don’t try to slug it out all by yourself. 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 “in time of need” 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?
That should be some of the best news you’ve ever heard in your life! The Lord is just waiting for you to present your needs to Him and 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!
And if you are struggling with the idea of going to God by yourself, let us know your need, and we’ll fight with you too. It is our privilege to come alongside you, jump into the spiritual fray, and help fight the battle you’re in right now. Please let us know what you’re facing, and I assure you that our prayer team will pray immediately. This is our promise!
If this letter has encouraged you today, please share its contents with someone else who needs it. Jesus is a Mighty Warrior, ready to fight on behalf of all who boldly come to Him in prayer! Amen!
You are impacting the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ — and we love you and thank God for you!
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families