There are many opportunities throughout each day that encourage you to draw near with confidence to God’s throne of grace. When you are struggling with anger, you need His merciful and gracious aid. You will receive it only if you first come to God and tell Him about your struggle. The first step is to honestly admit to the Lord, “I am struggling and am angry at ________________, and I desperately need Your help.” When you are angry your soul is hurting. Unrighteous anger is the wrong response to this hurt, but God is not indifferent about your pain. You can draw near with confidence to His throne of grace and ask Him to put His healing touch upon your heart.
As Jesus walked the earth, His compassionate touch transformed the lives of those whom society looked upon as completely incurable. One word and one touch forever changed the impenitent leper in Mark 1:40–42. This same Jesus is our risen Lord today, and He cares about the hurts of your soul. Although He is opposed to the proud, He deeply desires to pour out His gracious help to those who come to Him in true humility. It is this grace that can heal your heart and give you assurance that He can even work together for your ultimate good the past hurts of your life that are so painful.
“Temptations are an appeal to meet righteous needs in an unrighteous way.”
The conviction that God can work together for good the pain in your life cannot be reached without drawing near to the throne of grace. As Betty processed the pain of her life with an alcoholic and irresponsible father, she greatly struggled. The breakthrough came when she first admitted the struggle and in time began to see how God had used this experience to give her a deep sense of gratitude to her own husband for his life of sobriety. Her heart was filled with joy when he would simply come home at night from work! She had a profound gratefulness for a man who would bring home a paycheck that had not already been foolishly squandered. This grateful joy was a part of the good that God had graciously worked out of her pain. God uses the past and present difficulties of your life to lead you into a life of prayer.
No one ever just decides to be a prayer warrior. God does something in a life that makes the person sense this need of God. Theologian John Calvin called prayer “the discipline of your weakness.” As you process the temptations of your life, this is another wonderful opportunity to pray. But how do you pray? One of the most liberating verses of the Bible to me is 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” To walk in the light is to walk openly, honestly, and transparently before God and His truth. If you will take your temptations and turn them into conversations with God, you will learn to talk to God from your heart. Temptations are an appeal to meet righteous needs in an unrighteous way. Come to God; thank Him that He has a righteous way to meet the longing your temptation has stirred.
When Nathan rebuked David for his sin of adultery and murder, he reminded David of God’s gracious blessings:
Nathan then said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘It is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul. I also gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your care, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these!’” (2 Samuel 12:7–8)
Notice that He says, “if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these.” In other words David was reproved for doubting God’s goodness and yielding to his deceitful desires. When we fail to come to God with the thirst of our heart, we place ourselves in a very vulnerable situation. Listen as Nathan continues his rebuke:
“Why have you despised the word of the Lord by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.’” Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.” (2 Samuel 12:9–14)
David lived before Christ, but the Law gave him correct ways to approach God that pointed ahead to Christ’s coming and His sacrifice. In the days since the coming of Christ, we are to come to Him and let Him quench the thirst of our heart (John 6:35; 7:38). There can be grave consequences for failing to draw near with confidence to the throne of grace and let Jesus’ pure provision quench our thirst. Why not right now reach a solemn conviction to “walk in the Light” with each temptation of your life? Purpose to let every point of temptation lead you into a conversation with God and trust Him to meet the deepest thirsts of your heart.
If you have been deceived and have drunk from the polluted wells of sin, make a clean break from this pattern of behavior and tell someone today of your decision. As you draw near with confidence to God’s throne of grace, continually depend upon His empathetic mercy and enabling grace. Let any consequence of the behavior of the past serve as a loving reminder of the need to continually walk openly, honestly, and transparently before the Lord.
by Bill Thrasher
Why is it so hard to pray? It’s something many Christians can relate to: the desire to pray but the failure to execute. A Journey to...
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