Resting in the Comfort of His Mercy
Resting in the comfort of His mercy has a solid foundation in Hebrews 4:14-16, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Here are truths which show us the character of God being revealed to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. He is able to perfectly know mankind and perfectly reveal to us His Father’s mercy which enables us to rest in the mercy of God.
Genuine faith in God’s mercy is established and fed by knowing key words found in the writer of the Book of Hebrews which lays down the truth – Jesus is the final High Priest who stands before the Throne of God, interceding for us. (Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 7:25) There are three key words which need to be understood, which can help us rest on God’s mercy.
- Confession (ὁμολογία homología) means to agree with, have an allegiance to, and acknowledge Christ as the final High Priest. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” The confession which enables us to rest in God’s mercy comes from Holy Spirit illumination of the truths of the written Word of God. (Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.; Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 417). New York:; Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.)
- The beloved John wrote, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” After agreeing with God on what sin is, through repentance, receiving Christ as Savior and Lord we have forgiveness and a purifying from the bondage of sin which held us captive. The drunkard no longer bound to drink, the sexually immoral no longer living a life of sexual impurity. The adulterer no longer bound by their life of adultery. All the acts of the sinful nature (Galatians 5:19) is broken and the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22) is now able be manifested in the life of a Christian.
The truth is new life in Christ, the old sinful nature is gone and the new nature under the empowerment of the Holy Spirit takes control. (2 Corinthians 5:17) There is now hope, faith and genuine love.
- Sympathize (συμπαθέω sumpathéō) meaning to be compassionate. (Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.) Jesus is able to share our feelings in the sense He completely understands and feels in His heart the anguish of temptations, afflictions and trials. (Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 293). New York: United Bible Societies.) Hebrews 2:17-18 says, “For this reason He [Jesus] had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.” Jesus sympathizing is beyond, I feel bad for someone, but rather it moves Him to want to help, empower and comfort our souls.
- If we see a person who is overcome with a sin we have a tendency to feel bad for them, hoping they can find some help. Some feel, well you are getting what you deserve. The sympathy from the Lord goes beyond feeling bad to actually supernaturally helping the person overcome. There are many testimonies of people you have enjoyed the Lords forgiveness and empowerment to be overcomers. Beating alcoholism, no longer being a thief or a liar. There are people who were once untrusted employees, now being loyal, productive people.
- Confidence (παρρησία parrēsía) meaning to be bold in asking the Lord for help, knowing He will intercede. (Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.) Hebrews 10:35 says, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”
- When people are confident God forgives the repentant, enables the humble and empowers the faithful, doors of opportunity opened so they may know they are in the will of God.
The Apostle Peter boldly proclaimed his loyalty to the Lord, (Matthew 26:33) yet before the rooster crowed, Peter denied the Lord 3 times. (Matthew 26:69-79) In John 21 we read of Jesus reinstating Peter back into the work of the Lord. He became a great Apostle used of God powerfully. God’s mercy and grace is again enjoyed by Saul, who was the persecutor of the early church of Christ. After becoming a loyal disciple of Christ, Saul’s name was changed to the Apostle Paul, used of God as a great preacher, teacher and apostle. (1Timothy 2:7) In Scripture, there are many who have been sinners saved by grace and then used of God.
There are those in modern times, people loving and living in their sin who God expressed His grace and mercy upon. There is the story of the great Hymn, “Amazing Grace.” It was written by John Newton, however, what you may not know – he was more than a slave trader. His willful disregard for all that is right and holy led him into a life plagued with despair, dangers at sea, abuse, public floggings, destitution, depression, near drownings and miraculous escapes. Although many of these life conflicts opened his eyes a little – he would return to his life controlled by sin.
There was one storm so violent – John chose to get right with God. Two years after his conversion, God made the way for John to marry his high school sweet-heart. He spent fourteen years studying for the ministry. He later became a pastor publishing a Hymnal which held 281 of his own work.
Another man who learned to rest on God’s grace and mercy is comedian Jeff Alan. While his life was being destroyed by alcohol and drugs, he tried a 12 step program. It was not until he was filing for bankruptcy, nearly losing his career, wife and family he opened himself to God’s grace and mercy through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
Jeff, a man who was a bitter and spiteful, is now a joyful man who loves his wife, people and serving the Lord. He shares the Lord’s message through humor all over the world with most of his speaking engagements being sold out. He is a man who can share the truth about God’s grace, mercy and ever-present help in time of great need.
The message for the servants of the Lord to get outside the church walls is God’s mercy is available through repentance looking to Jesus Christ as Lord. There is a sure hope of God’s mercy, through Christ.